Anne Frank: 70 years after her death, her diary remains one of the most enduring symbols of human suffering during the Holocaust (The Independent)
di Antonia Molloy
Anne Frank: 70 years after her death, her diary remains one of the most enduring symbols of human suffering during the Holocaust
This March marks 70 years since the death of Anne Frank at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
It is unknown when exactly the 15-year-old died, finally succumbing to typhus in the horrifying conditions, but tragically it was only a few weeks before the British liberated the Nazi camp on 15 April, 1945.
Her life was brief, but Anne’s voice has echoed through the decades from the pages of her diary, which she kept during the two years she and her family spent in hiding before they were betrayed.
The Diary of a Young Girl is not just a historical document, but also a literary work of art. Anne was just one of the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust but she speaks for so many through the power of her writing.
Primo Levi, an Auschwitz survivor, famously said: “One single Anne Frank moves us more than the countless others who suffered just as she did but whose faces have remained in the shadows.
“Perhaps it is better that way; if we were capable of taking in all the suffering of all those people, we would not be able to live.
Anne wanted to be heard. She redrafted her diary with the intention of publishing it after the war. It was a dream that she did not live to see realised.
However, her at turns crushing despair and unbridled hope and optimism, in the face of unimaginable suffering and death, continue to speak to us today.
On 4 April, 1944, Anne wrote in her diary: “I want to go on living even after my death!”
And that she has.
Quotes from The Diary of a Young Girl
12 June, 1942
“I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in to anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support.”
22 January, 1944
“Can you tell me why people go to such lengths to hide their real selves? Or why I always behave very differently when I’m in the company of others? I know there must be a reason, but sometimes I think it’s horrible that you can’t ever confide in anyone, not even those closest to you.”
5 April, 1944
“I don’t want to live in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death!”
7 May, 1944
“What is done cannot be undone, but one can prevent it happening again.”
“Women should be respected as well! Generally speaking, men are held in great esteem in all parts of the world, so why shouldn’t women have their share?”
15 July, 1944
“It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”
15 July, 1944
“I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness. I hear the ever-approaching thunder, which will destroy us too. I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right.”
1 August, 1944 – Anne’s final diary entry
“I get cross, then sad, and finally end up turning my heart inside out, the bad part on the outside and the good part on the inside, and keep trying to find a way to become what I’d like to be and what I could be if… if only there were no other people in the world.”
(L’articolo originale è disponibile al link: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/anne-frank-70-years-after-her-death-her-diary-remains-one-of-the-most-enduring-symbols-of-human-suffering-during-the-holocaust-10104067.html?cmipid=fb )