Otto reads Anne's diary
Anne's Diary Papers
The diaries, notebooks, and the loose sheets with Anne's notes and corrections.
Otto first mentions the diary to his mother in a letter dated August 22, 1945: "As luck would have it, Miep was able to rescue a photo album and Anne's diary. I didn't have the strength to read it." Though a month later, Otto has begun reading Anne's diary. He writes to his mother: "I cannot put down Anne's diary. It is so unbelievably engrossing, I will never give up control of the diary because there are too many things in it that nobody should read. But I will make a selection."
"Depths of her thoughts and feelings"
At the end of the 1960s, Otto Frank recalls how he felt when he started to read the diary that first time: "I began to read slowly, only a few pages each day, more would have been impossible, as I was overwhelmed by painful memories. For me, it was a revelation. There, was revealed a completely different Anne to the child that I had lost. I had no idea of the depths of her thoughts and feelings."
"So much strength from her faith"
"I had never imagined how intensely Anne had occupied her mind with the problem of Jewish suffering over the centuries, and the power she had gained through her belief in God, this was a surprise to me. I remember that Anne expressed little interest in celebrating the Jewish holidays, or in the Sabbath prayers if Fritz Pfeffer recited these on Friday evenings. Then she just stood there silently. I think she felt little for the religious aspects of Judaism, but was more interested in the ethics."
"An interest in nature"
“How could I have known how much it meant for her to see a patch of blue sky, to observe the flying seagulls, or how important that chestnut tree was to her, when she had never shown an interest in nature before. But once she felt like a caged bird, how she longed for it. Even just the thought of the open air gave her comfort, but she kept all these feelings to herself.”
The chestnut tree
Anne could see this chestnut tree from the attic.
"I was very saddened sometimes to read how harshly Anne wrote about her mother. In her rage over some kind of conflict she let her feelings out without restraint. It hurt to read how often Anne had judged wrongly her mother's views. But I was relieved to read in later entries that Anne realized that it was sometimes her fault that she frequently didn't get on with her mother. She even regretted what she had written."
“Of course we all knew that Anne kept a diary. Sometimes she read us funny episodes and stories… She even repeatedly asked Johannes Kleiman if he wouldn’t mind sending one of her stories to a magazine. That’s how much she wanted to publish something. Though she never read us anything about herself. And so we never knew how intense her personal development was; and of all of us, she was the most self-critical.”