Teenagers

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READERS' COMPANION

Introduction
Wednesday, April 5, 1944
...I Finally realized that I must do my schoolwork to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that’s what I want! I know I can write... it remains to be seen whether I really have talent...I need to have something besides a husband and children to devote myself to!...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! And that’s why I’m so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that’s inside me!

When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that’s a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer? Anne Frank

 
The Legacy of Anne Frank
Anne Frank’s story succeeds because it is a personal story that enables individuals to understand one of the watershed events of our time, and because it communicates what can happen when hate and intolerance prevail. The essence of Anne Frank’s message has become a universal symbol of tolerance, strength, and hope in the face of adversity — a symbol transcending all cultures and ages and conveying the idea that discrimination and intolerance are wrong and dangerous. Anne Frank’s diary has enduring significance. Her perspective resonates with the feelings and attitudes of teenagers in the post-Holocaust generation. Like so many of today’s youth, Anne aspired to be independent and respected for who she was, not what others wanted her to be. Anne’s reflections on personal, social, and political themes have as much relevance today as they did in the era of the Third Reich and the Holocaust.  

Organization of the Study Guide
This guide is organized to help readers understand Anne Frank’s diary. Background information, time lines, and the glossary provide historical context for the years of Anne’s life and are designed to place her diary within the framework of the events taking place during World War II and the Holocaust. Special details have been included to highlight the twenty-five month period during which Anne and her family hid in the Secret Annex, as well as the aftermath.

The study questions for students are arranged in three parts. The first set o f questions relates to facts contributing to Anne’s personal identity. The second set of questions examines the relationship of Anne to the world outside the Annex. The final set of questions considers the ongoing issues that Anne raised in her diary over fifty years ago. For additional educational materials, including teacher’s notes and activities, please contact the Anne Frank Center USA, 584 Broadway, Suite 408, New York, NY, 10012 or e-mail us at education@annefrank.com.

There is an additional set of questions for adults, designed for community groups, reading circles, and individuals.  
THE DIARY
On June 12, 1942, Anne Frank’s parents gave her a small red-and-white-plaid diary for her thirteenth birthday. More than fifty years later, this diary has become one of the best-known memoirs of the Holocaust.

When Anne received her diary, she and her family were living in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) which was occupied by the German Army. By Anne’s thirteenth birthday she, like every other European Jew, was living in fear of the Nazis and their anti-Jewish decrees. On July 6, 1942, her family was forced to go into hiding. Although they could take very few things with them, Anne brought here diary to her new home, which she called the "Secret Annex." For the two years that Anne lived in the Annex, she wrote down her thoughts and feelings. She wrote about her life with the seven other people in hiding - her parents, her sister, the van Pels family (called van Daan by Anne), and Fritz Pfeffer (called Alfred Dussel by Anne), as well as the war going on around her and her hopes for the future. As...
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