Do you remember how it were to be fifteen? Young, wild and free for most of us, wasn’t it? We had all the freedom in the world to speak our hearts out and be our own selves. But there exists a dark chapter in books of world history where even the right to live yet along the right to speak was seized away from youngsters who were filled with hope for a bright future. Annelies Marie Frank, widely known as Anne Frank was a young girl with a vividly colorful mind who unfortunately had to see her dreams shattering right in front of her eyes as a result of the brutality of war.
Born to anupper- middle class Jewish family on 12th June 1929 in Frankfurt, Anne Frank was the second and the youngest child of Otto and Edith Frank. She lived quite a luxurious childhood and received a red checkered autograph with a lock in the cover page for her thirteenth birthday from her parents. She fell in love with the autograph instantly hence converted it into a diary which gave her comfort and support. This remarked the birth of an avid writer and a publication which was later translated into more than seventy languages showing the power of Anne’s story of faith, hope and love.
In 1942, soon after receiving the diary Anne and her family flee into hiding as Margot; Anne’s elder sister got a call-up notice to a work camp. Since then a three-story space entered from a landing above the Opekta offices on the Prinsengracht became the new home for Anne. Franks was later joined by Van Pels family and Fritz Pfeffer who were family friends, increasing the number of residents of the Secret Annex to eight. Anne found her diary to be her companion and the confider which helped her to release the tension of living in such restrained conditions.
Anne has expressed her feelings on the restricted life for Jews throughout the pages of her diary; “After May 1940, the good times were few and far between; first there was the war, then the capitulation and then the arrival of the Germans, which is when the trouble started for the Jews.”
The feeling of being insignificant in the eyes of the outer world simply because of her nationality made Anne suffocate hence she wrote “I’ve reached the point where I hardly care whether I live or die, the world will keep on turning without me, and I can’t do anything to change events anyway” in her diary on 3rd February 1944.
However her maturity beyond the age allowed Anne to uphold her sanity and to keep on dreaming for a better future; “It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness; I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too. I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more” (15th July 1944).
As her confidence grew in her ability to write, Anne broadened the subject matters of her daily diary entries from feelings, beliefs and romance to a more intellectual arena of her belief in God and human nature.
She wrote on 5th April 1944, “And if I don’t have the talent to write books or newspaper articles, I can always write for myself. But I want to achieve more than that. I can’t imagine living like Mother, Mrs. van Daan and all the women who go about their work and are then forgotten. I need to have something besides a husband and children to devote myself to”. “Although I’m only 14, I know quite well what I want. I know who is right and who is wrong. I have my opinions, my own ideas and principles, and although it might sound pretty mad from an adolescent, I feel more of a person than a child, I feel quite independent of anyone.”
Anne was a girl with a vision; she wished to live even beyond death through her work, although she could not achieve her life goal of becoming a journalistas the Secret Annex was reveled on 4th August of 1944 and Frank family was transferred to Westerbork transit camp and later to Auschwitz for hard labor. Anne Frank passed away due to typhus in early spring of 1945 when she was fifteen years old in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
Otto Frank, who is the only survivor of Frank family from concentration camp, published certain chapters from Anne’s diary under the title “Het Achterhuis Dagboekbrieven 14th June 1942 – 1st Augustus 1944” to fulfill Anne’s dream of becoming a journalist. The English translation of the diary; “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl”gains wide attention due to Anne’s extraordinary ability to write and for her inexorable spirit through horrific circumstances.
Just asAnne wished she is still living among us as a colorful soul inspiring the world to remain in peacethrough her diary even after seventy years of her death.