Rating – 5 stars
This is one of the most difficult books I have read. Difficult in the terms of its contents not the writing. To read horrors that are inflicted upon fictional characters or even watch them on TV & in movies is one thing, to read something such as this and know it’s happened for real it’s rather disturbing.
In a world where freedom exists today in most nations in the most absolute sense, it’s not easy to imagine the circumstances as they were. A normal teen today has so many luxuries at hand in most cases that to read this book broke my heart truly. Just imagining the thought of being confined to a place for a few hours is enough to drive anyone crazy but to be so desperate in a situation so trying that you have to not only subject yourself but your entire family as well to being confined is something that makes me have goosebumps at the mere thought.
Undoubtedly one of the most famous pieces of the literary world, The Diary of a Young Girl, penned by Anne Frank, is a gritty memoir of how the girl and her family were affected during the regime of Hitler in the era that stood witness to the horrific events of World War II.
I love reading books based during the Holocaust era, my favorite of these happens to be ‘The Book Thief‘ by Markus Zusak. I have read it perhaps 5 times already and keep a copy of it on my Kindle too always. Although the book is so glum the way Zusak has written it is beyond beautiful.
But reading the plight of the Frank family who were forced to go into hiding fearing for their lives moved me. From age 13- 15, I remember being buried under books for my studies, wanting a new cell phone, a laptop exclusively for myself along with a few other things. I remember wanting to go on a shopping spree especially on my birthday and while shopping for Diwali, so reading a book where a teenager had to survive wearing clothes that did not fit her, reading that her mom & elder sister had to share even their undergarments since they were so short on clothes and washing them was a luxury they could not afford was in a word mind-boggling to me. The circumstances these people had to face was something nobody should have to go through ever.
To be locked up in a place for 3 years with 7 other people is something I don’t think I want to even think about.
I remember road trips with my family going for hours at times, sure we made the occasional stops along the journey to refuel, eat, for using the public restrooms and sometimes to enjoy the view at a particularly beautiful place. Or sometimes it was a mere necessity risen out of the need to change a punctured tire or some other thing but even then I remember being extremely annoyed for no reason other than the fact that I had had enough of people around me. Even family, I think especially family can get on your nerves like nothing else particularly when you are in a place where you cannot walk out off, and what better place than a moving vehicle right? So the first chance I would get on these trips I would try to get some distance from them and off course stretch my legs. It’s really not easy to remember why you love people when they are annoying you constantly for hours at end and having them in your face doesn’t really help the matter.
So to guess what Anne and the others underwent mentally even after reading this book is not a piece of cake. Sure you can imagine it all you want but to be there is another thing altogether.
Anne is a feisty gal for sure, but it’s so heartbreaking to think that at an age when she thinks she would love to study and go out she is constantly living under fear, addressed to her diary she fondly calls ‘Kitty’ Anne pours her heart out in this book.
She recounts how the pack of these survivors get through the days locked up in a facility from where they can witness countless Jews being marched to their deaths, hear bombs and guns going on, always awaiting the news that something, anything finally has worked and perhaps now they can be free.
Reading the plight that Anne and her sister Margot underwent after their arrest was so horrifying that I don’t want to even go through that once again even to review it here.
All I can say is it is a testament to the strength of her father Otto Frank that he chose to publish his daughter’ diary to be shared with the world.
Try as I might I cannot write anymore about this poor girl who deserved to live the life that was denied her.