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Jun 12 2019 - 08:25am
Today in History: Anne Frank Receives a Diary
1280px-Diary_of_Anne_Frank_28_sep_1942"Sunday, 14 June, 1942 On Friday, June 12th, I woke up at six o'clock and no wonder; it was my birthday. But of course I as not allowed to get up at that hour, so I had to control my curiosity until a quarter to seven. Then I could bear it no longer, and went to the dining room, where I received a warm welcome from Moorage (the cat). Soon after seven I went to Mummy and Daddy and then to the sitting room to undo my presents. The first to greet me was you, possibly the nicest of all. Then on the table there were a bunch of roses, a plant, and some peonies, and more arrived during the day." -- Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, p.11 So begins The Diary of a Young Girl, also known as The Diary of Anne Frank, a book of writings originally in Dutch by Anne Frank. She had picked out the red-and-white checkered autograph book in a local bookstore prior to her birthday and began writing in it two days later. Addressed to "Kitty", the diary reveals her thoughts, feelings, and experiences as a thirteen-year old girl in hiding with her family and another during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The last letter is dated August 1, 1944, three days before her arrest. After the raid by the Gestapo, the manuscript was found in pages strewn about the floor of the secret annex of the office building where the Franks, Van Pels, and Fritz Pfeffer lived in rooms behind a revolving bookcase. The diary was given to Otto Frank, Anne's father, after she died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945 and was published in 1947 by Contact in Amsterdam. Widely read in schools throughout the world, Anne's diary has been translated into more than 70 languages and adapted to film and theater. In 2009 the notebooks were added to UNESCO's Memory of the World. When my daughter found herself reading The Diary of Anne Frank for a class assignment, I was quite excited by the opportunity to discuss it with her; little did I anticipate a reaction that was less than favorable, and a conversation that unfortunately went no further; our thirteen-year old did not warm in the slightest to Anne's personality which she described as mean, moody, and sensitive. I knew that Anne lived by her writing and matured in the course of it, hoping to improve. Maybe that's what writing helps us do, and maybe an adult perspective affords us the wisdom to see that through reading. The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning. Tips:  190612_SpecialSlide
  • The Anne Frank House manages the place where Anne Frank was in hiding during the Second World War, and where she wrote her diary. The website offers information about the museum, including a virtual tour, and it includes valuable information about the life of Anne Frank, as well as educational resources.
  • Anne Frank: The Real Story Behind the Diary. The Guardian. 219, May 25.
Images: ** Need to keep current, look to the past, teach a topic? The Everett Cafe features daily postings of news from around the world, and also promotes awareness of historical events from an educational context. Be sure to check the news postings on Learning at the Library, where you can delve into history.