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ERIC Number: EJ936546
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 24
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
The Nation behind the Diary: Anne Frank and the Holocaust of the Dutch Jews
Foray, Jennifer L.
History Teacher, v44 n3 p329-352 May 2011
Since its first appearance in 1947, "The Diary of Anne Frank" has been translated into sixty-five different languages, including Welsh, Esperanto, and Faroese. Millions and perhaps even billions of readers, scattered throughout the globe and now spanning multiple generations, are familiar with the life and work of this young Jewish writer. Over the past sixty-plus years, numerous films and stage productions--including, controversially, a Spanish Anne Frank musical that opened in Madrid in early 2008--have brought the diary to ever-larger audiences. Nor does the global Anne Frank phenomenon show any signs of abating. Over the years, critics have denounced those who would universalize and contemporize the diary beyond recognition by replacing an account penned by a murdered Jewish girl with an uplifting tale of heroism and hope in a time of great privation. Still others have argued that the wartime situation of the Frank family was too far removed from the horrors inflicted upon European Jews for the diary to serve as a representative Holocaust document or an experiential text. While Anne Frank continues to serve as the most recognizable face of the Holocaust, hers is a generic European Holocaust, largely devoid of those particular circumstances that shaped her life, work, and ultimate fate. With this essay, the author aims to refocus attention on these historical particularities. She maintains that both the creation and contents of the diary should be read for what they do provide: a window into the Holocaust, as it was both implemented and experienced in the German-occupied Netherlands during the years of 1940-1945. She contends that before one moves "beyond Anne Frank," as the title of one recent work implores one to do, one must first return to the national setting in which the diarist was persecuted, protected, and, ultimately, betrayed. (Contains 54 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands