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Anne Frank: A Hidden Life by Mirjam Pressler

Anne Frank: A Hidden Life (1992)

by Mirjam Pressler, Gryn Hugo (Foreword)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Anne Frank: A Hidden Life
Anne Frank is one of the nonfiction biographies of this victim of war and the fanaticism of Adolf Hitler’s final solution. Anne Frank was forced to live in the attic of a country house known to her father with her whole family during the two-year German occupation until they were discovered and relocated to Auschwitz and then on to Bergen-Belsen, the concentration camp where she died in 1945. The first Dutch addition of her diary was written in 1947 after its discovery. Our author provides us a blend of third person omniscient point of view with a first-person tribute to this renowned victim through her diaries that were emphasize by italics. This is more than a story of an occupation force who raped, plundered and murdered many child’s innocence while taking the property and then lives of their parents. The children were also killed unless they could be used as child labor in support of the German machine. Early in the story, Anne Frank could not know what was going on beyond the room where her and 7 others were hidden and often clashed because of proximity. The family housing them was understanding of her 11-year-old impudence under a circumstance that was beyond anything any one could have believed capable of beings called human until discovered when she and the rest became the story of merciless horror. The peritext adds incredible value to this nonfiction informational aspect of this classic story of the atrocities that happened under the orders of a fanatic.
Personal Reaction:
Having been to a German concentration camp, Dachau, in the 80s, I am personally familiar with the atrocities that befell anyone who challenged the forces of evil that threatened to take over the world. This story expanded my understanding of what the victims thought and felt while living in hell. Seeing pictures of the human carnage does not provide a clear picture beyond the enormity and sheer number of victims. Anne Frank’s own words make it live as you feel through her eyes, the fear and resilience of this young victim.
Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. This book would be a primary source of information for anyone looking for information on life in a concentration camp during WWII; teachers should assign this book to older children to support the information provided in the text.
2. When looking for an example of resilience in the face of unimaginable peril; Anne Frank is that example. Teachers can broaden the perspective of the students as they learn what happens when one race decides that they are above the rest of the world and be assigned to report other examples in history when race was a crime subject to a death sentence.
3. Form a class literature circle for reading Anne Frank and have a group discussion that questions the children’s understanding of prejudice and intolerance. Ask each student the night prior to meeting to come prepared to discuss prejudice or intolerance with examples that support their position.
  jp942205 | Jul 22, 2017 |
The more I read about Anne, the more grateful i feel about having this life full of comforts and luxury.

Her energy and outlook towards living a life during those war days is such a humble reminder for all of us to be more humane in our approach to living our lives now, six decades later.

I always think of how Anne would have lived her life had she been alive. She's a constant source of unfailing inspiration and my personal guide in times of distress.

You'll live forever, Dear Anne! ( )
  Sharayu_Gangurde | Jan 19, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mirjam Presslerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hugo, GrynForewordmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bell, AntheaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0141312262, Paperback)

Many young people first encounter the terrible reality of the Nazi Holocaust through reading the diaries of Anne Frank. Teens who cherish that unforgettable literary and emotional experience will be fascinated by the additional insights in Anne Frank: A Hidden Life. Mirjam Pressler draws on her background as editor of Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition to explain the three versions of the Anne Frank diaries, to discuss newly revealed material, and to speculate on Anne's spiritual and sexual development during her three-year confinement in the secret annex. Pressler's title takes on a double meaning as she analyzes Anne's "hidden life," the "much deeper, purer, and finer" self the young girl wrote about wistfully but concealed from the others with a façade of cheerful outspokenness. Pressler also uses the eyewitness testimonies of the Frank family's helper Miep Gies, Anne's school friend Hanneli Goslar, and Otto Frank's stepdaughter Eva Schloss to expand our understanding of the other inhabitants of the Annex and to follow them through those unfathomable seven months in the death camps.

Anne Frank's remarkable diaries have been the subject of many other books, from learned essays to historical studies to picture books and poetry. Teens with an interest in the life of this cultural icon may also want to read Anne Frank: The Biography, The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank, and Memories of Anne Frank. (Ages 11 and older) --Patty Campbell

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:03 -0400)

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Describes the background in which Anne Frank's life and diary were set as she hid in an attic in Nazi-occupied Holland for two years.

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