Anne Frank wrote her last diary entry on this day

By
August 1, 2017 19:07

Coincedentally, the anniversary shares the same day this year as Tisha Be'av, a somber Jewish holiday commemorating the destruction of the ancient Temples in Jerusalem.




anne frank amsterdam

Anne Frank in 1940, while at 6. Montessorischool, Niersstraat 41-43, Amsterdam. (photo credit:PUBLIC DOMAIN)

Jews around the world today are observing the 9th of Av or Tisha Be'av, a Jewish holiday that commemorates the destruction of the ancient Temples in Jerusalem.

Coincedentally, this year the somber fasting holiday shares the same gregorian calendar date as another sad anniversary in Jewish history.

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August 1, 1944 was the date of Anne Frank's last diary entry. Frank wrote the diary during the two-year period that her family hid in the attic of Opekta, her father Otto's former place of business, in Amsterdam.

The Frank family went into hiding on June 12, 1942 and Anne began writing in her diary two days later on the 14th. From June 14, 1942 to August 1, 1944, the teenager would document life inside the attic in her diary, which she addressed to "Kitty," ultimately becoming one of the most complete first-hand accounts of a Holocaust victim.

The original occupants of the attic were Anne, her older sister Margot, and their parents Otto and Edith. Three members of the van Pels family -- Hermann, Auguste, and their son Peter -- and Fritz Pfeffer, a German-born dentist, moved into the attic later in 1942.

Three days after her last diary entry, on August 4, 1944, a group of police and security officers led by SS-Hauptscharführer Karl Silberbauer entered the attic and arrested all the occupants.

Anne and Margot were sent to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. Both died of typhus shortly before the camp was liberated in 1945. The exact dates of their deaths are unknown.

Of the seven occupants of the attic, only Otto Frank survived. After the war, he devoted much of his life to publishing his daughter's diary. The diary (published in English as The Diary of a Young Girl) has been translated into over 60 languages and adapted into multiple award-winning plays and films.

15-year-old Anne's entry from August 1, 1944 reads as follows:

Dearest Kitty,

"A bundle of contradictions" was the end of my previous letter and is the beginning of this one. Can you please tell me exactly what "a bundle of contradictions" is? What does "contradiction" mean? Like so many words, it can be interpreted in two ways: a contradiction imposed from without and one imposed from within.

The former means not accepting other people's opinions, always knowing best, having the last word; in short, all those unpleasant traits for which I'm known. The latter, for which I'm not known, is my own secret.

As I've told you many times, I'm split in two. One side contains my exuberant cheerfulness, my flippancy, my joy in life and, above all, my ability to appreciate the lighter side of things. By that I mean not finding anything wrong with flirtations, a kiss, an embrace, an off-color joke. This side of me is usually lying in wait to ambush the other one, which is much purer, deeper and finer. No one knows Anne's better side, and that's why most people can't stand me.

Oh, I can be an amusing clown for an afternoon, but after that everyone's had enough of me to last a month. Actually, I'm what a romantic movie is to a profound thinker – a mere diversion, a comic interlude, something that is soon forgotten: not bad, but not particularly good either.

I hate having to tell you this, but why shouldn't I admit it when I know it's true? My lighter, more superficial side will always steal a march on the deeper side and therefore always win. You can't imagine how often I've tried to push away this Anne, which is only half of what is known as Anne-to beat her down, hide her. But it doesn't work, and I know why.

I'm afraid that people who know me as I usually am will discover I have another side, a better and finer side. I'm afraid they'll mock me, think I'm ridiculous and sentimental and not take me seriously. I'm used to not being taken seriously, but only the "light-hearted" Anne is used to it and can put up with it; the "deeper" Anne is too weak. If I force the good Anne into the spotlight for even fifteen minutes, she shuts up like a clam the moment she's called upon to speak, and lets Anne number one do the talking. Before I realize it, she's disappeared.

So the nice Anne is never seen in company. She's never made a single appearance, though she almost always takes the stage when I'm alone. I know exactly how I'd like to be, how I am… on the inside. But unfortunately I'm only like that with myself. And perhaps that's why-no, I'm sure that's the reason why I think of myself as happy on the inside and other people think I'm happy on the outside. I'm guided by the pure Anne within, but on the outside I'm nothing but a frolicsome little goat tugging at its tether.

As I've told you, what I say is not what I feel, which is why I have a reputation for being boy-crazy as well as a flirt, a smart aleck and a reader of romances. The happy-go-lucky Anne laughs, gives a flippant reply, shrugs her shoulders and pretends she doesn't give a darn. The quiet Anne reacts in just the opposite way. If I'm being completely honest, I'll have to admit that it does matter to me, that I'm trying very hard to change myself, but that I I'm always up against a more powerful enemy.

A voice within me is sobbing, "You see, that's what's become of you. You're surrounded by negative opinions, dismayed looks and mocking faces, people, who dislike you, and all because you don't listen to the advice of your own better half."

Believe me, I'd like to listen, but it doesn't work, because if I'm quiet and serious, everyone thinks I'm putting on a new act and I have to save myself with a joke, and then I'm not even talking about my own family, who assume I must be sick, stuff me with aspirins and sedatives, feel my neck and forehead to see if I have a temperature, ask about my bowel movements and berate me for being in a bad mood, until I just can't keep it up anymore, because when everybody starts hovering over me, I get cross, then sad, and finally end up turning my heart inside out, the bad part on the outside and the good part on the inside, and keep trying to find a way to become what I'd like to be and what I could be if… if only there were no other people in the world.

Yours, Anne M. Frank

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