A new edition of Anna Frank’s complete diary; the diary is well-known and one of the most read literary texts throughout the world. Anna Frank has become an international symbol of the Holocaust. Her diary was translated into numerous languages, and her face is one of the most famous the world over.
Annelies Marie Frank (known as Anna to her family) was born on June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany. She was the youngest daughter of Otto and Edith Frank. The family immigrated to Holland in 1933, due to the Nazis, and settled in Amsterdam. Holland was invaded by the Germans in May 1940. Anna began writing her diary on June 12, 1942, when she was 13 years old. These are first lines of the diary, which she wrote that day: “I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support.” Anna wrote an epistolary diary, addressed to an imaginary friend named Kitty. Her diary comprises a harrowing description of the living conditions of Dutch Jews under Nazi occupation. On July 5, 1942 Margot, Anna’s older sister, received an order to report at a labor camp. In response, the family immediately moved into a hiding place, which they had prepared in advance. The hiding place was the abandoned apartment of Dutch friends. The entrance to the hiding place was concealed behind a revolving bookcase. For two years this hiding place was inhabited by the four members of the Frank family and four additional Jews: the van Pels family (the van Dams in the diary) and the dentist Fritz Pfeffer (Dussel). Their life was grueling, and in her diary Anna describes her feelings about the interpersonal relationships and the difficulties she encountered. She also describes the love that developed between her and Peter.
Anna wrote in her diary until August 1, 1944. Her original intention was to write for herself only. However, in the spring of 1944 she heard a radio broadcast in which Holland’s exiled minister of education spoke about the need to collect and publish (after the war) anything that could attest to the suffering of the Dutch people under Nazi occupation. Moved by the speech Anna decided to publish a book based on her diary. She began reading what she had written earlier, and entered revisions. On August 4, 1944 the eight people hiding in the annex and two of their helpers were arrested by the SS and the Dutch Green Police that operated in the service of the Germans. Most probably someone had informed on the hiding place. All the eight were sent to the Westerbork detention camp, and from there were deported to Auschwitz on September 3, 1944. This was the last transport from Westerbork to the death camps in Poland. Anna and her sister Margot were transferred in late October to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they perished from typhus. The date of their death is assumed to be late February or early March 1945. The helpers, Miep Gies and Johannes Hendrik Voskuijl, who had helped in hiding the family, hid the diary. Miep Gies gave the diary to Otto Frank, Anna’s father, the only family member to survive.
The diary’s new edition comprises a new and updated translation, passages that had not been published in full in earlier versions, as well as five pages that have not been published before. The book first appeared in 1947. Otto Frank shortened the text and omitted descriptions of a sexual nature and well as passages that described Anna’s problematic feelings toward her mother, Edith. Otto Frank bequeathed Anna’s manuscript to the Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation, and the copyright to the Anna Frank Foundation in Basel, Switzerland. They are responsible for the full and recent publication of the diary.