3 March 2013 - ANNE FRANK - Guest Author

- Guest Author -
G'day guys,
Today I welcome a writer and author who is well known - Anne Frank. Visiting the famous Amsterdam house in which she and her family hid from the Nazis, was probably the beginning of my interest in global Human Rights. Weeks later, I visited my first concentration camp. 

I've read Anne Frank's diary many times and reading it at an early age made me realise how important writing can be to a serious author. It is to me.

Anne Frank is arguably the author of the single most interesting documentation of the events of World War II. She manages to depict a picture of life in hiding during the time in which unspeakable cruelties and atrocities were inflicted upon the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. She achieves this by means of her best friend and moral support during trying times, her confidant, her most treasured birthday gift – her diary, addressed as “Kitty”.

The diary of Anne provides a marvelously fascinating insight of the events of the world war from the perspective of a teenage Jewish girl. 

Anne Frank was born on 12 June 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany to Otto Frank and Edith Frank-Holländer. She also had an elder sister – Margot Frank.

On her 13th Birthday, 12 June 1942, Anne Frank received what was to become the medium through which she would find a source of comfort and company a month later when she would be forced into hiding - a diary. Originally it was planned that the Franks would go into hiding on 16th July 1942, however, Margot was informed that she would have to go into hiding immediately to avoid being sent to a concentration camp.

Almost immediately upon receiving the diary, Anne began to write regularly. Before being forced into hiding, Anne wrote mainly about ordinary events such as her friends, games and even her grades. However, it was after hiding that she really began to confide to “Kitty”. Anne referred to the place she went into hiding as the “Secret Annex”. Seven days later, her family was joined by the van Pels – a family that consisted of Auguste van Pel, Hermann van Pels, and their son Peter van Pels. The last edition to the household was the dentist Friedrich “Fritz” Pfeffer on November 16th 1942. 

She kept on writing in her diary until August 1, 1944. Anne was quick to develop an opinion of every member of the Secret Annex and developed a disliking towards Pfeffer, finding him to be too invasive, and intolerable. Similarly, she found Auguste van Pel to be a little too conservative and old-fashioned for her liking as Anne considered herself to be open-minded. She instantly took a liking to Peter van Pels and they shared a brief affair. Moreover, she was particularly fond of her father and often stated her preference for him in relation to her mother.
She also enjoyed scrutinizing her relationship with the members of the Secret Annex. She also observed changes in herself that came along with puberty. She complained about the confined and stuffy environment she was limited to. She wrote about her qualms, her beliefs, her dreams, how she wanted to become a journalist. She expressed sorrow over her strained relationship with her mother. She also expressed grief over being misinterpreted by those around her and was constantly trying to correct her flaws. With the passage of time, Anne’s writing style became mature along with the topics she delved into. Anne continued to realize a marked difference between herself and everyone else she knew in the Secret Annex, much to her distress.

 Anne's original diary
On September 3, 1944, all the members of the Secret Annex were arrested and shipped from Westerbork for Auschwitz where everyone was separated. Anne and Margot were transported to Bergen-Belsen at the end of October 1944. In late February Anne died from typhus. Bergen-Belsen was liberated on April 12, 1945, just about a month after her death.

Clancy's comment: An author friend of mine, with whom I speak almost daily, recently stated that I had a very well-rounded view of life in general and asked why that was so. He complimented me on my courageous stand on big issues and wondered where that confidence came from. 

After some thought I said, 'I think writing has been a subconscious medium that has allowed me to unknowingly deal with issues that hide in the recesses of my mind.' I think that's true when I look back at the twenty odd manuscripts, 146 short stories, newspaper articles, editorials and bush poems I've written over the years. 

In writing young adult fiction, I've used my stories to introduce role models to teens. Sadly, many teens today have no idea what a role model is supposed to look or act like. Hopefully, my writing has also allowed me to portray real life 'issues' that confront teens, and maybe, hidden within my words is 'the way to resolve them'.

My manuscripts have covered disabilities, hardships during harsh times, child abuse, serious disease and subsequent death, male and female protagonists, courage, environmental issues, war, survival, poverty, dysfunctional families, refugees, bullying, boat people and other issues that exist in every day life. 

Yes, I guess writing is the same for me now as it was for Anne Frank - a form of expression and a cleansing of the soul and mind.

Pax vobiscum, Anne Frank!

I'm ...

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