Saturday, June 14, 2008

Anne Frank's Diary

by Dian Hassel

Anne Frank was born on June 12 in 1929. On her thirteenth birthday, she received the gift that would affect the world forever, a diary. Forget that she was an adolescent---her thoughts were so mature, so world-wise. Her family lived in Amsterdam, and one month after receiving this diary, she and her family went into hiding to escape the persecution of the Nazis. They lived in hidden rooms in her father's office building for two years, until someone gave them up. She died of typhoid in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp as a fifteen-year-old. If you're so inclined, pick up a copy of her diary (required reading in quality middle schools and junior highs)---just imagine what we have missed, not having a 79-year-old Anne Frank now, and all of the preceding years of wisdom and observations.

I was fortunate enough (as a twelve-year-old) to visit the building where they hid on June 27, 1968 (recorded in my diary). Our family was doing seven countries in thirty days. There were scheduled tours that day, but my buddies on the trip, another 12-year-old named Dan and his 9-year-old sister Beth, decided to take off on our own! We went off for the whole day by ourselves, figured out the bus routes and got to Anne Frank's house. It was perfectly safe for us to do that then, and our parents weren't worried. We had enough money with us to take care of all the expenses of the day, including a very nice bread, cheese and fruit lunch in a park. Forty years ago, and I can remember every detail!"

Here are a few quotes from Anne Frank's diary:

"No one has ever become poor by giving."

"In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can't build my hopes on a foundation of confusion, misery and death."

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."

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