It speaks of “turning my heart inside out, the bad part on the outside and the good part on the inside,” and of “trying to find a way to become what I’d like to be and what I could be if . Her circumscribed world had a population of eleven—the three Dutch protectors who came and went, supplying the necessities of life, and the eight in hiding: the van Daans, their son Peter, Albert Dussel, and the four Franks. Even its report of quieter periods of reading and study express the hush of imprisonment. And because the end is missing, the story of Anne Frank in the fifty years since “The Diary of a Young Girl” was first published has been bowdlerized, distorted, transmuted, traduced, reduced; it has been infantilized, Americanized, homogenized, sentimentalized; falsified, kitschified, and, in fact, blatantly and arrogantly denied.
Five months earlier, on May 26, 1944, she had railed against the stress of living invisibly—a tension never relieved, she asserted, “not once in the two years we’ve been here. But the question won’t let itself be pushed to the back of my mind today; on the contrary, all the fear I’ve ever felt is looming before me in all its horror. Meals are boiled lettuce and rotted potatoes; flushing the single toilet is forbidden for ten hours at a time. Among the falsifiers have been dramatists and directors, translators and litigators, Anne Frank’s own father, and even—or especially—the public, both readers and theatregoers, all over the world.
In them she described life in the Annex, her dreams, and her fears.
These diaries survived the war, and the first version, edited by Otto Frank and a Dutch publishing house, was published in the Netherlands in 1947.
As a result of ever-increasing anti-Jewish measures and mounting uncertainty for their safety, the family went into hiding in July 1942, followed a week later by family friends, the van Pels, and their 15-year old son, Peter. The occupants of the Secret Annex, aided by friends, lived comfortably until August 4, 1944 when they were found and arrested by the SD.
Anne died of typhus in March 1945 in Bergen-Belsen. Anne kept several diaries during her stay in the Secret Annex.
The atrocities she endured were ruthlessly and purposefully devised, from indexing by tattoo through systematic starvation to factory-efficient murder.
She was designated to be erased from the living, to leave no grave, no sign, no physical trace of any kind.
The first German and English translations, published in 19 respectively, retained many of the passages deleted in the Dutch edition, including criticism of Anne’s mother and Anne’s awareness of her emerging sexuality.
With the publication of in 1986 (revised 2003), the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation verified the authenticity of the diaries.