The life of teenage Anne Frank may have been tragically cut short but her legacy has long surpassed her lifespan.
by Emily Mary Chin, Carrybeans
Anne Frank was only 13 years old in 1942 when she began documenting her life in hiding amidst the Nazi occupation of Netherlands. She wrote with an honesty and complexity of her unique situation that has continued to compel and transcend generations. She expertly juxtaposed ever-present threats of discovery and death with the everyday frustrations of living under such confined circumstances.
It was two years later that her, her family and her friends were discovered. From there, they were taken to German concentration camps, where most met their death. Only one of them survived, Anne’s father, Otto Frank. He returned home after the war to find what his daughter had left behind. He, then, ensured that her story, that of a teenage girl coming-of-age in an attic, spaced over a backdrop of World War II Amsterdam, would get the audience it deserved.
So, in honour of her birthday, we take a look at some the most insightful excerpts to have come out of the diary of this young girl whose voice speaks louder than the pages they come from.
When I think about our lives here, I usually come to the conclusion that we live in a paradise compared to the Jews who aren’t in hiding.
I long to ride a bike, dance, whistle, look at the world, feel young and know that I’m free, and yet I can’t let it show. Just imagine what would happen if all eight of us were to feel sorry for ourselves or walk around with the discontent clearly visible on our faces. Where would that get us?
What’s done can’t be undone, but at least you can keep it from happening again.
People can tell you to shut up, but they can’t keep you from having an opinion. You can’t forbid someone to have an opinion, no matter how young they are!
I want to go on living even after my death! And that’s why I’m so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that’s inside me!
It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.
Credit: The Anne Frank Trust UK
Anne Frank’s diary is a testament to mankind’s capacity for strength and resilience when faced with great tribulation. Let her work be a timeless reminder that there is always hope to be found, even in the most seemingly hopeless of situations.
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Featured Image Credit: Electric Literature