Friday, February 3, 2017

My Anne Frank Experience - the book, the traveling exhibit, a Holocaust musuem and a concentration camp visit.

This post was originally started back in November, but was delayed. So without further ado, my thoughts on A Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.

Be warned this will be a long post, not only a review for A Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, but also a post about an exhibit at my local library and my visit to a concentration camp at age fourteen. It will be both inspiring and emotional as the journey was for me.

My first experience with anything related to the holocaust was when I was fourteen years old and I visited France with my graduation class. We had been part of an exchange program for four years and in our graduation year from primary school (grade 8) we finally met our pen pals. During our two week trip, we visited the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp. It haunts me still because we visited on a very foggy, dreary day. We saw the grounds, the gas chambers and crematorium - it's a museum and you learn an awful lot if you visit.

Tower of Faces
My second experience was visiting the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC last year. My husband and I spent hours there, walking the rooms, absorbing as much information as we could and letting the experience sink in. The image to the right had a big impact on me - Tower of Faces is a collection of photos depicting the town of Eishishok, that consisted of a Jewish community that had survived 900 years, until 1941 when the SS came in and slaughtered the entire town in two days. It's devastating to look at.

And my final experience with this topic is reading Anne Frank's book and visiting the traveling exhibit at my local library a few weeks ago.

The exhibit is a handful of panels with the details of Anne's life leading up to the war and and ending with her father making the musuem, Anne Frank House. It's very detailed and filled with a ton of information and images of important documents. If you've read her book then some of these pictures would make a lot of sense to you.

The reason I finally picked up A Diary of a Young Girl was that it was a book in the Gilmore Girls Reading Challenge and I've wanted to read it for a very long time. Alsom I'm not going to lie, but seeing Hazel and Gus visit the Anne Frank house in The Fault In Our Stars movie/book also encouraged me to finally pick the book up and read it.

Image of Anne's diary on the library exhibit.
The Diary of a Young Girl by

In Everyman’s Library for the first time—one of the most moving and eloquent accounts of the Holocaust, read by tens of millions of people around the world since its publication in 1947.

The Diary of a Young Girl
is the record of two years in the life of a remarkable Jewish girl whose triumphant humanity in the face of unfathomable deprivation and fear has made the book one of the most enduring documents of our time.

The Everyman’s hardcover edition reprints the Definitive Edition authorized by the Frank estate, plus a new introduction, a bibliography, and a chronology of Anne Frank’s life and times.

I really am not sure if I have the words in me to describe the feelings I went through while reading Anne's diary. How terrifying it must have been to live during this time. I cannot imagine having to live they way they did - to be cautious of noises made, rations of food so as not to go hungry and to keep yourself entertained while living in hiding.

I find it endearing that such a young girl could write about the horrible things going on around her, while trying to make sense of it all. It would have been hard enough going through your teen years on any given day, let alone stuck in an attic somewhere trying to make sense of the world and yourself.

I think this book should actually be taught in school. I know the subject matter is hard, but at the same time it's a story of a girl coming of age and struggling to figure it all out by writing in her diary. I believe that if Anne had survived she would have ended up being a well known writer/author and would have gone on to great things.

Honestly, here are quotes from the diary that just made it all come together for me.

“I've found that there is always some beauty left -- in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can all help you.”

“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.” 

“I wish to go on living even after my death.” 

found on the TWLOHA Facebook page
Have you read Diary of a Young Girl? What are your thoughts on it? Have you visited the Holocaust Museum in DC? Share your memories, thoughts about any of the above.


  1. I read The Diary of Anne Frank when I was in high school and I agree. It was a hard read because of what was going on all around Anne, but it was such an important read. Probably one of the books that has had the biggest impact on me ever. I have not visited the Holocaust Museum yet but I plan to visit once my son studies the Holocaust in school in a few years.

    1. I think it will have a great impact on him while he's studying it. And you will probably find it interesting yourself since you've read her book.


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