Anne Frank - A History for Today

Anne Frank starts keeping a diary from her thirteenth birthday.
Anne enters the Secret Annex as a girl, but grows into a young woman there. Her diary was with her as a friend and witness.

When the Frank family goes into hiding, the first thing Anne packs is her diary. And once she's in the Secret Annex, she applies herself to writing in it almost daily.

The life she leads now is totally different to her previous carefree existence. Anne has a lust for life and it's hard for her to be confined indoors, and forced to be quiet. Her diary helps her.

While she's in hiding, Anne decides to think of her diary as a friend, whom she names Kitty. It makes the writing easier. Besides, she doesn't really have a real friend, 'and that's how the whole idea of keeping a diary started', she admits.

'All I think about when I'm with friends is having a good time. I can't bring myself to talk about anything but ordinary everyday things. We don't seem to be able to get any closer, and that's the problem. Maybe it's my fault that we don't confide in each other. In any case, that's just how things are, and unfortunately they're not liable to change. This is why I've started the diary.'

The long letters addressed to Kitty are part of Anne's diary from the very beginning. The diary becomes even more imporant to Anne during the hiding period, because she can entrust it with her innermost thoughts. On March 16, 1944, she realizes: The nicest part is being able to write down all my thoughts and feelings, otherwise I'd absolutely suffocate.

Anne Frank, the writer

Anne doesn't just keep a diary during her time in the Secret Annex. She also writes short stories and some of her "Tales" she reads aloud to the people in hiding.

“A few weeks ago I started writing a story, something I made up from beginning to end, and I've enjoyed it so much that the products of my pen are piling up.”

Anne also collects her favourite quotes by other writers in a separate notebook. If she reads a sentence in a book and it makes an impression on her, she then copies it into that notebook. She gets the idea for doing this from her father. Sometimes, she reflects further about one of these "favorite quotes" by writing about it in her diary.

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! Anne FrankAnne hopes for her diary to be published as a novel after the war. That's why she starts rewriting it.

Anne writes: "I know I can write. A few of my stories are good, my descriptions of the Secret Annex are humorous, much of my diary is vivid and alive, but... it remains to be seen whether I really have talent."

But Anne never manages to finish it. She's discovered and arrested before she completes her work.

The last time she commits her feelings to paper is on August 1, 1944.

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