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Monday, January 31, 2005

The Diary of Anne Frank

Here's one thing you may not know about me... I read a lot. Books, magazines, manuals, self-help, etc. But most books, especially goods one I never had the chance to read when I was growing up. The thing is I never had any books to read as a kid so the minute I got my own job I went out to buy books. At any one time I'm always reading at least 2 books, depending on which part of the house I'm in. At the moment, I'm reading 'Exodus' by Leon Uris (borrowed from my pal El) and 'Heretics of Dune' by Frank Herbert (one more to complete the series).

'Exodus' is a stunning book. When I finish it, I'll probably write a review here. But what struck me the most was how much it reminded me about another book - 'The Diary of Anne Frank' by Anne Frank, simply one of the greatest book of the twentieth-century. And no, I'm not exaggerating or over-generalising.

In short, the book (published in 1947) is basically the diary of a 13-year old Jewish girl from the time of her carefree days growing up in Amsterdam as the threat of Hitler's Third Reich grows over the horizon. One day the threat grows too near as Anne's family along with another Jewish family and a dentist hide in a secret attic ('the annex') as Jews were rounded to be sent the the death camp Auswitcz. So for 25 months, the diary details the suffering and monotony of 8 people being locked up in confined spaces. No fresh air, no friends, no outside contact, eating rotten vegetables and cold porridge... and worst of all, the constant fear of being caught by the Germans.

The most shocking part is the epilogue of the book, a historical account of what happened when the location of the hideout was betrayed by a friend, and the fate of all 8 people in the house. The narration of how Anne's mother dies in grief in Auswitcz and when Anne was finally reunited with her best friend Lies is heartwrenching.

'The Diary of Anne Frank' is at once a gripping account. At times it is about an innocent girl who idolizes her father, it later become journey of a girl coming of age, having her first kiss, her constant battle with her sister. She is a vivacious spirit, but caught in morbid world.

War is hate, and anger is king. Many people view this book as a prime example of Semitism and Nazi cruelty against the Jews during the Holocaust. To me its more than that. Its about the triumph of the human spirit, and innocence of a child, crushed by the brutality of human war.

Everybody should read this book. When my daughters come of age, I will encourage them to read it. Not to make them thankful for what they have, but to let them learn the fighting spirit of Anne Frank.

Another thing about Anne - the family's hideout was discovered just a few weeks before the Allied's liberation of Holland.

3 Comments:

  • wow,,thankx for the review i would like to buy dia book of your saying,,coz rite now i sort of finding book that you canrelate and read over n over again,but its difficult to find good books coz none of your friends enjoy good book and i was hoping you can suggest other books too for light reading that doesnt burden my mind and just relaxing or feel sad along the book!i like ur blog and read about it ,,its soo funny keep up da good work,..

    By Blogger weei, at 3/25/2005 10:37:00 am  

  • keep a look out, i'll be blogging more on my favourite books soon! But as usual, no time read these days...

    By Blogger Simon, at 3/25/2005 12:23:00 pm  

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