I finished Anne Frank - The Diary of a Young Girl yesterday. It is difficult to put into words what it was like to read this book, especially when it started off so shallowly (it begins as the diary of a 13 year old girl, after all!) and ends with such a sad reality. Bittersweet, perhaps?
Anne was a wonderful writer. I easily related to her poignant account of life as a girl transforming to a woman in those difficult early teen years. It was fascinating how such things are universal, transcending time and circumstance.
By the time I reached the end, I was moved in a way I have rarely experienced before. I experienced something similar when I visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. about 10 years ago, and when I watched The Hiding Place, a movie of the experiences of Corrie Ten Boom (the first movie I ever remember crying about, when I was about 10 years old). The wretchedness of what happened to millions of people at the hands of evil is hard to fathom.
I was interested to find the website for the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, where you can read some brief history of what happened with the family, their hiding place, and what happened to them after they were discovered & imprisoned.
I had a realization yesterday after finishing the book. I am like a bridge between my grandmother's generation (who were there, they lived through World War II and know firsthand what happened) and my children's children, who will not have contact with that WWII generation by the time they are born. I will know both, and I feel a sense of duty to this revelation. We must never forget what happens when an attempt to appease evil is made to keep peace, and we must pass this experience on to our children, and their children, so it will not be repeated.
I definitely recommend this book.
"I don't think then of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains... I've found that there is always some beauty left - in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can all help you. Look at these things, then you find yourself again, and God, and then you regain your balance."
-- Anne Frank