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One of the most famous historical books, which is still bought today, is the diary of Anne Frank. It has been translated into over fifty languages and around thirty million copies have been bought! The reason for the diary’s success is it gives our generation a chance to see what it would have been like to live in Nazi Germany in the 1940’s. People of all ages read it in and out of school, as a curricular project, or just an interesting book for their spare time. But who was Anne Frank, and why was her diary so successful?
She was born on the 12th June 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany, and was the second daughter of Otto Frank and Edith Frank-Hollander. She had a sister called Margot, who was three years older than she was, and when she was around four, the Nazis came into power. The Frank family then moved to Holland for safety, as they were all Jewish. Right from the beginning of school, Anne Frank seemed to have a knack for reading and writing. However, it wasn’t long before the Nazis arrived in Holland too, and soon, all Jews had to be labelled, and could only go to Jewish schools. On Anne’s 13th birthday, her father gave her a blank book, which she decided to use as a diary. In July 1942, Jews were beginning to be sent to work camps, and this made the family decide to go into hiding.
They hid along with four other families. A group of friends would occasionally provide essentials like food and water. Anne used the diary the most when she was in hiding, and started each entry with “Liebe Kitty” (Dear Kitty) which is what she named her diary on her thirteenth birthday. However, Anne and her mother were found, and were sent to Auschwitz in 1944, and sadly they both died of typhoid in 1945. The only member of the family that survived was Otto, the father, who went on to publish the book himself in 1947.
My favourite quotation from the diary is:
“I’ve reached the point where I hardly care whether I live or die. The world will keep on turning without me, and I can’t do anything to change events anyway. I’ll just let matters take their course and concentrate on studying and hope that everything will be all right in the end.”
I like this passage very much, as it describes how desperate the Jews were, but this extract also shows how courageous they must have been as well. Just from this quote, I can tell that Anne Frank is a strong and intelligent individual. Also, if only she knew how wrong the quote was in places, as she talks about how insignificant she is in the long run, but is now one of the most famous Jews in the last hundred years.
All in all, her diary is extremely useful for historians, as now we can see what it was like to be a Jew in the Second World War first hand. What I also like about the diary is how it almost feels like Anne Frank is talking to you personally, as she addresses her diary directly. We have many different witness accounts of how much the Jews suffered at the hands of the Nazis, but Anne Frank’s diary provides a unique, powerful perspective on the matter. I believe that this is because Anne Frank was in her teenage years when she wrote the diary, and readers can remember their teenage years, and compare the two.
The language used in this essay is quite informal. The introduction provides sufficient background for the topic, but a thesis statement is absent. The body has been divided according to the main points, but no citations have been used. The conclusion provides the overall essence of the essay. Use of first-person language was identified several times in the essay; this makes the essay read as informal and should be avoided in formal academic writing.
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