On August 1, 1944, Anne Frank made the last entry in her famous diary. It's amazing to see how the simple writings of a young girl have stood the test of time and inspired millions of people over the years.
Born on June 12, 1929, Anne Frank was a German teenager whose family was forced into hiding in the Netherlands when Hitler's Nazi party took over Germany. The members of Anne's family feared for their lives because they were Jewish.
The Nazis persecuted Jews during their time in power. From 1933 through 1945, the Nazis systematically persecuted and killed millions of Jews. This dark period of history is known as the Holocaust.
In March 1945, Anne Frank died of typhus in a concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen. She was only 15 years old.
On her 13th birthday, Anne received a diary as a present. Throughout the time her family was in hiding, Anne wrote in her diary. Her writings revealed a lot about the horrors of war and the ordinary struggles of a teenager during World War II.
Miep Gies, one of the people who had helped her family while they were in hiding, saved Anne's diary. She gave it to Otto Frank, Anne's father, when he returned from the concentration camps.
Otto published Anne's diary in 1947. Since then, it has been translated into more than 60 different languages and has become one of the most widely read books in the world. It was published in English in 1952 with the title The Diary of a Young Girl.
At first, Anne wrote her diary only for herself. Writing became a way for her to express the emotions she felt but could hardly express while her family was hiding from the Nazis.
One day in 1944, Anne heard a radio announcement from Gerrit Bolkestein, a Dutch government official. He said that he hoped one day to publish eyewitness accounts, such as letters and diaries, of the suffering caused by the Nazis.
Anne decided that she would publish a book based on her diary after the war. Thanks to Miep Gies, Otto was able to fulfill her dream when Anne did not survive the war.
Although many diaries are personal daily reflections meant to be kept secret, diaries often become the source of information for memoirs, autobiographies and biographies. Even though diary entries can sometimes seem uninteresting — for example, observations about the weather, feelings or everyday events — such entries can later provide historians with priceless glimpses into the past.
Today, people still write in diaries every day. Of course, with modern technology, putting pen to paper can sometimes seem old-fashioned.
As times change, today's blogs and posts on social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, might become the diary entries of tomorrow! Since what you post online is out there for everyone to see, you might want to stick to pen and paper if you want to keep your diary a secret!