“A little after seven I went to Daddy and Mummy and then to the living-room to open my presents, and you were the first thing I saw, maybe one of my nicest presents”. With these lines Anne Frank on June 12, 1942 opens her diary. The little girl, German-born, Dutch adoption, recalls the thrill of her thirteenth birthday during which she was given a notebook that, unbeknownst to her, will become part of the literary heritage of the Second World War.
The diary was red and white checkered, just like the one she had seen the day before in the library near home. On that diary Anna wrote thoughts, fears, desires and anxieties, addressing an imaginary friend called “Kitty”. Her family was victim of Nazi persecution that was gaining the upper hand at that time, and for this reason the girl could no longer attend school. She spent her daily life firstly within the walls of her house, and then in a secret accommodation.
During this period Anne Frank wrote her diary, describing in detail the story of her family, the memory of classmates, her first love but also those years lived in fear because of Nazi savagery. Her story stops abruptly in August 1944, when her family was arrested and taken to the concentration camp of Auschwitz, and from there to the one of Bergen Belsen.
Her father – the only survivor – published her diary, which became a literary symbol of the Holocaust. Those precious and painful lines reveal the dreams of Anne, who wondered: “Will I ever be able to write something great? I hope so, because writing I can confide to the paper all my thoughts, my ideals, my dreams”.
Translation provided by Maria Rosaria Mastropaolo