Elie Wiesel Writes about Anne Frank for Holocaust Remembrance Day

Who has not read and reread “The Diary of Anne Frank?” Who has not been moved by the mischievous and innocent look that this unforgettable young Jewish girl gave to a beaten and ridiculed humanity desperately searching for reasons to hope?

Why has this book, above and beyond all others, had such an impact on the world? Because one finds in it purity and sadness, the purity and sadness that only a child was perhaps able to express before dying?

We love Anne. We cannot not love her. Of all the people who inhabited her closed universe still open to dreams, it is she who fascinates and touches us the most. One might say she is a guide who invites us to discover a dark, gloomy work. We follow her, we listen to her, we laugh with her, we cry also, we cry even when she laughs, perhaps especially when she wants to make us believe that she is only a young romantic girl who likes to amuse herself as she can.

How can one amuse oneself while Death watches with a thousand hateful eyes? How can one lead a normal existence — no, not normal but regular — for two years, in an attic cramped and cluttered where the prisoners knew they were condemned to silence? How can one, in doubt and anguish — if I may paraphrase Camus — imagine oneself happy?

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