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Together with her parents and her sister, Margot, the Van Daan family (consisting of a husband, a wife, and a son, Peter, two years older than Anne) and, later on, an elderly dentist named Mr.
Anne went to school, had girl friends and boyfriends, went to parties and to ice-cream parlors, rode her bike, and chattered (an understatement) in class.
In fact, Anne chattered so much that, as a punishment for her talkativeness, she had to write several essays on the subject of "A Chatterbox." Much of this chatty quality of hers, however, spills over onto the pages of her diary, where we often feel as if she is a good friend who is confiding in us.
In some cases, these people were made to work as slaves before they were killed so that the Germans could benefit as much as possible from their labor.
To implement this scheme, the Germans established huge "concentration camps," or death camps, throughout Europe.
She loved life and laughter, was interested in history and movie stars, Greek mythology, and cats, writing, and boys.
In the few entries which she wrote before the family went into hiding, we discover something of the world of a child growing up in Holland in 1942.After four years of bitter fighting, Germany was defeated, the Kaiser fled to Holland, and a peace treaty, the Treaty of Versailles, was drawn up.This stripped Germany of its foreign colonies, imposed heavy economic penalties on the country in the form of fines and disarmament, and it changed many of the borders of the countries of Europe.How could huge "factories of death," manned by thousands of people, systematically kill off millions of people in the midst of inhabited areas without anyone protesting or even knowing what was happening?How could Hitler, a homicidal maniac, become the ruler of a country whose civilization had produced some of the world's greatest thinkers, writers, composers, and statesmen?Throughout World War II, the Nazis devoted considerable thought, equipment, and manpower to the wholesale slaughter of Europe's Jewish population, and by the time the war had ended, they had succeeded in killing six million of them, two-thirds of the total number of Jews in the world.How could it come about that one nation regarded itself as racially superior to another, to the extent that it felt that it was its right and its duty to kill all the members of that other nation?During the day, when people worked in the office and in the warehouse below, Anne and the others had to keep very quiet, but at night they could move around more freely, though of course they could not turn on any lights nor show in any way that the house was inhabited. It is an amusing, enlightening, and often moving account of the process of adolescence, as Anne describes her thoughts and feelings about herself and the people around her, the world at large, and life in general.It is an accurate record of the way a young girl grows up and matures, in the very special circumstances in which Anne found herself throughout the two years during which she was in hiding.In the mid-nineteenth century, Bismarck (the Chancellor of Prussia, the largest German state) made it his objective to unify the various German states.This he achieved by judicious policies, arranging marriages between various royal families and obtaining treaties which were mutually beneficial to the parties concerned.