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Friday, June 12, 2015

Happy Birthday, Anne Frank!




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Today is Anne Frank's birthday. She would've been 86 years old. 

"It's an odd idea for someone like me to keep a diary, not only because I have never done so before, but because it seems to me that neither Inor for that matter anyone elsewill be interested in the unbosomings of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl." - Anne Frank
Image from Wikimedia Source

Ever since I was a little girl I've felt a fierce connection to Anne Frank as if I knew her in a past life. When I was ten, I had a framed picture of her next to my bed and pretended she was real, alive, sitting on my bed across from me, talking about everything girls talk about. I had wished she was my best friend, my sister. I got The Diary of a Young Girl when I was twelve and worshiped it.

In seventh grade, my class read a play based after The Diary of a Young Girl, and I had to compete with another girl for the role of Anne. We had to read the same passage and convince not only the teacher but the class that we deserved the part. Deep down, I knew the part was for me and I gave it my all. 
NOTE: At that time I was painfully shy.
Well, I won the part and felt I did it justice. On top of playing Anne Frank, I also read the part of Mrs. Van Daan. I remember having to make a comment from Mrs. Van Daan's POV about having nice legs when I was a young gal. And shy little me dove right into that; I lifted my right leg and ran my hand up it while reading that line. The class cracked up. They loved it! My face probably turned several shades of red but I was thrilled.
NOTE: I also read the part of Abigail Williams from The Crucible, another story and time I feel a connection to.
Image from Pixabay

I've dreamed of going to the office/museum where the Franks and Van Daans hid in for 25 months and seeing the "Secret Annexe" with my own eyes. Last month, I watched the movie "The Fault in Our Stars" and teared up when Hazel (a girl with thyroid cancer that spread to her lungs) had to climb the steep steps to get to the top. I can only imagine how intense it would be to follow Anne's steps and stand where she once stood.


Every time I read The Diary of a Young Girl and get to the end, I ball my eyes out when I read that Anne died days apart from her sister, Margot...a couple of months before the war ended.

Otto Frank was the only survivor and if it weren't for him, we wouldn't have Anne's story. He privately passed copies of her diary as a memorial to his family. Two years after the war ended, her diary was published in Amsterdam by Contact Publishers. Anne would've been eighteen.

Image from Pixabay
". . . and finally I twist my heart round again, so that the bad is on the outside and the good is on the inside and keep on trying to find a way of becoming what I would so like to be, and what I could be if . . . there weren't any other people living in the world." - Anne Frank

Happy Birthday, dear Anne!


QUESTIONS: Have you read The Diary of a Young Girl? Do you feel a connection to Anne Frank?



74 comments:

  1. Great post and thoughts indeed, and that little story of playing that part was nice. I haven't read that title, but will surely check it out. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You haven't read Diary of a Young Girl? I definitely recommend it.

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  2. Feel badly that even though I have known about Anne Franks,I have never read her diary. Need reminders like this. We all do.

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    1. Well, I am happy to remind you, Roland. :)

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  3. I never actually read her diary but I did read the play although we never actually performed it in the end, not sure why. Being in England, we sort of knew about Anne Frank anyway having lived through the war etc. You are right, we should read it.

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    1. You should give her diary a read, Jo. It's very good. :)

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  4. Loved that book, too, Chrys. I actually did get to see the Anne Frank house during a stopover in Amsterdam many years ago. It was such an emotional experience, especially having read/grown-up with the book.

    (And I thought that scene in TFIOS - both the book and the movie - were really well done.)

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    1. I think it's wonderful that you've been to the Anne Frank house. I probably won't ever see it, but I dream of it.

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  5. Years ago in school, I read it. I was in Amsterdam a few years ago and went by her house, but the line was so long (and I only had a few hours) that I decided to forgo stopping. Her story gave a face to the 6 million Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis.

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    1. Her story is amazing. Without her, so much would've gone unsaid, unknown.

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  6. I of course know of her but never read her diary, maybe have to get on that one of these days

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    1. I'm surprised at how many people are saying they haven't read her diary yet. Wow.

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  7. Wonderful post! I know we read the play in school and I think at least some of the actual diary. I should go back and read the whole thing.

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  8. Anne Frank is a light that shines in the darkness of the Nazi nightmare. How unsettling to think how easily it would have been for that diary to never have been read by anyone. Still I have never read it, for I knew I would grow to love Anne Frank, and then after reading it would have terrible images of such a lovely soul in a Nazi concentration camp.

