The Legacy of Anne Frank Lives On


Anne Frank Street Art by  TIA, CC
Anne Frank!  Street art photo by TIA, CC

Today marks Anne Frank’s 85th birthday. I don’t know about you, but that fact blows my mind. Anne Frank, had she survived the Holocaust, would have been a couple years older than my dad. If she’d had children, they would be my generation.

I read the book when I was in ninth grade at the recommendation of my friend Lisa, my favourite book pimp. Of course, at the tender age of 14, I didn’t have a deep understanding of what Anne’s tragically short life and indescribably horrible death meant.  I remember the impact of the book more than the actual content.

Anne’s Legacy to Me

Shortly after reading Anne Frank’s  The Diary of a Young Girl, I became a life-long journaller, and it was a life-saving decision. Seriously–my diaries were my lifeline in those angst ridden adolescent years. I chronicled every insecurity and indiscretion, analysed every crush and heartache…  I cringe to think what dreadful content I’d find…if I still had them.

Ah, yes. Hard to believe, but I let those babies slip out of my hand. One of the costs of living the ex-pat life is being out of the country when your childhood bedroom is transformed into a guest room. My library of children’s classics (including a gazillion Nancy Drews), my artwork, scrapbooks and journals all went to the town dump. Gulp! Thank goodness one volume of my diary was written mostly in Italian!

I still remember the some of the covers. The first one was a Hallmark diary with a key. The next was a gift from my Aunt Joy. It had an olive-green corduroy cover. My Aunt Mim gave me a beautiful gold  one. (That’s the one I used in Italy). Nowadays I use Moleskine cahiers and I keep a digital diary (on an app called Maxjournal).

Anne’s diary had a red and white checked fabric cover with a brass lock. It was really an autograph book but she wanted it for a journal. Here’s a picture of her diary from the Anne Frank museum in Amsterdam. My diaries have lots of glued in bits too!

Dairy by Heather Cowper
Dairy by Heather Cowper, CC


Reading The Diary of a Young Girl also ignited a passion for Jewish literature (or books about Jewish people). Here are a few I highly recommend:

I read that Anne decided she wanted to be journalist so she could “live on.” Here are the words she entered in her diary on 5 April, 1944, just over seventy years ago:

“I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that’s why I’m so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that’s inside me!”

3 Thoughts

  1. Wow! I’ve only ever known u as an adult, so it’s kinda weird reading about u as a kid!! Could u really write in Italian? Do u still know the language? Either way, it’s pretty impressive!!
    Was ur Aunt Joy full of joy? This is so weird…I’ve only ever heard about ur brother and Dad…whoaaa…u actually have a life outside of school! So cool! See u Tuesday?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey there HP Fanatic, Yes, I know it’s hard to visualise me as a kid, but I assure you I was one. My aunts are all gracious, intelligent women. I picked up Italian as an exchange student. It’s pretty rusty these days… I will see you Tuesday. –Mrs S


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