The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is a memorial, not just to one girl, or her family, but to all Jews and humanity, who endured the macabre onslaught of the Nazis, in the 1930s and 1940s. A visit to the Dutch capital would be incomplete without a two-hour walk up, down, and through the Anne Frank House. It is now a tourist ‘must-visit’ place.
For folks who may not know who Anne Frank was — Anne was a German Jew who came to Amsterdam with her family after the Third Reich came to power in Germany. It was in the Anne Frank House she sought refuge, hiding with her family, lest the Nazis capture and take them away to concentration camps.
Anne succumbed in her early teens  in a concentration camp due to typhoid — just towards the end of the Second World War.
Anne kept a diary all through her sojourn in what is now the Anne Frank House. Courtesy of her father, Otto Frank, who admitted that he was amazed to note from her diary entries that a little girl in her early teens could exhibit such profundity of thought, the diary was published.
This writer, during a trip to Amsterdam, visited the Anne Frank House and also purchased a copy of the book — Anne Frank, The Diary of A Young Girl — the Definitive 60th Anniversary Edition, to be precise.
I just finished re-reading this book and would like to share, with readers of The Integrative Post, some insightful quotes from Anne’s diary entries. I would like to leave you all with the quotes. No interpreting, or explaining, with reference to the context, in which she made her perceptive entries.
I hope they will all prompt you to get a copy of the book and read it from cover to cover.
- Why are millions spent on war every day, and not a penny is available for medical purposes and the poor?
- Why do people have to starve when mountains of food are rotting away in other parts of the world?
- Paper has more patience than people.
- Love is understanding someone, caring for him/her, and sharing his/her joys and sorrows.
- An empty day, though clear and bright, is just as dark as any night.
- Every day I feel myself maturing. I feel the beauty of Nature and the goodness of people around me.
- Anyone who deliberately causes pain to someone they say they love, is despicable, the lowest of the low.
- What is done cannot be undone; but at least one can keep it from happening again.
- Where there is hope, there is life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.
- I know my various faults and shortcomings better than anyone else. But there is one difference. I also know that I want to change, will change, and already have changed greatly.
- Looking at the sky, the sun, the clouds and stars makes me feel hopeful. It is much better medicine than valerian or bromide. Nature makes me feel humble and face every blow with courage.
- Nature is one thing for which there is no substitute.
- One of the many things that has bothered me is why women have been, and still are, thought to be inferior to men.
- Soldiers and war heroes are honoured and commemorated…. but how many people look upon women also as soldiers?
- What I condemn are the system of values and the men who do not acknowledge how great, difficult and ultimately beautiful women’s share in society is.
- Laugh at everything and forget everybody else… this may sound egotistical, but it is the only cure for those suffering from self-pity.
- I find it difficult to understand how anyone could say, ‘I am weak’, and stay that way. If you know that about yourself, must not you fight it and develop your character?
- It is difficult to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and find the right answer.
- It is hard enough standing on your own two feet, but when you also have to remain true to your character and soul, it is harder still.
- We have reasons to hope for great happiness, but we have to earn it. And that is something one cannot achieve by taking the easy way out.
- Laziness may look inviting, but it is only work that gives you true satisfaction.
- How noble and good everyone could be, if at the end of every day, they were to review their own behaviour and weigh up their rights and wrongs. They would automatically try to do better at the beginning of the next day and would surely accomplish a great deal in life.
- Parents can only advise their children and point them in the right children. Children have to raise themselves.
- When I first realised that I am capable of withstanding burdens, I was glad, as that means that I can more easily withstand the blows life has in store for me.
- I have cured myself by holding my behaviour up to the light and looking at what I was doing wrong.
- It is twice as hard for young people than for adults to hold on to their opinions at a time when ideals are being shattered and destroyed and when the worst side of human nature predominates and when everyone has come to doubt truth, justice and God…I cling to my ideals, for I still believe, that despite everything, people are still good at heart.
- When I look up at the sky, I feel that everything will change for the better, this cruelty will end, peace and tranquillity will return once more.
- I have to hold on to my ideals. The day will come, when I will be able to realise them.
LESSONS FOR LIFE
Teenagers today can learn a great deal from the way Anne lived, loved and laughed through the years of her brief [albeit tragic] adolescent life. What’s more, one does not really need the spiritual might of a Swami Vivekananda to inspire the youth. What a little girl left behind through her thoughts in a diary can have just as lasting, profound influence on the way one thinks, feels and conducts oneself in life.