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    1. She was a beautiful light. Still is, even in her death. I do love Anne Frank and reading the end and imaging the horror she went through does break my heart.

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  9. I read it long ago. For me, it's too heartbreaking to read it again. And I would never watch a movie like The Fault in Our Stars. There's too much sadness in the real world for me to watch it for entertainment.
    Susan Says

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    1. The Fault in Our Stars is a lovely story though. It has it's sad moments but happy, funny ones too.

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  10. I remember how I cried when I read her book. Such a lovely tribute and such a sweet story of your personal experience. An imaginary friend based on a real person, love that! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, Yolanda! You can't get a better imaginary friend/sister than Anne Frank.

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  11. Yes, Anne Frank has always been an inspiration to me. I read the Diary of Anne Frank in 1989 on a family camping trip. It was finished before the weekend was over. I was also writing in my personal journal at that time and devoted at least two full entries about her. One of my favourite quotes is from her dairy, "'A person can be lonely even if he is loved by many people, because he is still not the "One and Only" to anyone." Very true. And that describes me perfectly.

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    1. That describes me too, Jeffrey....I wish I could read those journal entries that you wrote about her. :)

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    2. I can make that happen. Interesting stuff.

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    3. You could share them on your blog. :)

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    4. I will do that, then tell you where to find them when I post. Probably later today. All my old journal entries I've already saved as word documents. So it's a simple process of transferring over.

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    5. Awesome! I'm usually not on my computer late at night. I'll definitely check it out tomorrow, though. I'm subscribed to your blog, so I'll get an email to let me know. :)

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    6. I just posted them now. Sorry, was busy yesterday. I back dated the two entries to 1989 so you won't see them posted to the top. If you go to my blog archive under that year you will find them.

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    7. Thanks for letting me now! I have been pulling my hair out this morning with my blog, blog tour, the blog award, and my co-hosting duties that I haven't gotten around to reading your post yet. I will though. I promise! :)

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  12. This is so beautiful. I've always felt a connection to Anne as well, and her story never fails to make me bawl, as well. What a beautiful soul.

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    1. She probably had the purest, most beautiful soul out of everyone who has ever stepped foot in the world.

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  13. She is a timeless beauty in picture, heart and soul. I read her diary 4 times when I was in high school and I had the honour to go to her hiding place in Amsterdam. It is one of the highlights of all my trips. The stairs are unbelievably steep. I saw her room with the film stars' pictures still up on the walls and I took a picture of the window with the tree and church steeple that she saw, It was a profoundly moving experience and I am so saddened by her loss. She is a year younger than my mom. How much this young lady could have accomplished if she had lived longer. What is amazing is how much she has changed the world to many millions of people. I think this book should be taught in all schools. Maybe the kids who complain about not having their latest fashion or cell phone will think twice.

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    1. I would love to see those pictures, Birgit! Sometime you should share them on your blog. She would've been a force to be reckoned with if she had survived, but I also thing her death had something to do with the fact that she is so celebrated and cherished today. This book is just what the kids nowadays need to read.

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  14. I know what a surprising admission this is, but out of all the Shoah memoirs, novels, and non-fiction books I've read over the years, I've never read Anne Frank's diary. I've certainly read excerpts from it, but never the entire thing. Last year, one of the lectures I went to around Yom HaShoah was about the editing of the diary (including Anne's own editing in her lifetime), how it was authenticated, how it's preserved today, etc.

    One of my numerous Shoah books is a thick anthology called Salvaged Pages, from the diaries of lesser-known young people who went through the Shoah. Poland was a bit over-represented, but they had journals from other nations as well.

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    1. I'm surprised you haven't read it, Carrie-Anne. You should add it to your list. That anthology sounds really interesting.

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  15. Great post, I can remember reading "The Diary of Anne Frank, thought it most absorbing. Amen to Happy Birthday Anne.

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    1. It is a very absorbing read. You can't but help feel as though you know her while reading her words.

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  16. Wow, its hard to imagine her, had she lived, to be 86. She's immortalized as a young teenage indeed. I did read The Diary of Anne Frank several times. Always struck at how they lived/hid during that time.

    betty

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    1. She is forever immortalized as a teen. I can kind of imagine her if she were alive today. She'd be spunky and feisty. :)

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  17. Wow! I read your post and thought of the similarities - my first "speaking" role as a shy kid was the part of Anne during a class read-through of the play in 8th grade - loved the play, love her diary. Thanks for sharing her birthday today!

