The book A Look at the Diary of a Young Girl is drawn from the diary of a young 13 years old Jewish girl by the name Anne Frank. She and her family experienced the Second World War while in the Netherlands where they had to hide from the bloody conquest of the Nazis. The book narrates her plight and the pain of people like her during that period. Fundamentally, the piece of literature is an accurate representation of the impact of racial segregation.
At the beginning, book narrates the girl’s normal life where she interacts with friends, including Harry and Fanny, go to school, and participates in social events such as celebrating her birthday. Unfortunately, this normalcy is cut short when the Germans start capturing innocent people for no credible reasons, forcing others into Holland as expatriates. The most affected people are the Jews. For this reason, Anne’s father Otto has to figure out a secret hiding place the ‘Secret Annex’ for his daughter and the entire family (Goodrich and Albert 9-10). Anne tells the tale of how the family endures every day’s hardship in the hideout, and the fear they have to overcome. She tells about the bombs and the massive killing of innocent people in Africa and Russia. She feels that it goes well with the allies.
In the course of the war, Germany imposes many anti-human measures, for instance, flooding the streets, bombing, and gassing, which affect innocent children and women negatively. Most of the time, the emigrants would go for days in the cold because they lacked coal for fear of losing their lives to the Germans (Goodrich and Albert 71) Anne and her family cannot even risk going to the toilet, so her father finds a pot that they all use as a toilet. The people in the annex and the neighborhood are afraid of leaving their houses because of the outrageous theft in Holland. Germans steal people from other races together with their belongings. From the mentioned circumstances and others described in the book, it is evident that the Jews suffered a lot during that period.
The segregation of the Jews is evident when they are forced to put on yellow stars, give away their bicycles and are prohibited from driving. Curfews are imposed on them such that they are not allowed to be outdoors after eight o’clock. They are only allowed to shop in shops that bear the banner ‘Jewish Shop.’ Additionally, they are barred from participating in any public sports or attend Christian churches. They are not to attend other schools but the Jewish ones. Jewish people are taken away to Westerbork in large numbers and treated mercilessly by the Gestapo. At Westerbork, Jews are housed together in crowded rooms. They share limited washrooms and bedrooms. As a result, immorality fills the area leaving young girls and women unwillingly pregnant. In that place, Jews are regarded as prisoners and treated worse than death-sentenced criminals.
The book is about the plight of Jews at the hands of Germans during the Second World War. The pain of the loss of many innocent people, rape, and mercilessness of the Germans during the war are a testament to the hardships that Jews encountered. It is unfortunate that young school children such as Anne Frank had to witness these cruelties in person. Were it not for this diary, probably some important details of the ordeal of Jews would not have been documented. The book is an excellent reminder of the ills of war hence the need to avoid it as much as possible.
Goodrich, Frances, and Albert Hackett. The Diary of Anne Frank. Dramatists Play Service, Inc., 1958.