Sunday, October 19, 2014

Anne Frank's Diary

I'm disappointed with myself for not having read this before and I believe I should have read it at school. It should be part of school syllabus or at least flagged and encouraged at school to young teens and preteens. It is across Europe and even in India, it was in school curriculum for my mother. I wonder what happened in my case. Anyhow I began reading it upon my return from Berlin.

While I'm in no way qualified to review this book, neither it's contents nor its author, I can talk about how it made me feel. Like a million others, for all these decades, at the end of it, I wanted to hug myself and cry. That was the effect mostly of the epilogue rather than her diary. The epilogue tells you that this energetic optimistic opinionated teenager that you spent days with, discussing her innermost thoughts including her plans for the future, had had that future snatched from her and from you. You, Kitty, lost your dearest friend.

She is smart, funny, intelligent and in every way I can relate to her. Not to the holocaust or specific subjects or specific incidents, but to the way she feels and thinks and analyses and draws conclusion and occasionally is wrong and how she reacts when she realises she is wrong, the way she is her worst critic and takes in everyone else's criticism. The extroverted introvert. At moments when I read something significantly describing her feelings, I wondered how her father would have felt when he read it for the first time. The pang of pain I felt just thinking about it, I cannot fathom his emotions. I think the reason why this diary became so popular is because it doesn't describe the holocaust or discrimination or the pain of war but it describes a real person going through all of these and reacts not dramatically but really. The emotions are raw and unmasked and absolutely real. You are her trusted friend and she is pouring her heart out to you.
The diary also gives you some solace that her wish to be a writer and a journalist are fulfilled.

Now reading Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada.

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