Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe may be considered a one of the best books in world literature. However, it is full of materials that are capable of triggering a trauma or hurtful memories in some readers. It is an example of a book whose publishers should warn readers that it contains some disturbing content. Another book that falls into that category is The Diary of Anne Frank. This essay analyses probably the most well-known personal explanation of the Holocaust and explains why it is likely to cause disturbing memories and trauma in those who read it.
The Diary of Anne Frank is neither a work of fiction nor a story of imagination. It is the diary kept by Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl. The diary kept a record of how Anne was forced to hide for two long years from the Nazi persecution of Jews during the Second World War. Together with members of her family and some friends, Anne hid in a set of rooms found at the top of an abandoned warehouse in the Dutch city of Amsterdam, obscured behind a bookcase and a hidden door. During the day, they had to remain very silent when people worked in the warehouse and offices below. The only time they could move freely was during the night although they could not turn on the lights or give any indication that the rooms were inhabited. Anne recorded the events of what happened during that entire time in the diary that she had been given as a birthday gift by her father. She also recorded her thoughts, feelings and emotions.
What makes the book likely to be disturbing to readers is the fact that it is a vividly chilling description of what it felt like to be a Jew during the Holocaust. It is likely to trigger memories of a time when the Nazis were trying to kill each and every Jew in Europe. Afterwards, Anne and her colleagues were captured and sent to a concentration camp. To make matters worse, she did not survive the camp she was sent to. Of the eight people who were hiding at the apartment, only her father survived. Two women who worked at the offices below the apartment collected papers making up Annes diary. The same women supplied the hiding group with food and other amenities. The documents had been left scattered on the floor by Nazi soldiers. After Annes father went back after the war, the women handed him the diary, and he later published it. Hence, although Anne died, her spirit still lives on through The Diary of Anne Frank, far more than any blind hatred or ruthless force.
The Diary should be thought of as a brilliant narrative that highlights the Second World War and anti-Semitism. It is a wonderfully written first-person account of young girls change from a somehow naive child to an insightful young woman. Readers should not take it as an reminder of the genocide now known as the Holocaust. They should not dwell so much on what was going on outside the house where Anne and the others hid from the Nazi butchers for two years.
In conclusion, it is a fact that The Diary of Anne Frank is an excellent way of teaching students about the genocide. However, there is no denying that it is traumatic for survivors to talk about genocide, war, and death. The Diary is likely to trigger trauma for people who went through the Holocaust, or those who lost loved ones during the war.
Frank, Anne. The Diary of Anne Frank. New York: Hamilton Books. 2009. Print.
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