On June 14, 1942, a thirteen-year-old German-Jewish girl wrote the first entry into her diary. Her name was Anne Frank, and in the two years that followed, she recorded her experience as her family went into hiding during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.
In just shy of three hundred pages, Anne described her life and the life of her family in hiding. Confined within the walls of the Secret Annex, Anne wrote about daily struggles, conflicts, and her reflections on life, as well as the looming horror of being found. So how does Ann’s diary continue to inspire us?
Aside from the exceptional depth and literary skillfulness beyond her years, The Diary of a Young Girl represents a remarkable account of the unwavering optimism and unbreakable human spirit in the face of one of the greatest tragedies in history.
In one of her last entries, shortly before the Secret Annex was exposed and Anne was sent to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, she wrote about not abandoning her own ideals: “I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart”.
Anne Frank became a symbol of hope and unharmed kindness, giving voice to six million Jewish people who became victims of the Nazi regime, whose stories were untold. Echoing through generations, her words of hope continue to remind us of the terrifying cost of hatred.
The Diary of a Young Girl also stands as a reminder of the duty to educate future generations on the terrors of the past, which should not be forgotten. It is a reminder of the responsibility that we have in keeping Anne’s ideals of freedom from fear alive. The ideals she clung to because she refused to believe that people were corrupt.
Even today, Anne’s legacy is as important as ever. People around the world continue to resonate with her words. In reading her innocent musings, one might see her as a normal teenage girl, but she was an exceptional person because of the things she wrote, which resist the violence and war she was surrounded with.
Anne Frank continues to lift generations up as her diary is still a source of inspiration and optimism. She was in search of her own identity amidst the surreal horror of the Holocaust, yet she wrote about emotions that many teenagers can resonate with.
The connection with Anne’s words is so profound because her sentiments are a mirror of our own. The Diary of a Young Girl teaches us of the victory of kindness over violence and commands that we never look away but fight and resist the cruelty that surrounds us.
 “75 Years Later, Anne Frank’s Diary Still Has Much To Teach.” NPR [online] Available at: https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/06/23/534056727/75-years-later-anne-franks-diary-still-has-much-to-teach?t=1584476483923 [Accessed on: 18 Mar. 2020]
 “Why Anne Frank and Her Message That ‘Our Lives Are All Different, but Yet the Same’ Are Still Relevant and Important Today.” Young Post [online] Available at: https://yp.scmp.com/news/features/article/109080/why-anne-frank-and-her-message-our-lives-are-all-different-yet-same-are [Accessed on: 18 Mar. 2020]