The Diary of Anne Frank

Anne Frank’s Diary, Social Media, and How We Record History

2020 was a tumultuous year. Americans faced not only a global pandemic but a fight against police brutality and a presidential election where the results would unarguably determine what the next four years would yield. We captured this past year through Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook because, at some point, someone somewhere told us to document the year that could change the course of history. I’m sure we have all heard the phrase “history repeats itself.” A more modern take of this statement comes from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton: “History has its eyes on you.” It may seem like we are merely players in a big game where everyone is fighting and no one is winning. However, collectively we are the ones determining the fates of our future, regardless of if we get to see them. Seventy-nine years ago on this day, Anne Frank began writing in her diary because a man on the radio said he would collect eye-witness accounts of the Nazi occupation. And all Anne wanted to be was a published writer. Little did she know that her decision to write would change the world.

IMAGE VIA ANNEFRANK.ORG

For much of World War II, the Nazi Party claimed that the Allies and Jewish people were spreading vicious lies about the far-right party. They used propaganda to convince the average person that the Nazi ideals were the only way to “make Germany great again.” Ultimately, if you weren’t 100 percent with the Nazi Party, you were against them. Their intimidation tactics easily allowed them to disguise the genocide of European Jewish people as a “resettling” of those who were against the Nazi Party. Because people were afraid for their lives, Hitler and his regime could simply hide everything they were doing from the outside world.

 

 

While there were attempts to stop Hitler from the inside, it wasn’t until the war ended when Allies discovered the truth behind Nazi Germany. Even then, documents were falsified, hidden, and destroyed to cover up any evidence of what the Nazis had done. Truly, the concentration camps are the main pieces of evidence of the genocide that happened across Europe. From an outsider’s point of view, this begged the question: how did a popular political party murder six million Jewish people and countless others who were deemed “unfit” for Germany? From America’s standpoint, there are arguments that the infamous 1930s Great Depression was bigger news than what was happening in Europe at the time. There is speculation that Americans couldn’t even comprehend what genocide meant in regards to the sheer amount of people who were being murdered, and this thought is what led to the US denying entry to refugees who were lucky enough to escape the Nazis. Additionally, the US only joined the Allies in WWII after the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service attacked Pearl Harbor because until then, they didn’t want to get involved in foreign affairs.

 

 

This is where Anne Frank’s diary plays an important role in history. After she heard the call over the radio for civilian documents about Nazi occupation, she immediately turned her birthday gift into a piece appropriate for publication. She edited, added, and removed various sections to emphasize how the occupation affected her family. Following the removal of the Frank family from their hiding place, Miep, a family friend, found and retained Anne’s diary until she could return it at the end of the war. When Otto Frank, Anne’s father, became the sole survivor of the Frank family, Miep gave the diary to him as preservation of his daughter’s memory. After pouring over Anne’s entries, Frank found a publisher to replicate the diary and share the true horrors of Nazi occupation with the world. In 1947, Anne’s diary was published as The Diary of a Young Girl.

IMAGE VIA AMAZON

To this day, we rely on civilian documentation to record both inspiring and devastating world events. Most recently, Darnella Fraizer’s recording of Derek Chauvin murdering George Floyd became the critical piece of evidence that led to Chauvin’s damning conviction. It even won her an honorary Pulitzer Prize. What we may refer to as “receipts” are actually our truths behind both our private and public lives. And these are truths that hold governments and people in power accountable so that history doesn’t repeat itself. Social media can be a hell-hole, but what it has given us is a means of documentation. Anne can’t have predicted what her diary would become. But in the end, its contents changed world history. So, if you ever think that what you are writing, sharing, capturing, or recording isn’t important, you are absolutely wrong. You never know how your story will impact the world.

FEATURED IMAGE VIA ANNEFRANK.ORG

7 Popular Songs Inspired by Books

There’s more than you might think! Here are 7 popular songs inspired by books!

 

 

1. Panic! At the DIsco, “Time to Dance”

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwT83GYB7kA]

 

“Time to Dance” was inspired by Chuck Palahniuk’s Invisible Monsters. The novel follows an unnamed ex-model who has been left disfigured by a gunshot to the face, as she attempts to navigate through the new life she’s left with.

Her friend, Brandy, is a trans woman seeking a sex change operation, and her presence serves as a symbol self-love and acceptance.

Things get more complicated than this, but I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read it.

Brendon Urie and Ryan Ross (a former member of Panic! At the Disco), are both big fans of Palahniuk’s work, and many song titles off the album A Fever you Can’t Sweat Out can be linked back to the author’s body of work.

