Was Anne Frank's Diary Written After the War?

Published: 1998-01-01

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Dear AnswerMan,

Is it true that the Diary of Anne Frank was written after WWII?



AnswerMan Replies:

That's a difficult call. What is known is that some portion of the diary was written in ballpoint pen, an item not invented until after the war. How much this impeaches the document we cannot say, but note in passing that the diary in any case has nothing to do with the detailed historiography of the time except in the broadest sense, being just a young girl's diary recording the sorts of things that young girls concern themselves with, albeit in wartime and as a fugitive. She was taken to the labor camps at Auschwitz, which, as German fortunes worsened in the East, became an overcrowded ingathering point for inmates from other camps. Along with thousands of others, many already in the grip of typhus and cholera, she was evacuated to the Belsen camp in Germany during the final months of the war, where she died of typhus, as did tens of thousands of her fellow inmates.

Her sad fate was shared by hundreds of thousands of others across Europe who had committed no crime nor offered any offense to deserve the lot visited on them. This was a human tragedy of immense proportion that inarguably occurred, and we see no point in concerning ourselves with the literal accuracy of her accounts or whether they were embellished by others. However, there are those who seek to use the writings for patently self-serving purposes, but their actions are quite another matter. And another subject, for that matter.

There's nothing wrong with taking the diary at face value, as it describes a reality. And doesn't mention gas chambers.

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Author(s): AnswerMan
Title: Was Anne Frank's Diary Written After the War?
Published: 1998-01-01
First posted on CODOH: June 29, 1998, 7 p.m.
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