Anne Frank

I will confess that only now, this late in life, am I reading Anne Frank’s diary.

With just 20 pages left, and her demise imminent, I am reluctant to finish it, as I know how I am going to react, and I am already grieving. During the course of this read I have fallen completely in love with this brave and enchanting girl who was so far beyond her years. Still, she had a child’s innocence while teetering between remarkable insight, bravery, fear, and a young girl’s fantasy.

I find that as I get older certain things punch me right in the heart, and my soul bleeds openly. Our world is filled with so much beauty which runs concurrently with a certain degree of horror and unimaginable suffering. This dichotomy spins my head and leaves me uncertain of everything outside of my own small family.

Now I am off to say goodbye to Anne and hurt just a little bit more.

29 thoughts on “Anne Frank

  1. Your right Mike, As we get older more things “punch us in the heart”. Is it because we are on the down hill slope of life and no longer going to live forever. Mortality is upon us!

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    • I think too that with age comes a certain compassion that was lacking in youth. Could it be that we are wiser and know enough to be saddened by things that are worthy of our emotion? Mortality certainly plays a part Claude, and it is good hearing from you.

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      • Respectfully, Claude, I don’t think older people are on any “down hill slope” at all. My Papa is younger than he ever was – I swear he gets younger every year! And everyone lives forever – just not HERE.

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    • In truth, a friend gave it to me years ago but I couldn’t bring myself to read it until I found out recently he is going to die soon. So I felt compelled to honor the man and his gift. It is EXCRUSCIATING. I could only manage 10 of the 20 pages earlier.

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  2. Howdy Mike –

    Although it’s been more than 25 years since I read the book, I think this is one book that will be read by thousands in the next 50 years……

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  3. Mike-
    Haven’t read this book since middle school and you have inspired me to pick it up again. While it was a sad experience for me at the time, I feel like I will be able to appreciate it even more now. Thank you for this post.

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  4. Beautiful post Mike. If you find the book difficult, visiting the house where they hid in Amsterdam is a no, no. I was overwhelmed with grief seeing where she and her family had been cooped up, seeing the photos and re-reading some of the facts. It is one of my most memorable and disturbing travel experiences. I hope every school child is reading her diary now and forever into the future. We can all learn so much from it.

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    • Given my financial reality the chances of going to Holland are slim. But if I could, I would see her hideout and I would go to concentration camps also. I would be completely overwhelmed without any embarrassment. It is almost like I channel, given the degree of pain I feel. Thank you and always good to hear from you Katherine.

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  5. I have read this book in school, at the age of 12 I think. So many bad things happened to a lot of people that time. The movie is even more shocking. My heart is bleeding when I think back to what she wrote and what has happened to her & her family…

    We visited one concentration camp, I wasn’t able to see all, had to leave some rooms quickly. They even kept lamps, which were made (parts) of human skin 😦

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    • And I am somewhat embarrassed that I did not read it sooner, but it had great impact on me at my age now. It was a terrible time in both our histories. Better to be friends. Thanks for this message Frauke, it means a lot to me.

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      • Don’t be kind of embarrassed, I think it s better to read it when you are older & know more about the background πŸ™‚ My Grandpa told me a lot about this war, what has happened in the different countries (he wasn’t a soldier, but worked on ships, was from the upper class). No matter if it s USA, Germany or Russia, they all screwed the people & gave a …. about a single life. I hope this will never ever happen again. We don’t need to fight or do things like this, when we work together we are so much stronger.

        Hugs

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  6. Don’t know what to say really, because it has all been said before. This could be a picture of any young girl today just starting out in life, maybe just about to get married. Politicians never learn, still doing the same today, still with the same consequences, many still getting away with it.
    all the best
    Mike

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  7. I read the Diary of Anne Frank as a teenager, so about the same age and then a few years later visited the house in which she hid. Incredibly humbling and moving.

    Reading it then had an effect because I identified with her given our similar ages at the time. But I agree with what you say, if I read it now, as an adult, as a mum, I would find it far harder.

    I don’t think you should be ashamed that it has taken you so long to get to it. I think you should value the different perspective that will give you. I will never be able to read it as an adult, because it will always have echoes and memories from the first read for me.

    Anne’s diary is one of hope though. Despite everything she made her world as bearable as she could (something I felt keenly when looking at the pictures she had pasted on her walls). It just goes to show how we can all make the best of a bad situation even when the odds are turned against us. That is a message we can take with us no matter our age!

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    • If I read that as a kid in school I guarantee you that I wasn’t up to reading it at all (academically). Consequently this time around was my first read and it ripped my guts out, which is no great surprise. Is that a .38 special you are holding?

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      • I read the “Alchemist” by Coelho in my late teens 1st time, 2nd time was in my mid 20s and third time when I was 32… all three times it re-opened my view on life… πŸ™‚ But then again, some books have that effect on people I think.
        When it comes to my weapon; it is a secret πŸ™‚

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  8. I read the book and was left shell-shocked. My outlook on life is (foolish) optimism, and I work hard at keeping that afloat. But this book really floored me. Everyone should read it. I learnt about humanity and compassion. Thanks for posting and dropping by my blog!

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