Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Diary of a Young Girl

Dear Anne,
Hope you are doing well and so is your kitty.
Today I read your personal diary, written in a hide-out, during World War II, which was later published as ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’,a war memoriam.
Frankly from the moment I started reading your diary I was mentally making notes to quote for a review, as I have resolved to write as many reviews as possible this year.
But when I completed reading, I was so disturbed that not even a word would come out of my mind. Reading the ‘Afterword’ was even more saddening.
How could people do this to you Anne, or for that matter to anyone else? How could they kill people in heaps, these mortals?
You wrote this diary in 1942 in a remote town in Holland under the pains of hiding from approaching enemies. But still how is that you reflect almost every part of me, even before half a century?
You, I find, epitomize a woman, confident, never-giving-up, clear and streamlined in one’s thoughts and actions!
It is really a pity that you should die, after fresh hopes of the allies winning the war and you released from your hiding place, going to school and picturizing yourself as a brave-women-not-a-regular-house-wife.
And see your confidence:
“If god lets me live, I shall attain more than mummy ever has done, I shall not remain insignificant, I shall work in the world and for mankind!
And now I know that first and foremost I shall require courage and cheerfulness”
How positive you were about life, when all the adults in the household were sceptic. Little girls are always wiser than men.
But nothing has changed Anne, the evils are now walking the masquerade with different faces. Srilanka, Libya, Syria, Israel-Palestine, China, Kashmir… everywhere.
Again and again we prove ourselves, that we have learnt not even an alphabet from history.
It’s disappointing that Jews who were tortured during the WWII should do it again to Palestinians! I know you would be on the side of Palestinians, wouldn’t you Anne?
I so wish that this book is placed as the non-detail paper we used to have instead of the Scarlet Pimpernels and Oliver Twists.
There were many parts from the Afterword which made me cry, but this was unimaginable.
“It was Anne, and I ran in the direction of the voice, and then I saw her beyond the barbed wire. She was in rags. I saw her emaciated, sunken face in the darkness. Her eyes were very large. We cried and cried, for now there was only the barbed wire between us, nothing more. And no longer any difference in our lives.”
- From the Afterword, by your friend Lies Goosens, who was doomed to the concentration camp two years before yourself, on meeting you again, a good in bad.
You have by your words, stirred the conscience of the Germans who stood silent when Hitler ordered the genocide against non-Aryans and made them feel guilt for being mute spectators.
Now I wish the international community and the Indian elite, see this video and and wake up and vote against Srilanka in the UN resolution. If you had known, this is another one in the ugly pages of history.
Because, deadly crimes cannot be undone, but should be punished for prevention and you know it better than me!
And coming back to to the book…
The book is special among all war tales because, it was not written with an intent to make a story. But it had a story, so hard to ponder.
I initially liked reading this book because it was like talking to oneself, later I liked it because of the little romance with Peter and that tender kiss, which I suspected to have been inserted by someone else preferably your father, Mr. Otto Frank. But you have said that you could not fall completely for Peter, obviates my suspicion. Now, that should be Anne right, a bundle of confusions,contradictions and conclusions!?
I salute you Anne, your innocence, your efforts to enliven dampened spirits and to improve your attitude and for living through the tough times of life!
Your diary is not only a war memoriam, but a reflection of what all children undergo with or without wars during their adolescence.
I found why the end haunted me so silently. From the first word of this diary I found you extremely boisterous, to the brim. Even the abrupt end of the diary makes me empathize the untold suffering undergone by a girl of your kind.
The end is not only abrupt to the diary, but to Anne, to the man kind itself.

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