People familiar with the name of Anne Frank would automatically connect her name to Holocaust tragedy. The suffering of this great woman during World War 2 served as her greatest contribution to bring lasting lessons to the world against the cruelties of war. Such accomplishment had been achieved due to various causes, and the two most prominent among them include her depth of personality and extra-ordinary literary skill.
She displayed such quality in writing her diary. Her diary later published into a book served as a powerful tool to combat anti-Semitic sentiment. This happened as a response to Holocaust deniers and to those who question the real existence of this noble woman.
Anne Frank was a real historical figure. She was born on June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany. Her father took pleasure in scholarship and was able to build an extensive library for the family. Both her parents motivated Anne and her sister to develop the habit of reading books. Anne delighted to spend reading and studying books. Perhaps, maintaining this passion for learning greatly contributed to the quality of her thoughts reflected in her diary.
Anne Frank lost her German nationality when Nazi passed the anti-Semitic Nuremberg Laws. As Jewish persecution started, Anne’s family went into hiding in a secret annex room of her father’s office building, but soon discovered after two years. The Frank family was transferred to the concentration camps where all of them died except for Anne’s father.
An unexpected, important event took place after Anne Frank’s death. Though her life had been stopped, but her thoughts lingered, and history has demonstrated the extent of influence they exerted in the minds of succeeding generations. Anne’s diary became widely known after its publication. It underwent several publication stages. It was first published in Dutch in 1947, in Germany and France in 1950, and in the United Kingdom and America in 1952.
Anne Frank discussed in her book her experiences during Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. There, she narrated her sufferings, her intimacy to her father, her “contempt” and her change of attitude towards her mother, her ambition to become an actress and a journalist, her romance, her belief in God and her view of human nature.
Anne’s diary became very influential and has been used for several plays and films. It won a Pulitzer Prize and introduced into the educational curriculum. It was well-received in France, Germany, United States, and Japan. The book has been admired for its literary quality. Not a few influential political personalities made use of the book in their speeches. Known examples are John F. Kennedy, Hilary Clinton, and Nelson Mandela.
In 1963, Anne’s father set up a charitable foundation in her name. Upon the death, of her father, the book’s copyright was willed to the foundation with a provision that specific income each year would go to his heirs, and any income above it could be used for whatever deserving projects.
With the growth of Anne’s popularity, she became an important figure representing those who suffered the cruelties of World War 2. She was considered the icon for the youth who suffered war, the voice of six million Jews, and the symbol of Holocaust and persecution. In June 1999, Time magazine included Anne Frank among the most important people of the 20th century.
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