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Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition (1947)

by Anne Frank

Other authors: Otto H. Frank (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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5,570961,531 (4.22)58
The diary as Anne Frank wrote it. At last, in a new translation, this definitive edition contains entries about Anne's burgeoning sexuality and confrontations with her mother that were cut from previous editions. Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl is among the most enduring documents of the twentieth century.… (more)
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» See also 58 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
This review is to mark my reaction to the book at this moment in time. It is by no means definitive. Like many other American kids, I read this as a school assignment at a young age. Plenty of adaptations, seemingly, were assigned of it over the years, too. In eighth grade, we read and positively analyzed a play adaptation. It portrayed Anne and her family as really religious. They weren't, in the way the play portrayed them. I remember being annoyed and unsettled by the artistic liberties taken. Years later, I watched a much more faithful and realistic to the source dramatic miniseries made out of her diary. I had watched part of it on TV when it first came out, but had nightmares from the trailers alone. It was uploaded to Youtube years later and that's when I watched it in its entirety. Everything about it was terrific, and my jaw dropped when I saw Hannah Taylor Gordon. After I finished the series, I just...sat there for half an hour. Just sat. Couldn't tell you my feelings. These adaptations, whether close to the source or not too much, are keeping her story and memory still alive. I'm grateful for that. The book is still in print, is assigned reading in schools, and hopefully it stays that way.

This--it--there's--see, me being flustered is why I didn't try to review it until now. I was surprised at how many things were around in 1942 that I thought were contemporary and specific to America alone: grading systems using letters and integers (A-, B+), Montessori schools, Zionism...Zionism did not mean the same thing in 1942 as the sociopolitical war zone it is today. I thought it came about in the 50s. I know a former Montessori school teacher who switched to an Orthodox Jewish school and cheerfully noted she didn't need a transition. That surprised me, as I think of the two as so different. She switched careers entirely, but was still worried about, "Was I a good teacher?" I answered her questions about Judaism as best I could, and explained I wasn't Orthodox. I reassured her that you don't have to be Jewish, just willing to teach the kids, and how much it mattered that she still wondered if she'd taught well.

I'd mixed up my historical timelines in the years since reading this: I thought this took place in 1940 somehow, and by 1942, it was...over. No. I thought, I thought, and reading this again helped refresh my knowledge. Restrictions for so many things had already been in place, but more were to come. Concentration camps were commonplace, and were continuing. People were already being taken away. And yet, many were trying to live normally.

It is noted in the introduction to the diary that Anne's father omitted several passages that portrayed family members in an unflattering manner. She was a young teenager. It's normal. And he did the same with some passages that mentioned sexuality, which is understood now to mean "anything except heterosexuality," as Anne discussed boys freely in the diary. In the miniseries with Hannah Taylor Gordon, there's a scene with the sexuality Anne's father wasn't comfortable with: Anne asks her friend a few questions at a sleepover. That's it. I've always hand-waved the omissions as a father uncomfortable with his teenage daughter becoming a woman. There was a disgusting moment in 2019 where some of the queer community on Twitter decided Anne Frank would be a shining example to prove that children and teens aren't always heterosexual. These people were shocked and shrieked in outrage when queer Jews, myself included, confronted them in fury. Did you sit down and ask yourselves -why- you decided to use a DEAD JEWISH TEENAGER to try and prove a point to people who have shown they will not listen to you? You terrible people! There are so many other ways Anne Frank has been oversimplified and used in stupid ways to prove different points in history, and I want people to stop.

I can't imagine how scary it must have been to have to decide to, and subsequently go, into hiding. How boring and claustrophobic the attic must have been! And to have no other choice, and to be with people you knew of varying degrees, some of whom treated you with respect, and others who didn't. Who told the Gestapo about them? Why? I've always been curious and also dreaded finding out. Neither can I imagine or assign a proper vocabulary to the dread of knowing what awaited them at the camps. Or being transferred to different ones. Anne died two weeks before the camps were liberated. The misery and sadness has always stuck with me. The fact that the US turned away a shipful of people who were trying to escape, who were later to sent to camps as a result of the USA's callousness, has remained with me as well. ( )
  iszevthere | Jun 28, 2022 |
The audiobook of this was well compiled and narrated. ( )
  fellanta13 | Feb 14, 2022 |
I read this book as secular Judaica, as opposed to Judaism, in the sense that it speaks to a group history that all Jews share, the Holocaust, regardless of their beliefs on religion. And on one level Anne Frank certainly is a Jew hiding out in Nazi Europe. (The “why have I been chosen to live” entry is just so beautiful.)

But especially since she’s in hiding and not in a camp yet, most of it concerns the other level—the Girl of the 1940s, back when Things Were The Way They Should Be, and teenagers had no way out of the whole chauvinist adult thing.

Which is different, for me. I was geeky and withdrawn when I was younger than twenty and not much of a teenager, but I was a sulky teenager when I was 23 or 24 because I wanted a whole lot more love from the world than I was getting, which is embarrassing in my memory, since I had things that a lot of people never get, and now my default position is that teenagers should grow up. (Anne got that eventually, which is nice.)

But reading Anne Frank, the Girl of the 1940s, living in the world that was still The Way It Should Be, and I have to admit the obvious, right.

