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  Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Review by: Quynh L.
Arizona, Grade 12

It's a diary about the Holocaust.

I have always been interested in learning about the Holocaust because of what Hitler did to the Jewish people and all the hardships they had to go through. Most of them even lost their lives because of the war. Anne Frank, a sixteen years old Jewish and German girl from Amsterdam, spent the last two years of her life putting a lot of her thoughts and feelings into a diary while going into hiding during World War II. Even though she wasn't intended to release it, The Diary of a Young Girl, is still one of the best memoirs because of its great plot, interesting historical context, and relatable characters.
The Diary of a Young Girl showed the story of a pretty and youthful girl at the age of sixteen and how her and her family dealt with the war and Holocaust by hiding with another family in the small annex in Netherlands. In the diary she poured all her feelings and thoughts into it and you can see how she matured throughout the book. It started out with entries about what was happening in her everyday life to how she questioned her identity as a Jew and German ''Still,'' she writes, ''What does that matter? I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart.'' (Anne Frank, pg. 2)
This memoir took place in Amsterdam, Holland in the first few entries, before they went into hiding which can give you an idea of what the cities were like during the war. They lived a miserable life due to the fact that they were Jews and there were a lot of things that Jews couldn’t do. It seemed like everything was prohibited, almost everything was forbidden. Jews couldn’t use public transportation and banned from driving. They must wear a yellow star on their shirts all the time. They can't be seen outside of their homes past 8pm and only allowed to do their shopping between three and five o’clock, and many more restrictions of a similar kind as ways for the Nazis to simultaneous stripped the Jews of their identity as members of society. “‘You’re scared to do anything, because it may be forbidden.’ Our freedom was strictly limited. Yet things were still bearable.” (Anne Frank, pg. 5) Jews are human too and they didn't deserve to be treated like this. Even after they went into hiding in Netherlands, they still had to live in constant fear of capture, even worse than before. They couldn’t go outside because they were afraid of getting discovered and get shot. It may seem like the Frank’s family went through a lot of troubles and now they’re in hiding, but many other people didn't even have the chance to go into hiding. ''If I just think of how we live here, I usually come to the conclusion that it is a paradise compared with how other Jews who are not in hiding must be living,'' (Anne Frank, pg. 71) But at least she acknowledged the fact that she was a lot luckier than the other Jews who unfortunately, couldn’t find a place to hide.
Even though Anne had to deal with all these hardships and difficulties at such a young age she still had to go through all the things that any normal kids would have to go through; like family problems, crushes, school, and even an identity crisis. Living in constant fear of getting caught and could possibly die any second while having an identity crisis made it a lot harder for her to live her life carefreely and happily. The war caused Anne to think more about her identity. Being both a Jew and German didn't make it very easy for her. “Nice people, the Germans! To think that I was once one of them too! No, Hitler took away our nationality long ago. In fact, Germans and Jews are the greatest enemies in the world.” (Anne Frank, pg. 36) Because of Hitler Germans and Jews have turned against each other and became enemies. Anne’s first instinct was to identify herself as a German, but that was not what the Nazis thought. To them Jews were not Germans.The Holocaust forced Anne to grow up and learn to accept her own identity. Also her relationship with her family wasn't that great either. Just like any other kids her age she often felt isolated and lonely because she couldn’t feel the connection from her mom and sister due to their neglect and lack of loving and affection towards her. “I only look at her as a mother, and she just doesn't succeed in being that to me; I have to be my own mother. I've drawn myself apart from them all; I am my own skipper and later on I shall see where I come to land. All this comes about particularly because I have in my mind's eye an image of what a perfect mother and wife should be; and in her whom I must call 'Mother' I find no trace of that image.” (Anne Frank, pg. 41) She came to realized that she needed to take care of herself and couldn’t rely on others since she wasn't close to anyone in the family.
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, a young girl from Amsterdam, was a very heartbreaking and tragic book. Even though Anne never thought she would release the diary as a memoir, people nowadays still consider it one of the best memoirs ever written because of its amazing plot, fascinating facts about World War II and the Holocaust, and the relatable characters. I would totally recommend this book to my audience to read to learn more about what people really had to go through during World War II.

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