Why Everyone Needs To Read “The Diary of Anne Frank”

If you can only read one book for the rest of your life, The Diary of Anne Frank should be it.

Milad Jahani, Reporter

Reading is something I have always enjoyed doing in my free time, and unlike some of my peers, I never dreaded being assigned a book to read for class. When I go through my bookcase looking for a book to re-read, there is one that always catches my eye; The Diary of Anne Frank.

Personally, I am a strong believer that the ability to sympathize with other humans is the most important soft skill for someone to possess. At a time in American history where we as a people are more divided than ever over race relations and party politics, a book like The Diary of Anne Frank is needed so that people can understand and empathize with one another. The Diary of Anne Frank gives us a candid look inside the life of a victim of persecution. Anne Frank puts us inside of her mind and allows us to feel as if we were alongside her the whole time. By bringing the topic of the Holocaust to a personal level, people can better relate their own known concepts and individual ideas to various aspects of her life. Her unique and detailed prose has an incredible way of being able to transport us back into the summer of 1942 and makes us feel as if we are living with her in the annex. She shows the world her deepest feelings and desires, which is something that everyone can empathize with. Everyone had dreams that they were chasing and striving for as a 13-year-old, and her denial of those dreams by the Nazi Party fills the reader with such contempt and sadness that it almost makes you feel personally responsible for her demise.

Her diary also teaches the reader to not take what they have for granted, which is something that we often do while living in a first-world country. Even if it is for a short period, Anne Frank somehow manages to make the reader feel more appreciative of the opportunities and basic freedoms which they possess. The thought that a 13-year-old German girl could touch so many for decades to come is something that should be marveled at. Her diary has been translated to over 60 languages, and it is often read and taught in German schools, the very country that prosecuted her a mere 80 years ago. This book has the power to change any sort of animosity that someone may have towards Jews through the power of empathy, which people should apply to the struggles of every minority in America and abroad. I have read this book in both Farsi and English, and every time I read it I cannot help but feel a deep sense of shared understanding; this book has the power to change lives.