Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl hiding out in Nazi-occupied Holland whose diary came to serve as a symbol of the Holocaust, writes her final entry three days before she and her family are arrested and placed in concentration camps.
Frank, 15 at the time, received the diary on her 13th birthday, writing in it faithfully during the two years she and seven others (including her parents, Otto and Edith, and sister, Margot; her father’s business associate Hermann van Pels, his wife, Auguste, and son, Peter; and Fritz Pfeffer, the dentist of Otto Frank’s secretary) lived in a secret annex behind her father’s business in Amsterdam during World War II.
In her final entry, Frank wrote of how others perceive her, describing herself as “a bundle of contradictions.” She wrote:
“As I’ve told you many times, I’m split in two. One side contains my exuberant cheerfulness, my flippancy, my joy in life and, above all, my ability to appreciate the lighter side of things. By that I mean not finding anything wrong with flirtations, a kiss, an embrace, an off-color joke. This side of me is usually lying in wait to ambush the other one, which is much purer, deeper and finer. ….”
She continued that what she says is not what she feels, which is why, in her words, she had a reputation for being “boy-crazy as well as a flirt, a smart aleck and a reader of romances.”
“The happy-go-lucky Anne laughs, gives a flippant reply, shrugs her shoulders and pretends she doesn’t give a darn. The quiet Anne reacts in just the opposite way. If I’m being completely honest, I’ll have to admit that it does matter to me, that I’m trying very hard to change myself, but that I'm always up against a more powerful enemy.”
Of the eight prisoners, Otto Frank was the only survivor. Anne Frank died in 1945 from typhus at Germany’s Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Her diary was published by her father in 1947; it has since become a worldwide bestseller.