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Anne Frank's Diary

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Anne Frank's Diary is not a novel or a tale of the imagination. It is the diary kept by a young Jewish girl for the two years she was forced to remain in hiding by the Nazi persecution of the Jews of Europe. Between June 1942 and August 1944, from Anne's thirteenth birthday until shortly after her fifteenth birthday, Anne Frank recorded her feelings, her emotions, and her thoughts, as well as the events that happened to her, in the diary which her father had given her as a birthday present. Together with her parents and her sister, Margot, the Van Daan family (consisting of a husband, a wife, and a son, Peter, two years older than Anne) and, later on, an elderly dentist named Mr. DÑŒssel, Anne lived in a set of rooms at the top of an old warehouse in Amsterdam, Holland, concealed behind a hidden door and a bookcase. During the day, when people worked in the office and in the warehouse below, Anne and the others had to keep very quiet, but at night they could move around more freely, though of course they could not turn on any lights nor show in any way that the house was inhabited.

The Diary is many things at one and the same time. It is an amusing, enlightening, and often moving account of the process of adolescence, as Anne describes her thoughts and feelings about herself and the people around her, the world at large, and life in general. It is an accurate record of the way a young girl grows up and matures, in the very special circumstances in which Anne found herself throughout the two years during which she was in hiding. And it is also a vividly terrifying description of what it was like to be a Jew-and in hiding-at a time when the Nazis sought to kill all the Jews of Europe.

Above all, Anne was an ordinary girl, growing up, and eventually dying, but she was an ordinary girl growing up in extraordinary times. She loved life and laughter, was interested in history and movie stars, Greek mythology, and cats, writing, and boys. In the few entries which she wrote before the family went into hiding, we discover something of the world of a child growing up in Holland in 1942. Anne went to school, had girl friends and boyfriends, went to parties and to ice-cream parlors, rode her bike, and chattered (an understatement) in class. In fact, Anne chattered so much that, as a punishment for her talkativeness, she had to write several essays on the subject of "A Chatterbox." Much of this chatty quality of hers, however, spills



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