Thursday, March 29, 2012

BOOK REVIEW - ANNE FRANK : THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL


this is anne frank. 
she is (was?) a jew.

in the photograph above, she was probably about 13 years old. 

on wednesday, 5th of january 1944, this is what she wrote in her diary - 



"sometimes i grab my boobs. 
because, well, i can."

hah! well so she didn't exactly say it in that manner. rather, what she wrote was this 

"sometimes, when i lie in bed at night, i have a terrible desire to feel my breasts and to listen to the quiet rhythmic beat of my heart."


i've recently read the book "Anne Frank : The Diary Of A Young Girl.' it is her actual diary during the time of WW2, when germans was trying to exterminate as many jews as they could. their ordeal begins when her older sister, margot, is summoned to report for deportation to one of the many jewish concentration camps (which ultimately, would mean death.)

however, her father had long been prepared for the day when their family would have to go into hiding, and so they vanished from society to a quietly prepared location that had already been planned in advance for their coming. behind a secret bookshelf, a flight of stairs led to the few rooms that would become their residence for the next three years.


they shared their hideout with another family, bringing the number of people staying in that confined area to eight in all. their quarters were part of a shophouse, where a business run by dutch owners was conducted. during the day, they would stay as quiet as mice lest they got caught. 

although outwardly she was spunky, rebellious, and bright, what i found special about anne was the way she could contemplate life and observe herself, especially for a girl who was only 14. at that time, they were going through a period of much hardship and persecution - imagine being cooped up to the boundaries of four walls for three whole years! personally, that enough would be enough to drive me insane. 

all around them, new stories abounded of how another batch of jews had been rounded up for deportation, they would hear tales of how new battles had broken out somewhere or other, how others who were in hiding had been ratted out and caught. they endured a grim reality and constantly lived in fear of being found. but amidst all that, she still was able to stay strong and brave, still revel in the beauty of life and be thankful for how much she had.

***

extracts from her diary ; 

tuesday, 7th march 1944 
think of all the beauty that's still left in and around you and be happy! 
... and whoever is happy will make others happy too. he who has courage and faith will never perish in misery!

sunday, 19th march 1944
"you do always help me," he said. "how?" i asked, very surprised. "by your cheerfulness."

sunday, 12th march 1944
when shall i finally untangle my thoughts, when shall i find peace and rest within myself again?

friday, 31st march 1944
God has not left me alone and will not leave me alone.

saturday, 15th january 1944
if i stay here for very long i shall grow into a dried up old beanstalk. and i did so want to grow into a real young woman!

***

sadly, anne never did get her wish of reaching womanhood. her family was exposed by a dutch informer, their lives sold for for the mere sum of 5 gulden, about 1.40 USD in today's currency. 

they were arrested by the germans and taken to auschwitz. according to the book, auschwitz was described as 


"a fantastically well-organized, spick-and-span hell. the food was bad, but it was distributed regularly. barracks were kept so clean that you could have eaten off the floor. anyone who died in the barracks was taken away first thing in the morning. anyone who fell ill disappeared also. those who were gassed did not scream, they just were no longer there. 

the crematories smoked, but we received our rations and had roll call. there were guards with machine guns from the watchtowers, and the fences were charged with high tension electricity, but we could wash every day and sometimes even take showers. if you could forget the gas chambers, you could manage to live."

***
Anne Frank : The Diary Of a Young Girl, is a definite must-read for anyone else who struggles with the ups and downs of life as it is sure to be fantastic a source of much motivation and inspiration. 

if she, could manage to put on a smile even when surrounded by tales of death and misery, if she could still be cheerful and optimistic and strong as the war took its toll on her race and squashed out their existence like bugs, if she who had nothing to eat but rotten spinach, moldy potatoes, and dried beans could still appreciate having food to eat, if she could keep her wits about her as the war raged on around them, how much more should we be grateful for what we have and the lives we live today!





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