The Diary of Anne Frank

Anne Frank was an ordinary teenager. She loved writing, being with her friends, and dreaming about romance. But she and her family were Jewish. So, when the Nazis invaded the Netherlands, they were forced to go into hiding to avoid being sent to a concentration camp. Between 1942 and 1944, the Franks, the Van Daans and a dentist named Albert Dussel lived in a concealed annex in Anne’s father’s office building. Anne recorded their lives in her diary. Eventually, their hiding place was discovered and the families were arrested. Only Anne’s father survived. When he published his daughter’s diary in 1947, it became an instant classic, and a harrowing insight into the horrors of the Nazi regime.

The Holocaust

Six million Jews were murdered by the Nazi regime from 1941 to 1945. Millions more people were killed for their nationality, sexuality or religion. When this genocide is remembered today, Anne’s diary is often a crucial part of the story. By bringing just one girl’s story to life, her diary helps us to understand that these are not just statistics, but innocent human beings who lost their lives.

Prejudice

The Nazis’ prejudice against Jewish people eventually led to one of the worst crimes in human history. Is anti-semitism still a problem? And what other forms of prejudice do people face today?

Isolation

Anne feels horribly alone for much of her time in hiding. This is not just because she is physically cut off from the outside world — she also feels isolated from the other people hiding with her. From the beginning of her diary, she yearns for a friend who would truly understand her. How common is this feeling?

The witness

Sometimes, in the most desperate situations, all that a person can do is witness the event and then tell the world what happened. This is what Anne was attempting with her diary; she knew that, one day, readers might use it to understand the war she was living through. Who has taken on this role in the 21st Century?

Teenagers

Towards the end of her diary, Anne shares a thoughtful quote: “Deep down, the young are lonelier than the old.” As a young teenager, she often struggles to understand and express her own identity as it develops. This is made worse by her unique circumstances — but many ordinary teenagers can relate to her excitement and confusion about growing up.