Anne Frank: June 12, 1942

On June 12, 1942, a thirteen year-old girl in Holland received one of the most famous birthday gifts of all time.

The young girl was Anne Frank and the gift was her beloved red and white checkered diary that she wrote in while hiding from the Nazis during the Holocaust.

In her first entry, Anne wrote to her diary as if it was a personal friend; “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.”

Anne was right. Writing was a source of comfort and support, but it was also much more. It was the process by which she sought to understand the complex world. It gave her a voice to express hope, vent frustration, and protest injustice. Over the course of her two years in hiding, it also revealed her growing intelligence and maturity. In the last few months, Anne began to rewrite her diary. She was preparing it for eventual publication. She was responding to an appeal for first hand accounts of the German occupation issued by the Dutch government-in-exile. The decisions she made in editing her work showed how much she had grown as a writer and as a person.

Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl is one of the most widely published books in the world. Often, Anne’s words are the first ones read by young people learning about the Holocaust era. For a person who dreamed of being a professional writer, this is a fitting tribute.

You can learn more about Anne Frank and her diary here.

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