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Diary of Anne Frank Diary of Anne Frank
by The Ovi Team
2018-04-30 03:56:32
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30th April 1952; the diary of Anne Frank, a Jewish victim of the Holocaust is to be published in English titled "The Diary of a Young Girl". Her diary, later entitled "The Diary of Anne Frank", becomes one of the most popular books in the world and is included in most schools as recommended reading. (I read this very moving journal after my daughter read it in high school just a few years ago and was amazed at how well it was written under terrible circumstances) The diary provides a disturbing account of a teenager living in hiding with seven others in fear of their lives in occupied Holland, Anne Frank died of typhus just before her 16th birthday in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.

frank01_400The diary has been praised for its literary merits. Commenting on Anne Frank's writing style, the dramatist Meyer Levin commended Frank for "sustaining the tension of a well-constructed novel", and was so impressed by the quality of her work that he collaborated with Otto Frank on a dramatisation of the diary shortly after its publication. Meyer became obsessed with Anne Frank, which he wrote about in his autobiography The Obsession. The poet John Berryman wrote it was a unique depiction, not merely of adolescence but of the "conversion of a child into a person as it is happening in a precise, confident, economical style stunning in its honesty".

In her introduction to the diary's first American edition, Eleanor Roosevelt described it as "one of the wisest and most moving commentaries on war and its impact on human beings that I have ever read." John F. Kennedy discussed Anne Frank in a 1961 speech, and said, "Of all the multitudes who throughout history have spoken for human dignity in times of great suffering and loss, no voice is more compelling than that of Anne Frank." In the same year, the Soviet writer Ilya Ehrenburg wrote of her: "one voice speaks for six million—the voice not of a sage or a poet but of an ordinary little girl."
 
As Anne Frank's stature as both a writer and humanist has grown, she has been discussed specifically as a symbol of the Holocaust and more broadly as a representative of persecution. Hillary Rodham Clinton, in her acceptance speech for an Elie Wiesel Humanitarian Award in 1994, read from Anne Frank's diary and spoke of her "awakening us to the folly of indifference and the terrible toll it takes on our young," which Clinton related to contemporary events in Sarajevo, Somalia and Rwanda. After receiving a humanitarian award from the Anne Frank Foundation in 1994, Nelson Mandela addressed a crowd in Johannesburg, saying he had read Anne Frank's diary while in prison and "derived much encouragement from it." He likened her struggle against Nazism to his struggle against apartheid, drawing a parallel between the two philosophies with the comment "because these beliefs are patently false, and because they were, and will always be, challenged by the likes of Anne Frank, they are bound to fail." Also in 1994, Václav Havel said "Anne Frank's legacy is very much alive and it can address us fully" in relation to the political and social changes occurring at the time in former Eastern Bloc countries.
 
Primo Levi suggested Anne Frank is frequently identified as a single representative of the millions of people who suffered and died as she did because, "One single Anne Frank moves us more than the countless others who suffered just as she did but whose faces have remained in the shadows. Perhaps it is better that way; if we were capable of taking in all the suffering of all those people, we would not be able to live." In her closing message in Melissa Müller's biography of Anne Frank, Miep Gies expressed a similar thought, though she attempted to dispel what she felt was a growing misconception that "Anne symbolises the six million victims of the Holocaust", writing: "Anne's life and death were her own individual fate, an individual fate that happened six million times over. Anne cannot, and should not, stand for the many individuals whom the Nazis robbed of their lives... But her fate helps us grasp the immense loss the world suffered because of the Holocaust."
 
frank02_400Otto Frank spent the remainder of his life as custodian of his daughter's legacy, saying, "It's a strange role. In the normal family relationship, it is the child of the famous parent who has the honour and the burden of continuing the task. In my case the role is reversed." He also recalled his publisher explaining why he thought the diary has been so widely read, with the comment "he said that the diary encompasses so many areas of life that each reader can find something that moves him personally". Simon Wiesenthal later expressed a similar opinion when he said that Anne Frank's diary had raised more widespread awareness of the Holocaust than had been achieved during the Nuremberg Trials, because "people identified with this child. This was the impact of the Holocaust, this was a family like my family, like your family and so you could understand this."
 
In June 1999, Time magazine published a special edition titled "Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century". Anne Frank was selected as one of the "Heroes & Icons", and the writer, Roger Rosenblatt, described her legacy with the comment, "The passions the book ignites suggest that everyone owns Anne Frank, that she has risen above the Holocaust, Judaism, girlhood and even goodness and become a totemic figure of the modern world—the moral individual mind beset by the machinery of destruction, insisting on the right to live and question and hope for the future of human beings." He also notes while her courage and pragmatism are admired, it is her ability to analyze herself and the quality of her writing is the key components of her appeal. He writes, "The reason for her immortality was basically literary. She was an extraordinarily good writer, for any age, and the quality of her work seemed a direct result of a ruthlessly honest disposition."

On 3 May 1957, a group of citizens, including Otto Frank, established the Anne Frank Stichting in an effort to rescue the Prinsengracht building from demolition and to make it accessible to the public. The Anne Frank House opened on 3 May 1960. It consists of the Opekta warehouse and offices and the Achterhuis, all unfurnished so that visitors can walk freely through the rooms. Some personal relics of the former occupants remain, such as movie star photographs glued by Anne to a wall, a section of wallpaper on which Otto Frank marked the height of his growing daughters, and a map on the wall where he recorded the advance of the Allied Forces, all now protected behind Perspex sheets. From the small room which was once home to Peter van Pels, a walkway connects the building to its neighbours, also purchased by the Foundation. These other buildings are used to house the diary, as well as changing exhibits that chronicle different aspects of the Holocaust and more contemporary examinations of racial intolerance in various parts of the world. It has become one of Amsterdam's main tourist attractions, and in 2005 received a record 965,000 visitors. The House provides information via the internet, as well as travelling exhibitions, for those not able to visit. In 2005, exhibitions travelled to 32 countries in Europe, Asia, North America and South America.

In 1963, Otto Frank and his second wife, Elfriede Geiringer-Markovits, set up the Anne Frank Fonds as a charitable foundation, based in Basel, Switzerland. The Fonds raises money to donate to causes "as it sees fit". Upon his death, Otto willed the diary's copyright to the Fonds, on the provision that the first 80,000 Swiss francs in income each year was to be distributed to his heirs, and any income above this figure was to be retained by the Fonds to use for whatever projects its administrators considered worthy. It provides funding for the medical treatment of the Righteous among the Nations on a yearly basis. It has aimed to educate young people against racism and has loaned some of Anne Frank's papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. for an exhibition in 2003. Its annual report of the same year gave some indication of its effort to contribute on a global level, with its support of projects in Germany, Israel, India, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Merwedeplein apartment, in which the Frank family lived from 1933 until 1942, remained privately owned until the early 2000s, when a television documentary focused public attention upon it. In a serious state of disrepair, it was purchased by a Dutch housing corporation, and aided by photographs taken by the Frank family and descriptions of the apartment and furnishings in letters written by Anne Frank, was restored to its 1930s appearance. Teresien da Silva of the Anne Frank House, and Anne Frank's cousin Bernhard "Buddy" Elias also contributed to the restoration project. It opened in 2005 with the aim of providing a safe haven for a selected writer who is unable to write freely in his or her own country. Each selected writer is allowed one year's tenancy during which to reside and work in the apartment. The first writer selected was the Algerian novelist and poet, El-Mahdi Acherchour.


   
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