Anne Frank’s diary was first published in English on this date in 1952.


What’s now known as Diary of a Young Girl was first published in Dutch in 1947, under the title The Secret Annex (Het Achterhuis (in Dutch)).

When I first read it (at the same age that she started writing it), I didn’t realize that Anne Frank had two versions of her diary.

The “A” version was made up of spontaneous journal entries. The “B” version was revised by Anne herself and suggests she was thinking about publication.

I did the same thing myself in my own teen year journals. My idea of “publication” ranged from it being found by my mom, a friend, some day by my wife or my kids, all the way to having my biographer reading it. I think a lot of kids have pretty big intentions for that kind of writing.

I also think that we all have our secret annexes where we sometimes hide. And some of us write there and write about there.

Annelies (I like that name better than the nickname “Anne”) Marie Frank was born June 12, 1929. The family went into hiding from the Nazis during the summer of 1942 when she was 13.

After the war, Anne’s father, Otto Frank, was given the diary, along with some other papers, which had been left behind when the family was taken in 1944.

At first, he couldn’t bear to read it. When he finally read it, he said that he believed that Anne wrote it with the intent of trying to publish it. So, he worked at getting it into print. Sixteen different American publishers rejected the English translation before Doubleday picked it up in 1952. Her father eventually edited the two versions into one.

If you look at some of the newer (1995+) and annotated versions, you discover that he left out parts. For example, about five pages of Anne’s original version describe her sexual feelings and includes some kvetching about her mom; both of those perfectly fitting of a 13 year old girl. (I can also identify now with Otto wanting to purify his little girl.)

Annelies

Anne died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp about two weeks before the camps were liberated in spring 1945.



I wrote on another blog about a poem by Andrew Motion (“Anne Frank Huis“) that was written immediately after his visit to the Anne Frank house (huis) in Amsterdam.

I have never visited Amsterdam, but the poem set me thinking about how houses are “haunted” by those who lived in them. I didn’t mean in a ghost or poltergeist way, but supernatural in the dictionary sense of “relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe.”

Advertisements