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    1. Anne Frank is the perfect role for shy girls. :)

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  18. What a lovely post and wonderful way of remembering Anne Frank on her birthday. As a child, I felt a connection to her as well. I grew up in a large family (half Jewish) and after reading her diary I became obsessed with learning all about the war. I still have trouble believing that something so evil took place, not so long ago. How? How could it happen? I've never been able to comprehend how so many people followed such a cruel man and participated in the holocaust. Anne Frank's story is so sad and I cry every time I read it.

    Your post is a nice commemorative for her birthday.

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    1. I have a hard time believing it too.

      Thank you, Melissa!

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  19. Hi Chrys, I read the book when I was 11. I LOVED it and I think I read it in two days. I was so very taken with Anne and her story. It was disturbing too and as much as I could muster at that age about WWII, I was so sad for her and her family. She haunted me. I love that you got the part!! That's such a cute story. That was my favorite scene in "The Fault in Our Stars". The museum must be amazing. Great post and thanks for reminding us of the power of Anne and her words.

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    1. Anne has haunted so many people since her diary was made public. She had/has so much power with her words.

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  20. Hi Chrys! I certainly have read her diary and I recently visited Anne Frank Haus as they call it in Amsterdam. It was incredibly moving, as, like you, her diary has been one of my very favourites forever. I liked that it was included in The Fault in our Stars. Seeing most schools no longer study it, it introduces Anne and her story to them. When you visit the house, they have original writings by Anne under glass. I'll never forget it. She wanted to live and see her works published. She also wrote short stories.

    Denise :-)

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    1. Haus...I like that. :)

      I think it's terrible that students and schools no longer study it. What happened? Why? I learned a lot about her in school. Who is telling the kids no about her if our teachers don't?

      I didn't know she wrote short stories, but that doesn't surprise me.

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  21. I've read the various bits of the play that the 8th grade classes read. (It's usually read in the spring, and I can be sure if I cover an 8th grade English class I'll end up with at least one day of it.)

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    1. I want to get the play book. I really enjoyed it.

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  22. I read her diary in the 6th grade, on my own since a teacher lent me the book. It was so powerful and sad. I've taught excerpts of it, but I'll probably read the full book again.

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    1. I was thinking about reading the book again sometime soon.

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  23. Anne's story is such a sad one. War is horrible, especially on the young. Her words just make me cry, thinking of her life and what it might have been. I have not read her diary, but now I must. Thank you for a lovely post to a young heroine, taken before her time.

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    1. You're right, Beverly...now you must read her diary. :)

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  24. With that strong of a connect, who's to say you haven't known each other before.

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  25. PS I bet you did a great job in the play.

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    1. It was done just in a classroom, not on a stage, but I think a did great. :D

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  26. While in Amsterdam 4 years ago, we had tickets to visit the Anne Frank house, but the bus tour we traveled with was running late so our river tour of the city ran over and we missed our appointment time. We did however, see the house from the river and the guide on the river boat tour mentioned it briefly...very briefly in 3 different languages. By the time I realized he was speaking English, he'd moved on to German.

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  27. I hope our younger generation would learn to appreciate women like Anne Frank more and less of the people they see on TV. Although not everyone's that bad. :)

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  28. I want to read the book again. Sadly, the younger generation doesn't cherish these books like we did. Neither are many of them interested in reading these books.

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    1. That is truly sad. If I ever have a daughter, I'll read it to her and pass my copy down to her when she's thirteen.

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  29. She was a very special person, and all these yeas later people still read her words. Pretty remarkable.

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  30. How awesome that you were able to come out of your shell to win the role of your favorite heroine!! Stopping in from Life & Faith in Caneyhead.

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    1. It was awesome. I'll never forget it. :)

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  31. I have read it. Can't say I felt a connection to her, but it's very moving.

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  32. Though painfully shy, you still got the part you were coveting!

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  33. How cool that you got the part when you were so shy. I think many of us were drawn to her. I read her book at 12, and it changed me too. We all cry at the end. Beautifully written. Happy Birthday Anne.

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    1. Thanks for a lovely comment, Rhonda. I don't know how any young girl couldn't feel a connection to her. :)

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  34. Congrats on getting the part and the leg bit made me smile. I went to her house a couple of years ago and it was one of those days that will live with me. On one hand it was amazing to see. On the other, I needed several hours after the visit to sit and think. Luckily I have the most patient partner who knows exactly what I need before I do: a bar that serves Dutch courage. Her story and many others shouldn't be forgotten.

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    1. I'm happy to make you smile, TB!

      I think I'd need time to sit and reflect after seeing it too.

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