"I don't dare do anything anymore, 'cause I'm afraid it's not allowed"
Anne received a new diary as one of her birthday presents and began to write about her life after two days of her birthday, 12th June. The journal started with a brief story of her birthday, the introduction of her family background, her friends and also her school life.
Anne's family moved to the Netherlands when Nazis gained control in Germany. When German invaded the Netherlands in 1940, they established stricter laws for Jewish people, as they had in Germany. As one of Anne's friends said, "I don't dare do anything anymore, 'cause I'm afraid it's not allowed".
On 5th July 1942, Anne's elder sister Margot was summoned to report to a Nazi work camp in Germany. The next morning, they packed their things and went into hiding with their father Otto and mother Edith. The hiding place was located in Otto's office building. Anne gave a very detailed description of the architecture of the Secret Annex in the diary. Although she hasn't registered yet what is going to happen at that time, she described her life as being on vacation in some strange pension. She doesn't hate the place, but she never ever feel at home in that house.
After almost a month, Anne recounted the day of the van Daans moved into the Annex. Mr. van Daan updated them about what had happened to their apartment and Mr Goldschmidt, their tenant who is living in one of the rooms in their apartment at that time.
The rooms that they hid is behind a movable bookcase in the same building as Otto's office, Opekta. After four months, Mrs. van Daan's dentist, Albert Dussel became the eighth member that joined their hiding.
Anne shared her feelings about her struggled relationship with her family, especially with her mother. She also shared the stories of their daily lives with the van Daans and Mr Dussel. As Anne entering into the adolescent stage, she started to have her own opinions and trying to understand how to handle her relationships with others. She was getting more mature as time goes by.
I've heard about this book for so many times in my life, but I couldn't recall whether I've read it when I was in high school. Assuming that I never read it before, I was sceptical to start reading it since I'm not interested in reading an old diary of a girl and I don't have much interest in European history. In fact, I had no idea what was the diary about and why Anne Frank is so famous before I read the synopsis.
I felt sympathetic for Anne's family because they invited the van Daans to join them in the hideaway, but the van Daans took advantage of them and cheated their food especially Mrs van Daan who only thought of herself. And Mr Dussel also kept all his food to himself instead of sharing them with everyone. I wonder whether they were born selfish or the long term confinement in the house had turned them into worse, or when you are in a troubled life, nothing can be more important than yourself. It's depressing when you have to live in a confined space with such people, and you don't have any other options but have to continue living with them.
In the diary, Anne mentioned that her dream is to become a journalist or a famous writer. She wished that her journal will be published in the future when she heard one of the ministers requesting a collection of diaries and letters after the war. I felt so grateful that her father decided to publish it, although he was hesitant at the beginning. His decision had fulfilled her dream of what she wanted to be. The saddest part is she didn't have the chance to see it, and she never knew that she will be so famous and her diary will become the most popular book in the world. The success of the book will be a great acknowledgement for her writing skill. As she mentioned in the diary, she felt grateful to God for giving her such a gift to express herself.
Although several assumptions had been made throughout all these years about their arrest, I still hope that someday, we will know the truth whether they were really betrayed by someone or it was just a coincidental.
More reviews can be found on Goodreads: The Diary of A Young Girl.