“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”
Anne Frank

 

12th June, 1942 was not only the 13th birthday of Anne Frank but also the day she received her famous diary as a present from her parents. Many of us have kept diaries but few of them have become as significant as hers.

Anne’s Jewish family moved from their home in Germany to Holland during the Nazi control. When the Nazis invaded Holland, she and her family had to hide. For two years they hid in an empty space behind her father’s office in Amsterdam. They called it the Secret Annex. Every day she wrote in her diary. Sometimes she was desperately sad and once said, “I don’t care if I live or die. The world will continue without me.” Other times she was more hopeful and said, “I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

In August 1944 somebody betrayed the Frank family and soldiers arrested them. They were taken first to Auschwitz and then to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. There, Anne and her sister, Margot, both died from typhus, only weeks before it was liberated by British soldiers in March 1945.

Anne’s diary miraculously survived the holocaust and was published in 1947. It has been translated into 67 languages. Today would have been her 90th birthday.

 

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Illustration by Andrea Alemanno, taken from Sophie Scholl, Die Weiße Rose, by Achim Seiffarth, Lesen und Üben, Niveau 2 (CEFR A2)