Reviews: The Diary Of A Young Girl

The human face of The Holocaust

The Holocaust. Six million "undesirables" wiped out by shooting, gassing, starvation, disease and a myriad of other ways. The human mind is simply not equipped to deal with this kind of number. We are, after all, descendents of hunter-gatherer tribes of maybe a couple of hundred individuals - we're simply not, evolutionally speaking, equipped to comprehend the deliberately caused deaths of six million people in the name of some cataclysmically misguided doctrine of racial purity. There is a reason "a million is a statistic".

This is why this book is so important - Anne and her fellow occupants of The Secret Annexe make the The Holocaust real to the reader. It's impossible to feel empathy for six million people but everyone can identify with Anne's feelings, thoughts and ambitions and her sheer humanity with all of her strengths and flaws. The overriding message of the book is that everyone is important - every single one of the six million victims was a person with their own dreams, dislikes, goals, hates, ambitions and loves and the tragedy of The Holocaust is that none of them got to realise their potential.

The other reason this book is so important is that it's such a potent weapon against those who would diminish, deny or try to rewrite the history of The Holocaust - a testament to just what was lost in that horror.

As Rod Serling puts it so much better than I can: "All the Dachaus must remain standing. The Dachaus, the Belsens, the Buchenwalds, the Auschwitzes all of them. They must remain standing because they are a monument to a moment in time when some men decided to turn the Earth into a graveyard. Into it they shoveled all of their reason, their logic, their knowledge, but worst of all, their conscience. And the moment we forget this, the moment we cease to be haunted by its remembrance, then we become the gravediggers. "

So Sad

What can you say, it's a Holocaust diary. And my grandmother sent me a copy of it when I was about 8.

There was something very wrong with that woman, but that's another story.