The Diary of a Young Girl Summary

The Diary of a Young Girl byAnne Frank


The book begins on Anne's thirteenth birthday, June 12, 1942. She receives as a present from her parents a diary, among other presents. She thinks about it for several days and decides to write letters as her diary entries, she addresses each letter to Kitty. Kitty is a fabricated friend, someone in which Anne can expose her deepest feelings to.

Anne's family has emigrated to Holland from Germany for two reasons, the first is Mr. Frank has taken a job there and the second is to move away from the Nazi Party. The Nazis are making life very restrictive for the Jewish people in Germany.

Even though they have left Germany, the Jewish restrictions of the Nazi Party still exist in Holland. They all are required to wear a yellow star on their clothing, attend only Jewish schools, shop at Jewish stores and other restrictions also apply. The full impact of the restrictions and horrors of the Nazi Party are felt by the family on the day Anne's sister, Margot, is called up. This means that she is to be taken away, in all probability to a concentration camp. The family knew they would one day have to go into hiding and had been making preparations for the move, this just moved up the time table of when they would go.

On July 9, 1942 the Frank family moved into the building which housed the business that employed Mr. Frank. The rooms were above the warehouse floor and were referred to by Anne as the "Secret Annex". The family was joined a few days later by the Van Daan family. This family consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan and their son Peter, who was a little older than Anne.

These two families try to get along as best they can, of course, not everyone is happy with the situation. Anne feels as if everything she does is fodder for the adults to use to criticize her. The group also decides to make room for an eighth member, Mr. Dussel. He is a dentist, whose wife is in America. He is recommended by Miep, a young woman who worked for Mr. Frank. There are a number of people helping the families survive in the "Secret Annex", they include Miep and her husband Henk, Elli, and Mr. Koophuis. There are also others who take a smaller role in helping them survive World War II.

Anne and her mother do not get along at all. Anne also feels as if she cannot behave in a manner that pleases any of the adults. Her situation with her mother comes to a head one night as Mrs. Frank asks Anne if she, instead of Mr. Frank, can say Anne's prayers with her. Anne refuses her mother's request. Her mother tells Anne that she will try not to force her to love her.

The war is also exacting a toll on everyone. The people helping the families in the "Secret Annex" are becoming ill. This is a twofold problem because they are an extension of the families in the Annex so the group is worried about the well-being of their helpers. Another part of this is if the helpers are ill then the families are not able to receive food and other necessities for survival.

They are also being plagued with burglaries at the building. Several times burglars have tried and sometimes succeeded to break into the building. The fear is they may hear the families and report them to the Gestapo resulting in everyone being taken away to concentration camps.

On September 10, 1943 Anne records in her diary the fall of Italy. This brings joy to those living in Holland and the world. This means the war is inching closer to its end.

The Van Daan's are out of money; their only hope is to sell some of their clothing. The problem is Mrs. Van Daan does not want to sell her prized fur coat. The coat could bring in an infusion of much needed cash for the family, but she wants to hang on to it. Mr. Van Daan convinces her to sell it so that the family can have money to buy food and other necessities.

As the war continues on and Anne finds out about how more and more Jews are being sent to concentration camps, she has difficulty dealing with her emotions. She is very happy to be safe and free from having to go to a concentration camp; she is also feeling guilty for this same safety because she knows her friends do not have this same secure feeling. The talk of invasion by the English also causes anxiety for Anne and the others. They do not know what will happen to them if the English invade. Will the Germans try to flood the city endangering the lives of everyone there

Anne is also in need of a confidant so she chooses Peter Van Daan to be that person. She chooses Peter because he is quiet and she feels he will keep her secrets for her. This relationship becomes complicated as her feelings for Peter range between friend to boyfriend.

Finally on June 6, 1944 the invasion occurs. The D-day invasion is a source of great joy for everyone in occupied Europe. The members who live in the "Secret Annex" hope to be able to leave in October 1944.

Anne's final diary entry is about her two selves, the outer self which is cheerful and outgoing and the inner self which tries to be more serious and become a better person.

This diary shows the isolation of those living in the "Secret Annex". It also explores the feelings of a young girl as she starts to mature. We are left with the feeling of actually knowing these people, which makes their fate even harder to accept.



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