“Well, she’s not bleeding on the ballroom floor/Just for the attention/’Cause that’s just ridiculously odd/Well, she sure is gonna get it/Here’s the setting: Fashion magazines line the walls/Now, the walls line the bullet holes”

 

 

2. David Bowie, “1984”

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2xfpMMQIJ8]

 

You’ll never guess what this ones about.

1984 is a George Orwell classic about a dystopian future where all of Europe has been combined into Oceania, a country ruled by their totalitarian government. Citizens of Oceania are hunted down by the Thought Police, who punish those who show signs of individuality or independent thinking.

David Bowie initially intended to write a musical based on the novel, though it was never finished, and several of the musical’s songs were instead included on Bowie’s eighth album Diamond Dogs.

“Someday they won’t let you, now you must agree/The times are a-telling and the changing isn’t free/You’ve read it in the tea leaves, and the tracks are on TV/Beware the savage jaw of 1984”

 

3. Bruce Springsteen, “The Ghost of Tom Joad”

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qi0kWe2ixzU]

 

“The Ghost of Tom Joad” is a folk song about the character of the same name from John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wratha novel set in the Great Depression. The plot focuses on Tom and his family as they travel from Oklahoma to California in search of work after their farm has been repossessed. Once in California, Tom realizes that the state is flooded with people all looking for jobs, and that actual positions are both scarce and brutal work.

Much of Bruce Springsteen’s music, including “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” is centered around what it’s like to be working class under American capitalism, which is the primary theme in The Grapes of Wrath.

“You got a one-way ticket to promised land/You got a hole in your belly and a gun in your hand/Sleeping on a pillow of solid rock/Bathing in the city’s aqueduct”

 

4. Led Zeppelin, “Ramble On”

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oWfHcl94k4]

 

“Ramble On” takes a lot of inspiration from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings series. The song describes the pain of having the girl you love taken from you, and the journey one has to go on to find their one true love. Robert Plant equates the feeling to the journey Sam and Frodo take to find and destroy the One Ring in the fantasy epic.

The title “Ramble On” refers to the fact that in both Lord of The Rings and in real life, the only option is to persevere towards that finish line despite how emotionally taxing the journey may be.

“‘Twas in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair/But Gollum, and the evil one/Crept up and slipped away with her, her, her, yeah/Ah, there’s nothing I can do now/I guess I’ll keep on ramblin'”

 

 

5. Neutral Milk Hotel, “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea”

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD6_QXwKesU]

 

This connection isn’t totally confirmed, but many fans believe that “In The Aeroplane Over The Sea” is about Anne Frank’s The Diary of A Young Girl. Jeff Mangum, the lead singer of Neutral Milk Hotel, has spoken about the emotional impact that Frank’s diary has had on him several times.

In this track specifically Mangum describes a connection he feels to Frank’s writing, and meditates on how wonderful it is to be born on the same earth as someone who has had such a positive impact on the world.

“What a curious life/We have found here tonight/There is music that sounds from the street/There are lights in the clouds/Anna’s ghost all around/Hear her voice as it’s rolling and ringing through me”

 

6. Nirvana, “Scentless Apprentice”

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ppZcWfmKCc]

 

“Scentless Apprentice” is based on the novel Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind, one of Kurt Cobain’s favorite books. The novel follows a man named Jean-Baptiste Grenouille who was born with an incredible sense of smell, though his own body possesses no smell of it’s own. While walking through Paris, Grenouille smells something unlike anything he’s experienced before, and discovers that it’s the scent of a young and beautiful girl. Grenouille strangles the girl to death, and stays beside her body until all traces of it’s scent are gone. This leads Grenouille to commit a string of several murders in an attempt to bottle the scent of the women he kills.

One of the main themes in this novel is the idea of being born different, and being ostracized because of it before you ever have the chance to prove yourself worthy of acceptance, and theme that “Scentless Apprentice” focuses on.

“Every wet nurse refused to feed him/Electrolytes smell like semen/I promise not to sell your perfumed secrets/There are countless formulas for pressing flowers”

 

 

7. Lana Del Rey, “Body Electric”

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hFCZ1tzWR0]

 

Lana Del Rey’s “Body Electric” was heavily inspired by Walt Whitman’s I Sing the Body Electric. Whitman’s poem focuses on the idea that all bodies are beautiful and important, as beautiful and important as the human soul.

In this song Lana is mourning the loss of a romantic relationship, and trying desperately to enjoy life as she normally would. However, the joy she once found in dancing with strangers is now gone. She can no longer see the beauty in herself, or those around her now that she’s lost the person she found to be more beautiful than any other.

“Elvis is my daddy/Marilyn’s my mother/Jesus is my bestest friend/We don’t need nobody/’Cause we got each other/Or at least I pretend”

 

 

 

 

Featured images via The Sun, Dazed, and Buzzfeed

8 of Michelle Obama’s Must-Reads

Book lovers and Obama supporters alike wait with anticipation every year to hear Barrack Obama’s book picks for that summer. Fortunately, you now have another round of books to choose from thanks to Michelle who has a few book recommendations of her own. Despite your ever-growing to-be-read pile, when Michelle Obama tells you to read a certain book, you listen!

