Happy Belated Birthday, Anne!

In honor of an amazing girl, and the fact that her words have brought insight and understanding to millions of people worldwide, I post about Anne Frank on or near her birthday each year. Anne’s words provided companionship and comfort for her and awareness and compassion to others. I truly believe journaling and reading change lives, and will be sharing more about them in the weeks ahead, but for now, here is my annual post in honor of Anne Frank. (Please check out the new video links I’ve added of Anne’s father and the woman who helped hide the family.)

Anne Frank’s birthday was June 12. Like many teenage girls, Anne was wonderfully caring and compassionate, and was trying to deal with the confusing and conflicting feelings of youth. The setting in which she recorded her thoughts makes them all the more poignant and profound.

Anne was born in 1929 in Frankfort, Germany. Her family emigrated to the Amsterdam in 1933, where they later became an important part of world history. On her 13th birthday, Anne received a diary from her father, and what she choose to write changed the world.

Had she lived, Anne would be 84 this year. If circumstances had been dramatically different, Anne might still be with us, enjoying life, visiting family and friends, traveling, and maybe writing and lecturing. In today’s world, she would not seem that old. Her very short life – she died at 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp as the result of simply being Jewish – was not lived that long ago. The style of her red and white plaid diary is not really out-of-date, and thankfully, because of the words she placed on the pages of that journal, Anne and her story are still with us.

Anne’s youthful, simple, heartfelt thoughts have touched millions of people. Words can do that – the spoken ones, for better or for worst, the written ones for generations to see. They help the writers and the readers understand their lives, explore their thoughts, the situations surrounding them, and the world.

I think the value of words, including those of children, can never be underestimated.

Perhaps this year, you can buy a journal for your daughter, son, niece, nephew, granddaughter, grandson, or the kid next door. Let them know you value who they are and what they have to say. And, maybe you can tell them about Anne, and the gift her father gave her. The process of writing may change their lives and the generations that follow them.

If you would like to learn more about Anne, I’ve listed some interesting links you might enjoy:

The only film of Anne.

Miep Gies, Mr. Frank’s office assistant and one of the brave people, who helped hide Anne’s family, died in January 2010. She was 100. I really did not know much about Ms. Gies, this article and these videos, share more about her. (For an English translation of the videos: hit the “CC” button at the bottom of the video screen, and select the captions in English.)

Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl was first published in Amsterdam in 1947, and in America in 1952. By the early 1960’s the book was part of school curriculums throughout the U.S. There’s much more about Anne at the Anne Frank Foundation.

Happy Belated Birthday, Anne, and thank you. Because of your words our world is richer, and I hope wiser.

And, Happy Father’s Day to your father Otto Frank, who transcribed and shared your dairy, and then spent the rest of his life working for human rights, unity, and peace and answering the letters of people, who read your diary. Anne’s father, was the only member of his family, who survived the concentration camps. Otto Frank passed away on August 19, 1980. This video gives great insight into his life, and in this 1967 television interview Mr. Frank shares how he felt reading Anne’s diary and an important message for all parents. 

“Deep thoughts . . seriousness, especially her self-criticisms . . . It was quite a different Anna, than I had known as my daughter.  . . and, my conclusion is, as I had been in very, very good terms with Anne, most parents don’t know really their children . . .” Otto Frank

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Anne’s Birthday

I cannot believe I did it again, I forgot to post about Anne Frank before her birthday, June 12. Anne was a wonderfully confused and caring girl, born in 1929 in Frankfort, Germany, who on her 13th birthday received a diary from her father. Her family emigrated to the Amsterdam in 1933, where they later became an important part of world history.

Had she lived, Anne would be 82 this year. If circumstances had been dramatically different, Anne might still be with us, enjoying life, visiting family and friends, traveling, and maybe writing and lecturing. In today’s world, she would not seem that old. Her very short life – she died at 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp as the result of simply being Jewish  – was not lived that long ago. The style of her red and white plaid diary is not really out-of-date, and thankfully, because of the words she placed on the pages of that journal, Anne and her story are still with us.

Anne’s youthful, simple, heartfelt thoughts have touched millions of people. Words can do that – the spoken ones, for better or for worst, the written ones  for generations to see. They help writers understand their lives, explore their thoughts, the situations surrounding them, and the world.

What I meant to say on June 12, was I really think the value of words, including those of young children, can never be underestimated.

Perhaps this year, you can buy a journal for your daughter, son, niece, nephew, granddaughter, grandson, or the kid next door. Perhaps you can sit with them and tell them you value who they are and what they have to say. Perhaps, you can tell them about Anne, and the gift her father gave her.

The process of writing may change their lives, and the generations that exist with and follow them.

If you would like to read more about Anne, I’ve listed some links I found interesting:

The only film of Anne.

Miep Gies, Mr. Frank’s office assistant and one of the brave people, who helped hide Anne’s family, died last January, she was 100.  I really did not know much about Ms. Gies, this link shares a bit about her: I loved it.

Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl, if, somehow, you’ve missed it.

Happy Belated Birthday, Anne, and thank you. Because of your words our world is richer, and I hope wiser.

PS. I shared a version of this post last year on my blog. My goal is to post about Anne every year around her birthday to honor her words, to share the practice of journaling and to encourage you to motivate children – of all ages – to begin putting their thoughts, desires and dreams on paper.

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Happy Belated Birthday

I cannot believe I forgot to post about this on Friday!   

Saturday, June 12 was Anne Frank’s birthday, the little girl, who on her 13th birthday received a diary from her father, was born in 1929.  Had she lived, Anne would be 81.  She would still be young enough to be enjoying life – visiting family and friends, traveling, lecturing – living.    

She would not be that old – her short life was not lived that long ago.   

Even the style of her red and white diary does not look that out-dated.   

Anne Frank and her diary.

 

Anne’s youthful, simple, heartfelt words have touched millions of people.    

Words do that – the spoken ones, for better or for worst, the written words, for generations to see.     

What I meant to say on Friday, is I really think the value of words, including those of young children, can never be underestimated.    

Perhaps during the next year, you could buy an old-fashioned journal for your daughter, son, niece, nephew, granddaughter, grandson, or the kid next door, or the one you babysit for. Perhaps you can sit with them and tell them you value who they are and what they have to say. Perhaps, if they are old enough, you can tell them about Anne, and the gift her father gave her.   

The process of writing can change their lives, and maybe ours.   

Here are some links about Anne that I found interesting:    

The only film of Anne.   

Miep Gies, Mr. Frank’s office assistant and one of the brave people, who helped hide Anne’s family, died this January, she was 100.  I really did not know much about Ms. Gies, this link shares a bit about her: I loved it.   

The book, in case, somehow, you missed it.  

Happy Belated Birthday, Anne.

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