I reread Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl this weekend, and then watched PBS' Masterpiece Theater's recently aired film interpretation. This diary is one of the most famous memoirs of the 20th century and possibly my favorite book...EVER.
It means so much more to me now, having just read it for the ninth time 20 years after reading it for the first time. When I read it as an 11 year-old, I was interested in Anne as a girl just a bit older than me. I thought we had some things in common. As I've read the book again a few more times as I've grown older, each time I've known a little more about the state of the world from 1942-45, and the abominable indecencies and injustices put upon the Jews.
Anne wrote her most private thoughts in her diary, and for that reason I find it all the more amazing that Anne remained optimistic about what life would be like for her after the war. That she was able to find joy in anything given her situation is really remarkable.
All of this makes the words of this teenage girl so much more profound, and the book so much more heartbreaking to me each time I read it.
The PBS piece was really well done; I recommend it very much for the human face it put on everyone in hiding, particularly Mrs. Van Daam and Dr. Dussel.