As of 1998, The Diary of Anne Frank had reached sales of 25 million copies and been translated into more than 50 languages. (source: TIME, October 5, 1998).
It has been required classroom reading for half a century now!
In a way, her wish has come to pass.
This subsequent publication, "Tales From The Secret Annex" combines short stories, reminiscences/vignettes, and even an unfinished novel to show us yet another dimension to this remarkable person. Reading these stories and little essays confirmed my personal opinion that Anne Frank was a childhood genius with unlimited potential to achieve anything she would have set her mind to.
It's hard to imagine this thirteen year old girl writing with such depth and perception, while living in seclusion, terror and fear for her life. She was writing from her heart, not with an expectation of being published. And yet these stories shine with a polished brilliance, and a certain unforgettable quality. I read this book for the first time 8 years ago, and have returned to it now, remembering the stories as though I had read them just last week. My favorite is entitled "Kathy". In three short pages, Anne captures every emotion experienced by a kid who is misunderstood by her mother, assaulted by schoolyard bullies who mock and rob her and cause her to lose the gift she was bringing home to her mother.
Here is how she ends her essay entitled "Give":
"If only our country and then Europe and finally the whole world would realize that people were really kindly disposed toward one another, that they are all equal and everything else is transitory! Open your eyes... give of yourself, give as much as you can! And you can always, always give something, even if it is only kindness! No one has ever become poor from giving! If you do this, then in a few generations no one will need to pity the beggar children anymore, because they will not exist! There is plenty of room for everyone in the world, enough money, riches, and beauty for all to share! God has made enough for everyone. Let us all begin by sharing it fairly." (written March 26, 1944).
Anne was sent to Bergen-Belsen, where some time during March 1945, she, her sister Margot and hundreds of other prisoners were stricken with typhus. Their captors, preoccupied with the advancing Allies, left them to die.
World... read her book!
For a very important blog I once wrote, about the Franks, click HERE.