The truth shall set you free. Many people do not pause to ponder or venture into the next query, free from what? Reading the diary of Anne Frank, the answer is clear and multi-pronged. The truth will set you free from pretense, ignorance, and the need to bury your head in the sand and hope to the heavens that ignorance is bliss. The diary is the hallmark of simplicity being the ultimate sophistication, getting through the charade with a blinding honesty and disarming innocence. Every page is a wand, every letter a spell.
With the first time publication in America, the diary of a young girl named Anne Frank, is the most widely read book on the Holocaust. It is a brutal account of the incredulous atrocities at the hands of Nazi Germany in the World War II. The brave and lucid girl compiled a diary during her twenty-six months spent in hiding. Controversies swirling around the diary stem from insecurities, misconceptions and a desire to jump into the fray of what is trending. For some, being associated with intelligence is the closest thing to being intelligent. However, the current essay will stray from the temptation of subjectivity and will take a critical look at the diary and the controversy it finds.
A mother (speculatively of pubescent children) was vehement and adamant that the diary was pornographic literature, masquerading as an important educational tool. The source of her discord emanates from a section in the material (originally censored for obvious reasons by Otto Frank), that details Anne’s discovery of her genitalia. Her sentiments are an echo from an Austrian Holocaust worshipper, who wrote a vicious pamphlet, aimed at assassinating Anne’s character and her diary. The 1978 pamphlet dubbed Anne Frank’s Diary: A Hoax, characterized the diary as the ‘first child porno’. It also tarnished the diary as a ‘colossal hoax meant to portray the Germans as veritable beasts’. Prior to that, another Holocaust enthusiast Richard Harwood, wrote a pamphlet in 1975 calling the diary a propaganda legend. Richard also insinuated a piece in the series as a fraud perpetrated to extol the Holocaust myth and the fraud of six million (Harwood, 2011). In the same year, another Englishman David Irving, who later was declared by a London high court to be a world-class anti-Semite, racist and Holocaust denier, labeled the book a successful enterprise. He suggested the book was an ingenious source of income for a grieving father Otto Frank, who later became wealthy because of the money accrued from the substantial profits. Irving went on to say that a teenage girl could not have written the diary’s contents (Irving, 2012). He explained it as they were too mature and lucid.
Some scholars also dispute the fact that Anne is the author of the diary and peg the responsibility on her father. Otto Frank compiled and edited his daughter’s work, omitting some sensitive parts, but he stayed true to his daughter’s writing. The evidence is in the 1980 authentication process conducted by the Netherlands State Institute, pursuant to Otto Frank’s will. It proved beyond the proverbial shadow of a doubt that Anne was the author. However, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl is not an absolute verbatim adaptation of Anne’s diaries. Some of her original memories faded with time. However, current adaptation paints a picture of what life must have been like in that zeitgeist. There is a strong argument for the diary’s place in education to remain untouched.
Immerse yourself into a world where every friend you knew has been exterminated. There is word going round that people like you are being gassed. Your dignity reduced to sewer rat status. You and your family have been in hiding for twenty-six months. What do you think that would do to your maturity? Anne evolves before the reader’s eyes from a girl concerned with gossip and school to a girl obsessed with the harsh realities of life. My experience may not be on a holocaust level, but it is equally as tragic to the human spirit.
I am black. African black. I found myself blessed with the opportunity to travel to a country in Europe, which was Italy. The excitement coursing through my veins at the time could have killed a small horse. So there I was, a first time in a plane staring out of the window with my eyes incapable of blinking. The flight was uneventful and I arrived at my destination. I was meant to be picked up, and so I waited for my name to appear on a piece of paper, with a person holding it. While I waited, a group of boys (they were grown men but they are boys in my book), rushed towards me, kicked my suitcase, laughed hysterically, and drove their nail to my would-be coffin: they called me a monkey. No adjective can describe the shame and hurt I experienced in a million miles from home. I wanted to go back home. I remember thinking that humans are worse than animals. At least animals hurt or kill because they have to, while people do it because they can. We may be of different ages, gender and in a different time stamp, but I relate to the girl to a great extent.
Whether hyper-vigilant parents like it or not, adolescents relate to Anne. As a result, they will listen and begin learning about the Holocaust, which is a bigger human concern than curious pubescent sexual exploration. Finally, Anne’s story gives Holocaust a face, making atrocities become vivid. Hopefully, because of her work and the heartbreak that ensues, we will never witness such a human tragedy again.
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