The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

May 17, 20235 min read

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

This book was heartbreaking, because over the space of a few hundred pages I got to know a lovely friend. I learnt about her life – her greatest worries, and deepest hopes. She shared with me details about her long days in hiding, and her unwavering curiosity about the world. She also shared her frustrations, growing up in a household of 8 hidden away from the world.

Anne was immensely mature for her age, and you have to consciously remind yourself she never saw a day past 16. There is much wisdom in her diary, as you grapple with one of the darker moments in our human history. The intimacy in which she writes about her feelings makes you feel like her best friend. This makes the unsettling loss, when her entries abruptly stop hit so much closer to home.

This could’ve been you, or any of your friends and family, had they been born a few decades before. Even now for some parts of the world, tragedies are unfolding. We must not make the same mistakes.

Read on 29th April 2023

28th September 1942

“I think it’s odd that grown-ups quarrel so easily and so often and about such petty matters. Up to now I always thought bickering was just something children did and that they outgrew it. Often, of course, there’s sometimes a reason to have a real quarrel, but the verbal exchanges that take place here are just plain bickering”

27th November 1943

“Dear God, I have everything I could wish for, while fate has her in its deadly clutches. She was as devout as I am, maybe even more so, and she too wanted to do what was right. But then why have I been chosen to live, while she’s probably going to die? What’s the difference between us? Why are we now so far apart?”

This is where Mother and I differ greatly. Her advice in the face of melancholy is: “Think about all the suffering in the world and be thankful you’re not part of it.” My advice is: “Go outside, to the country, enjoy the sun and all nature has to offer. Go outside and try to recapture the happiness within yourself; think of all the beauty in yourself and in everything around you and be happy

25th March 1944

Well, I’ve said enough. Sometimes I know what my place is and sometimes I have my doubts, but I’ll eventually get where I want to be! I know I will!

3rd May 1944

“As you can no doubt imagine, we often say in despair, “What’s the point of the war? Why, oh, why can’t people live together peacefully? Why all this destruction?” The question is understandable, but up to now no one has come up with a satisfactory answer. Why is England manufacturing bigger and better airplanes and bombs and at the same time churning out new houses for reconstruction? Why are millions spent on the war each day, while not a penny is available for medical science, artists or the poor? Why do people have to starve when mountains of food are rotting away in other parts of the world? Oh, why are people so crazy?

6th July 1944

“To be honest, I can’t imagine how anyone could say “I’m weak” and then stay that way. If you know that about yourself, why not fight it, why not develop your character? Their answer has always been: “Because it’s much easier not to!” This reply leaves me feeling rather discouraged. Easy? Does that mean a life of deceit and laziness is easy too? Oh no, that can’t be true. It can’t be true that people are so readily tempted by ease… and money. I’ve given a lot of thought to what my answer should be, to how I should get Peter to believe in himself and, most of all, to change himself for the better. I don’t know whether I’m on the right track.”

“We’re all alive, but we don’t know why or what for; we’re all searching for happiness; we’re all leading lives that are different and yet the same. We three have been raised in good families, we have the opportunity to get an education and make something of ourselves. We have many reasons to hope for great happiness, but… we have to earn it. And that’s something you can’t achieve by taking the easy way out. Earning happiness means doing good and working, not speculating and being lazy. Laziness may look inviting, but only work gives you true satisfaction.”

“How noble and good everyone could be if, at the end of each day, they were to review their own behavior and weigh up the rights and wrongs. They would automatically try to do better at the start of each new day and, after a while, would certainly accomplish a great deal. Everyone is welcome to this prescription; it costs nothing and is definitely useful. Those who don’t know will have to find out by experience that “a quiet conscience gives you strength!”

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Apurva Shukla

Created by Apurva Shukla.

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