FROM MIGHTY GIRL: Today in Mighty Girl history, we remember Anne Frank on what would have been her 85th birthday. Anne’s posthumously published diary has touched the hearts of millions with her experiences of hiding during the Holocaust of WWII. Her early life, however was not much different than that of many children. Born in Germany in 1929, Anne lived with her family, attended school, and was known for being energetic and outgoing.
In 1942, all that would change, as the Jewish Frank family was targeted during the anti-Semitic reign of Hitler and the Nazi Party. At 13 years of age, Anne joined her older sister and parents in hiding in what she called “The Secret Annex” — hidden rooms within her father’s office building in Amsterdam. Before long, the Frank family would be joined by four Dutch Jews, similarly trying to escape persecution.
These eight individuals spent the next two years sharing a space of approximately 500 square feet — 24/7, with no visits out of doors. During that time, Anne kept a detailed diary of her life, including her emotional and physical development, and her observations about the people within the Annex as well as the political climate outside. Remarkable on many levels, Anne was also extraordinary for her strong belief in the essential goodness of humanity — a belief that comes across in her writing including in her famous statement that “despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.”
Anne’s diary survived the ordeal, although Anne did not. Tragically, she died in a concentration camp just before the war’s end; she would never have a chance to discover how profoundly affecting her words would be to millions of people around the world. The diary of Anne Frank has been translated into more than 70 languages, transformed into plays and films, and has educated many about the realities of a genocide through the eyes of a young girl. Eleanor Roosevelt famously called her diary “one of the wisest and most moving commentaries on war and its impact on human beings that I have ever read.”