(Of course, it’s not really obvious what it /is/; it’s just obvious what it’s /not/.)

…. It is sad when they fall in love and it’s the Holocaust, so there’s that; it comes back.

…. And the other thing is, her adolescence would have been easier to navigate if they hadn’t been cooped up, but nobody harangued about Hitler: they turned on each other.

We don’t talk about the king; it’s the 1940s and that’s just the way it should be!

(I’m not suggesting that hating your enemy is a good, but I am suggesting that hating your brother because you’re so afraid that you can’t admit that you have an enemy is an evil.)

…. Anyway, it’s a good book:

Six million is just a statistic, but one girl’s death is a tragedy.
~Stalin, sorta

(And Narnia Jack said most people who do some thinking start before the age of fourteen.)

…. It’s striking that one of those in hiding said that she thought that the Germans would win in the end—Hitler’ll get us all in the end, right. The Germans certainly did a good job at killing and destroying in that war, and the Axis killed what tens of million of people, in Poland (eleven) and Russia and Ukraine and so on, and the Franks certainly had the terms of their existence dictated to them by Hitler’s war, the Nazi armies. He’ll get us all in the end…. And in a certain sense the Germans certainly did win, at least compared to the Jews. At least if you’re going to count bodies, the Germans won, and as far as the military dictatorship style goes, they won in style. The Jews had to hide, then get slaughtered. It’s famous that the Germans decided not to do that again, but equally too the Jews.

As for Anne Frank herself and her philosophy of beauty, I don’t know how to find beauty in this world, frankly. Her mother was probably an awful Pharisee but I like her pre-jazz philosophy better: it could be worse, so be glad it’s not worse. You’re in hiding, but be glad you’re not in a camp. Be glad you’re alive. I suppose in a way that they’re both forms of gratitude, but the gratitude of the flirt and the beauty-lover is just not as suited to me as the gratitude of the Stoic or the Religious (to use the technical form of that word in the most domestic possible way, ha).

…. But sometimes I am sufficiently ‘jazz’ to eat a donut.

…. When she does say something big, it’s pretty good.

There’s nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
Shakespeare

Honestly, things are only as bad as you make them.
Anne Frank

Or when she says, you know, Maybe when the war’s over if there are still Jews people will start to respect our religion.

Too bad God has this ugly partiality when it comes to religion, and the man is no Jew, right. (You know, the thing about the honest relativist is, they’re the only one who cares a whit about what a body is in the absolute, and not just, Relative To Me.)

But see the above. It’s always been like this, for as long as books remember.

…. She thought that it would all be over soon and, in a way, she was right.

(Oh, the horror and the sadness.)

…. But she lived before she died, right, if only for a little while, and that is all that can be said of us mortals, you know.
  goosecap | Jul 30, 2021 |
I never got to read this in school and reading it as an adult was interesting, both from a historical point of view and from a personal story/character study perspective.

It's amazing how real Anne felt, like a real person. I doubt my prose at her age could have achieved such vivid imagery. The logistics of 8 people hiding in such a small space for such a long time and in such difficult circumstances were fascinating to me, too. I do have to say that some passages felt... not genuine. Perhaps Anne was trying on different personas and opinions as she was developing and growing as a person but every now and again there'd be a passage that just didn't ring true. The diaries have been authenticated so I suppose it was all her work. I would have loved to see what kind of adult she would have grown up into and I can't help picturing their arrest and how Anne must have felt, her emotions about being found and arrested, and then going to prison and the camps. Was she optimistic till the last moment? I hope so. ( )
  JuliaMay | Dec 10, 2020 |
This book captures the attention of some many readers , allowing you enter in a world where things are negatively changing and tomorrow is not promise . The Dairy of A Young Girl : The Definitive Edition takes place in Frankfurt Germany where a jewish girl named Anne Frank is hiding along with her family from Nazis , who plan to captive all jewish people to place them in concentration camp. The book will connect well when focusing on World War too and some of the most tragic one events to ever take place. ( )
  Haley.c143 | Nov 17, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
Her extraordinary commitment to the immediacy of individual experience in the face of crushing circumstance is precisely what has made Anne Frank's "Diary" -- since the first edition of the book appeared in the Netherlands in 1947 -- the single most compelling personal account of the Holocaust
 

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Frank, Anneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Frank, Otto H.Editorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cameron, EuanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Massotty, SusanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mooyaart-Doubleday, B.M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pressler, MirjamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roosevelt, EleanorIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiesel, ElieIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
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Foreword: Anne Frank kept a diary from June 12, 1942, to August 1, 1944.
June 12, 1942: I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support.
Quotations
[April 5, 1944] I don't want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I've never met. I want to go on living even after my death!
Ode to My Fountain Pen / In Memoriam
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
The Definitive Edition of Anne Frank's Diary is complete and unabridged. Earlier editions were significantly edited by her father Otto H. Frank. Please see http://www.librarything.com/topic/563... for further discussion.
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The diary as Anne Frank wrote it. At last, in a new translation, this definitive edition contains entries about Anne's burgeoning sexuality and confrontations with her mother that were cut from previous editions. Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl is among the most enduring documents of the twentieth century.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014118275X, 0141315180, 0141032006

 

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