Rambling ...

I'm an Irish Girl, A Dubliner, with the 'Gift of the Gab' ... I like to talk & to tell you things. In Celtic times news, views and comment were carried from place to place by wandering Seanachaí ~ Storytellers ~ who relied on their host's hospitality and appreciation. I will need that from you too, as I venture to share Politics, Poetry, Laughter, Love, Life & everything in-between ... from Bog to Blog!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Anne's Anniversary ..... Diary is 70 today!!

Anne Frank wrote on this 1942 photo .... 'This is the photo as I would wish myself to look all the time. Then I would maybe have a chance to come to Hollywood.'

Anne Frank's diary detailing the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in the early 1940s, from her own personal incarceration,  has inspired more than just plays and films since her death in the German Concentration Camp of Belsen Bergen in 1945 at age 15. She started writing it 70 years ago today, June 12th , 1942, on her 13th birthday. Her first entry reads, "I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support."
The Diary of Anne Frank is amazing for many reasons. It is remarkably easy to read, giving an extraordinarily intimate and detailed view of the thoughts of a teenage girl, revealing her cognitive patterns and concerns. 

Whether she knew it or not, she used the diary as self-therapy to try to find some solace and reason in the midst of a world full of irreconcilable contradictions. She used writing to define her personal moral and ethical questions, and to articulate the best answers and definitions she could find. For example, as seen above, she defines multiple (equally accurate and co-existing) definitions for the word "contradictions.” In the midst of her insane world, she never stopped trying to improve her reasoning, knowledge, and character.

The Diary of Anne Frank reveals a brilliant mind trying to find “truth” amidst overwhelmingly contradictary data, forces, and ideologies.   Her work exudes modesty and self deprecation. Why do some of the finest female artists so often feel this way about themselves? About their art?

“Anyone could ramble on and leave big spaces between the words, but the trick was to come up with convincing arguments to prove the necessity of talking.”   
~ June 21, 1942 ... 'The Diary of a Young Girl' by Anne Frank ~

If you’ve never read the Diary of Anne Frank, you may mistakenly think the diary is only interesting and relevant because Anne later died in the Holocaust. It is an essential & important work for Holocaust Studies. But if you’ve read the Diary of Anne Frank, you may agree that the work is meritorious completely independent of her subsequent history. Her diary is a remarkable record of a young woman developing mentally, sexually, and spiritually. And for that reason too it should be required reading for girls as they develop into womanhood. Even without her holocaustic demise, her diary would still have tremendous independent worth ~ it is timeless and universal in its juvenile perspectives and thoughts.

Her loss is a loss for the world. While I posit that her precious work stands on its own without context, it is the context which makes the tragic destruction of such innocent beauty a thousand times more terrible. No, actually six million times more terrible. 

Sometimes tragedies are felt in the actions of Kings and Nations. Sometimes equal tragedies can be experienced in the heart and mind of just one girl. And Anne Frank was 'Just one Jew Girl' !!

What follows is Anne's Last Diary Entry ... Ever.  Three days later, Anne Frank was found and imprisoned. Later, she was transported to Auschwitz, then in march 1945 died of disease in Bergen-Belsen.   


August 1, 1944

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, a saucy 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 film is to a profound thinker ~ a mere diversion, a comic interlude, something that is soon forgotten: not bad, but not
particulary 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 “lighthearted” 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 whem 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 a joy-chaser, 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 couldn’t care less. 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’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 ill, stuff me with asprins 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 any more, beause 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.

Anne M. Frank.
"I don't want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I've never met. I want to go on living even after my death!"  
~  'The Diary of a Young Girl' by Anne Frank ~

I think she has Achieved her Aim !!!!!!

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