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Why is Anne Frank so famous?
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Wartime diaries
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Wartime diaries

The diary of Anne Frank is the most famous diary from the Second World War. All that attention for her story, is that really fair? Some people think not. They think that Anne Frank’s story is only one person’s story. Many more people’s stories should be told, because only then will people get an idea of what happened in the war and how people experienced it. Various writers have therefore compiled books with extracts from war diaries.

‘Seen within the context of its time and place, the story of Anne Frank is, sadly, unremarkable. At least a million and possibly as many as a million and a half children were murdered by the Nazis and their allies during World War II. What distinguishes Anne Frank’s story from that of these other children, therefore, is not her early death but the diary entries she kept during the last years of her life and the nature of the public response to her writings. As we know, (…) other children likewise kept diaries. But none has been embraced with anything like the interest and affection that Anne Frank’s diary has received.’
Alvin H. Rosenfeld


‘In the Holocaust Center in San Francisco there are tens of thousands of books on the Holocaust. There I have come across a number of unknown wartime diaries by Jewish children. I was deeply intrigued, and found the diaries beautiful and moving, and I wondered why they hadn’t become as well-known as the Diary of Anne Frank. She is the defining figure for our view of the war and the murder of one and a half million children. From a historical point of view that’s not correct. By putting five of these diaries alongside one another one creates a much more historically accurate picture.’
Jacob Boas, in an interview about his book 'Eva, Dawid, Moshe, Yitschak and Anne', in which he compares the wartime diaries of five Jewish children.


'Unfortunately, many children’s diaries have been all but lost to history. Either they were never published in book form or there are only a handful of copies left in the world's major libraries. It is astonishing that, even though most of them are as powerful and well-written as Anne Frank’s diary, they have remained obscure while hers has been thought of as the child diary of the Holocaust.’
Laurel Holliday, an American writer, in her book ‘Children in the Holocaust and World War II: Their Secret Diaries’, which contains extracts from the wartime diaries of 22 children.
Anne Frank Guide
This day in history
Today: 23 December 2014
Then: 25 December 1941

British surrender at Hong Kong

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