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Anne Franks Diary - Book Report/Review Example

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Summary
How much of our knowledge of a specific era can be credited to the writings of Anne Frank in the diary she left behind The diary covers the years from 1942 to 1944, and during all that time Anne never left the small hiding place that housed her and her family…
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Anne Franks Diary
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Anne Franks Diary

Download file to see previous pages... Only in the context of debate and discussion can Anne Frank's diary of her days in hiding in the Netherlands be made part of history. The fact that she writes about her day-to-day existence and the impact of what is happening around her, as well as her personal thoughts about her own adolescent growth, makes her an important presence at a specific time in world history.
Her situation was not unique. Other families found it necessary to hide from the Gestapo. What is unique is the record she left behind. Every analysis, including this essay, that explores what Anne was attempting to accomplish by writing it gives credibility to the premise that Anne Frank's diary is indeed a valid historical document.
Over the years, several versions of her diary have been published, in original Dutch, in various translations, and in critical editions. The first question therefore is which version of her diary should be the nucleus of this paper The most popular version, the one that is most familiar is Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (1952) translated [into English] and published in England and the United States eight years after her death (Allen, 1996). The book's reception as "an edifying, universal message to humanity contributed to its classification as adolescent literature" (Brenner, 1996). Whether the value of her experiences in the context of a children's book must be seen as a less credible narrative of history is a debate that need not be part of this paper except to say that this particular version is a place to start, and the fact that it is categorized as a children's book makes it not only more worthwhile but expands the discussion in the book's usage as an educational tool. As a piece of history, Anne's story speaks to all future generations and the way it is presented to children is an important factor. Therefore, unless otherwise noted, this study will refer to the 1952 version, which is used in most schools, as well as the "Special Anniversary" edition published by New York publisher BDD in 1995, which contains heretofore deleted passages, and explore the ways in which a narrative history can be or has been constructed around these versions.
The book was first published in Dutch in 1947 as Het Achterhuis (The Secret House), and although it caused a stir as a personal study of a victim of the Holocaust, it didn't become overly popular in its original format. Five years later, in 1952, the first translated versions of the diary in English, German and French, were received as a "pure, innocent, completely unblemished" portrait of a young girl (Bernard 2000). The American version became an immediate success and the book thereafter became a symbol of youthful idealism. Unfortunately, if seen only in that context, any documentation her writings may have brought to that time in history has little value. However, over time, the book has continued to gain in popularity. Various versions of the diary began to appear, as well as a play and a movie, which made the diary visual, and a growing controversy began to surround it, questioning its validity, questioning the true content of the story, questioning its educational value. From 1952 until 1995, materials began to accumulate, and in this electronic age we live in, the original book has been translated into well over 50 different languages, and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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