About the different editions:
Otto Frank, Anne’s dad, decided to publish Anne’s diary as it was her dying wish. There was a Critical Edition which is referred to as version a, the unedited version. The second edition was referred to as version b. And then there is version, version c which was a shortened version this version has material selected from version a and b and this is known as “The Diary of a Young Girl”.
Certain parts were omitted such as Anne’s sexuality as it was not customary in the 40’s to write openly about sex, unflattering passages about Otto’s wife and other residents of the Secret Annexe.
Readers are referred to revise the Critical Edition if they wish to know more information. Much of the Definitive Edition is based on version b but in the definitive Edition, the “helpers” were not changed unlike version b. The text in this edition has been left as Anne wrote it obviously correction was made with spelling and linguistic errors.
My thoughts and overview of the novel:
In Anne’s first entries she writes about her life before she and her family goes into hiding. It is the typical pre-teen type of entries where she writes about her friends, school and her family and how much she loves life.
Then they go into hiding due to the war and then she gives us a view as to how life is for her when they in hiding. In the beginning all is well then as the time goes on, the conditions they live in gets worst, their food supplies gets less because their “helpers” have to be more careful and becomes ill at some stage, they are not exposed to enough fresh air or even none at all. They can’t always use the toilet (a toilet that is used by employees of the warehouse that they hiding in). The Annexe is part of the warehouse but cannot be seen from the front by anyone. A bookshelf is nailed into the entrance of the Annexe and it is not accessible from the outside in. Although they kept up to date with what’s happening with the outside world and still kept them busy by educating themselves by learning maths and French, Latin, doing other short courses, I felt that is so unfair for a young girl to be deprived of what should be rightfully hers and that is The right to freedom – the right to live like a teenager should, the right to fresh air, an education and better living conditions. It was actually disgusting reading about the living conditions in their time of hiding but yet they made the best of it and never really complained; they just waited in anticipation for the war to be over. In her time of hiding she also explains how she changes in the two years, her hatred for her mother, her dislike for her sister, her love for her father, her sexuality (not much of it in this version as this was an edited version as the original version is a banned book) and her longing to be with someone. She also gives us her thought about the injustice against Jews in that period and gives us an idea how Jewish people suffered. And an insight as to what it was like for her growing up, what we would call the best parts of our teen years, during the time of war.
Life after the Annexe:
But just before the war was over, someone tipped the police off and the warehouse got raided with the Annexe and all 8 of the residents hiding in the Annexe got arrested on the 4th of August in 1944.
The following happened to the people of the Annexe after the arrest:
- Herman van Pels (Known as Mr van Daan in the novel) was gassed to death either in October or November 1944.
- Auguste van Pels (Known as Mrs van Daan in the novel) was transferred from one concentration camp to another (about four camps) and died but death date unknown.
- Peter van Pels (Known as Peter van Daan, Mr & Mrs Van Daan’s son in the novel)) was forced to take part in the “death march” in Jan 1945 and died on the 5th of May 1945.
- Fritz Pfeffer (Known as Albert Dussel in the novel)) died on 20 December 1944 in a concentration camp.
- Edith Frank was moved from one concentration camp to another and died on 6th January 1945 from hunger and exhaustion.
- Margot and Anne Frank were also moved from one concentration camp to another but died in 1945 from the Typhus epidemic that broke out.
- Otto Frank was the only one of the eight to survive the concentration camps.