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Anne Frank, Anne Frank: The Collected Works (London: Bloomsbury, 2019), 733pp.Anne Frank, Anne Frank: The Collected Works (London: Bloomsbury, 2019), 733pp.

For her thirteenth birthday on June 12, 1942, Anne Frank received a diary as one of her gifts.  In fact, her first entry is dated that same day: "I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support." That summer, Frank's family went into hiding in an Amsterdam attic for a little over two years, during which time the teenage girl kept a diary of "everyday events" as a sort of "distraction" in bad times, and then later as a near "obsession."

At some point the eight people in hiding were betrayed, arrested, and then deported to Nazi camps at Westerbork, Auschwitz, and then Bergen-Belsen, where Anne and her sister Margot died of typhus in March of 1945, just a few weeks before the British liberated the camp. Anne Frank's diary has now been translated into over seventy languages.

This new collection gathers not only the diary, but heretofore unpublished material. There's what Frank called "Tales and Events from the Secret Attic"—imaginary short stories, fairy tales, and true stories about their secret life in the attic. Another section collects all of Frank's known letters, verses that she wrote in the friendship books of her girlfriends, a collection of what Frank called her "Favorite Quotes Notebook," and then her "Egypt Book" that is sort of a scrap book. Of special interest, in addition to her writings, there's a large section of photographs and documents, four scholarly essays, including a short life of Frank and a history of the diary's publication, and then appendixes that include another 235 pages.

The Collected Works was published with the support of the Anne Frank Fonds (Basel), which was founded in 1963 by Anne's father Otto, the only known survivor of the family, and which is the only organization that enjoys his support as stipulated in his will. The book was published to mark the ninetieth anniversary of Anne's birth in 1929. In 2018 over 1.2 million people from all over the world visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.

Dan Clendenin:

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