Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Sophie. Sophie Wonders, “Who is Anne Frank?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Sophie!
Today’s Wonder of the Day is about a diary. Does that seem strange? After all, aren’t most diaries kept secret? Perhaps that’s true, but this diary has become quite famous. It was written by Anne Frank.
On August 1, 1944, Anne Frank made the last entry in her diary. This young girl’s story has inspired millions of people over the years. Her writings have certainly stood the test of time.
Born on June 12, 1929, Anne Frank was a German teenager. Her family was forced into hiding in the Netherlands when Hitler’s Nazi party took over Germany. The Frank family feared for their lives. They knew they would be targeted by the Nazis for being Jewish.
The Nazis persecuted Jews during their time in power. From 1933 through 1945, the Nazis systematically killed millions of Jews. On a smaller scale, they targeted people with disabilities and those who were Polish or Roma. Other victims included Jehovah’s Witnesses and people known to be LGBTQ+. This dark period of history is known as the Holocaust.
The Frank family hid from the Nazis in a secret annex at the back of a warehouse and up a set of steep, narrow stairs. Eventually, they were betrayed to the Nazis and arrested. In March 1945, Anne Frank died of typhus in a concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen. She was only 15 years old.
On her 13th birthday, Anne Frank received a diary as a present. While her family was in hiding, Frank wrote in her diary. Her writings revealed a lot about the horrors of war. It gave a glimpse into the ordinary struggles of a teenager during World War II.
At first, Anne wrote her diary only for herself. Writing became a way for her to express the emotions she felt while her family was hiding from the Nazis.
One day in 1944, Anne heard a radio announcement from Gerrit Bolkestein, a Dutch government official. He said that he hoped one day to publish eyewitness accounts of the suffering caused by the Nazis. Anne decided that she would publish a book based on her diary after the war. Sadly, Anne did not survive to see this happen.
Miep Gies, one of the people who had helped her family while they were in hiding, saved the diary. She gave it to Otto Frank, Anne’s father, when he returned from the concentration camps.
Otto published his daughter’s diary in 1947 under the title “Het Achterhuis” (English: “The Secret Annex”). Later, it was renamed “The Diary of a Young Girl.” It has been translated into more than 60 different languages and is one of the most widely read books in the world.
Many diaries hold personal information and are meant to be kept secret. However, they often become the sources for memoirs, autobiographies, and biographies. Diary entries can sometimes seem uninteresting—like notes about the weather or everyday events. However, such entries can later provide priceless glimpses into the past.
Many people still write in diaries every day. To some, though, putting pen to paper can sometimes seem old-fashioned. Today’s blogs and posts on social media sites might become the diary entries of tomorrow! Remember, what you post online is out there for everyone to see. If you want to keep your diary a secret, you might want to stick to pen and paper!
Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.W.3, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.W.9, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2