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"I am simply a young girl": document-based questions.

Anne Frank, who died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp just a few months shy of her 16th birthday, is one of the most famous diarists in the world. The Diary of a Young Girl was first published in 1947 by her father, Otto, the only member of the family to survive the Holocaust.

Most of Anne's diary was written while her family (mother, father, and older sister Margot) and four other Jews remained hidden in a secret section of the building where her father had worked. They stayed there from July 9, 1942, until August 4, 1944, when an informer's tip led the Gestapo (Nazi secret police) to find them and send them all to concentration camps.

Here is an excerpt from Anne's diary entry of December 24, 1943. Read it, then answer the questions below.

When someone comes in from outside, with the wind in their clothes and the cold on their faces, then I could bury my head in the blankets to stop myself thinking: "When will we be granted the privilege of smelling fresh air?" And because I must not bury my head in the blankets, but the reverse--I must keep my head high and be brave, the thoughts will come, not once, but oh, countless times. Believe me, if you have been shut up for a year and a half, it can get too much for you some days.... You can't crush your feelings. Cycling, dancing, whistling, looking out into the world, feeling young, to know that I'm free--that's what I long for; still, I mustn't show it, because I sometimes think if all eight of us began to pity ourselves, or went about with discontented faces, where would it lead us? I sometimes ask myself, "Would anyone, either Jew or non-Jew, understand this about me, that I am simply a young girl badly in need of some rollicking fun?" I don't know, and I couldn't talk about it with anyone, because then i know I should cry.

Excerpted from Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (Bantam Books, 1993).


1. Anne Frank was born on June 12, 1929. How old was she when her family went into hiding?

2. What set off the feeling of frustration Anne describes in this excerpt?

3. Why is Anne afraid to show her true feelings?

4. As of this writing, how long had Anne and her family been in hiding?

5. What activities does Anne consider part of "feeling young"?

6. How many of the seven people in hiding with Anne survived the Holocaust?

7. The Franks were captured how long before the war in Europe ended, on May 8, 1945?

8. Where did Anne die?

9. A tip from an informer led to whose discovery of the Franks?

10. If you were to reply to Anne's closing question, what would you tell her? Why?


1. 13

2. other people's ability to go outdoors

3. because all eight people in hiding must do what they can to keep up one another's spirits

4. "a year and a half"

5. cycling, dancing, whistling

6. one (Anne's father, Otto Frank)

7. 9 months (early August 1944 to early May 1945)

8. at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp (at age 15)

9. the Gestapo (Nazi secret police)

10. Answers will vary.
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Publication:Junior Scholastic
Date:Mar 26, 2007
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