Following the release of her own memoir, Becoming, Michelle reveals eight more must-reads in her “By the Book” interview, published on December 6, 2018 in the New York Times. Other titles come from an interview with Jenna Bush Hager and a memorial posted on Instagram for what would have been a Holocaust victim’s ninetieth birthday.

 

 

8-Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Song of Solomon

Image Via Image via The Stanford Daily

 

Part of the reason why Morrison received the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature, Song of Solomon follows the life of Michigan native, Macon through his life as he searches for a sense of identity.

 

7-The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

Image Via Image via Penguin Books Australia

 

Before the major motion picture, Rachel was just a girl who liked to ride the train everyday to London and back. It’s definitely not because the train passes her ex-husband’s house or the because she can see the perfect couple she envies so who live a few houses down. Definitely not.

 

 

6-White Teeth by Zadie Smith

White Teeth

Image Via Image via Book Riot

 

Smith’s London-centric novel follows two friends, one Bangladeshi and one Englishman, as they navigate family, friendship and life in the city.

 

5-Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

Image via Apple Books

 

The archetype for unreliable narrators, Gone Girl will have you guessing until the very last page. Follow Nick and her husband Amy who disappears, but why…and how…and where?

 

4-An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

An American Marriage

Image Via Image via Oneworld Publications

 

Jones’ novel follows newlyweds who separate after a daunting rape trial. When they reunite later in life, things somehow get even more complicated.

 

 

3-Educated by Tara Westover

Educated

Image via Booktopia

 

Westover’s biographical memoir tells the story of how she fell in love with learning after growing up with little to none of it at all.

 

2-The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne Frank

Image Via Image via Book Depository

 

Frank’s diary which she kept as a young girl before her family was sent to concentration camps during the Holocaust relay the horrors of the terrible tragedy.

 

1-Commonwealth by Anne Patchett

Commonwealth

Image Via Inprint

 

Patchett’s bestseller tells the story of a family whose dynamic gets turned upside down at a family christening and what happens when that child grows up and decides to share that story.

 

 

Featured Image via AARP

8 of Michelle Obama's Must-Reads

Book lovers and Obama supporters alike wait with anticipation every year to hear Barrack Obama’s book picks for that summer. Fortunately, you now have another round of books to choose from thanks to Michelle who has a few book recommendations of her own. Despite your ever-growing to-be-read pile, when Michelle Obama tells you to read a certain book, you listen!
Following the release of her own memoir, Becoming, Michelle reveals eight more must-reads in her “By the Book” interview, published on December 6, 2018 in the New York Times. Other titles come from an interview with Jenna Bush Hager and a memorial posted on Instagram for what would have been a Holocaust victim’s ninetieth birthday.
 

 

8-Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Song of Solomon

Image Via Image via The Stanford Daily

 
Part of the reason why Morrison received the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature, Song of Solomon follows the life of Michigan native, Macon through his life as he searches for a sense of identity.
 

7-The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

Image Via Image via Penguin Books Australia

 
Before the major motion picture, Rachel was just a girl who liked to ride the train everyday to London and back. It’s definitely not because the train passes her ex-husband’s house or the because she can see the perfect couple she envies so who live a few houses down. Definitely not.
 

 

6-White Teeth by Zadie Smith

White Teeth

Image Via Image via Book Riot

 
Smith’s London-centric novel follows two friends, one Bangladeshi and one Englishman, as they navigate family, friendship and life in the city.
 

5-Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

Image via Apple Books

 
The archetype for unreliable narrators, Gone Girl will have you guessing until the very last page. Follow Nick and her husband Amy who disappears, but why…and how…and where?
 

4-An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

An American Marriage

Image Via Image via Oneworld Publications

 
Jones’ novel follows newlyweds who separate after a daunting rape trial. When they reunite later in life, things somehow get even more complicated.
 

 

3-Educated by Tara Westover

Educated

Image via Booktopia

 
Westover’s biographical memoir tells the story of how she fell in love with learning after growing up with little to none of it at all.
 

2-The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne Frank

Image Via Image via Book Depository

 
Frank’s diary which she kept as a young girl before her family was sent to concentration camps during the Holocaust relay the horrors of the terrible tragedy.
 

1-Commonwealth by Anne Patchett

Commonwealth

Image Via Inprint

 
Patchett’s bestseller tells the story of a family whose dynamic gets turned upside down at a family christening and what happens when that child grows up and decides to share that story.
 

 
Featured Image via AARP