Stories of our century: “The diary of Anne Frank”

Auschwitz Concentration Camp (© Wikimedia Commons)

In 1999, Radio Netherlands broadcast a series of 12 programmes telling the story of the 20th century through famous books. In each programme, a guest speaker gives us the historical background behind the story in the book and tells us about the actual events that inspired it.

“The Diary of Anne Frank” is the true story of a young Jewish girl living in hiding in the secret annex of a canal house in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. While living in the annex, Anne Frank kept a diary from June 14, 1942 to August 1, 1944, before her family was found, deported and killed in concentration camps. Her father Otto survived and so did the diary, which he had published in Dutch in 1947. An English translation appeared in 1952 and now available in some sixty languages, people around the world can read this moving account of the dreams and fears of a teenager hoping to survive one of the darkest chapters of human history.

The guest speakers are David Barnaouw, historian at the National Institute for War Documentation in Amsterdam, and Gerhard Hirschfeld of the Stuttgart Library of Contemporary History.

Producer: Jonathan Groubert

Broadcast: 1999