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    Anne Frank’s Diary: Anne’s Diary Is Authentic

    How do we know Anne Frank’s dairy is authentic and not a forgery?

    Holocaust deniers claim:

    Anne Frank’s diary is a forgery written by her father, Otto Frank, for monetary gain.

    The facts are:

    Literary and handwriting comparisons and forensic results on Anne Frank’s diary show conclusively that Anne Frank was the author of the diary. Otto Frank compiled and edited Anne’s diary, but he remained true to their essence.

    In 1975, Richard Harwood, an English Holocaust denier, called Anne’s diary a “propaganda legend . . . just one more fraud in a whole series of frauds perpetrated in support of the ‘Holocaust’ legend and the saga of the Six Million.”[1]

    In 1975, David Irving, who the High Court in London in 2000 declared to be a Holocaust denier, racist and antisemite, wrote in the introduction to one of his books on Hitler, that Anne’s diary was a “forgery.”[2] Otto Frank protested to Irving’s publisher and the passage was omitted when the book was reprinted. Frank also asked the publishers for damages to be paid to the Anne Frank Foundation in Amsterdam.

    In 1996, Irving said that Anne’s diary had become “a source of substantial profits to her sorrowing father Otto Frank, who became wealthy from the sales of her purported diary . . .”[3] Irving also admitted that he has never read the whole diary—“life was too short for that”—but still wondered how a teenage girl could have written that “maturely.” Irving also called Anne Frank’s diary “a novel.”[4]

    In 1978, Ditlieb Felderer, an Austrian Holocaust denier, wrote a viciously antisemitic pamphlet called Anne Frank’s Diary: A Hoax in which he attacked Anne’s character. In chapters called “Teenage Sex” and “Sexual Extravaganza,” Felderer called Anne’s relationship with Peter the “first child porno.”[5].

    He dismissed the diary as a “colossal hoax” in which the “Germans . . . are made out as veritable beasts.”[6]

    The facts about the authenticity of Anne Frank’s diary.

    In November 1980 the Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation received all of Anne’s original papers in Otto Frank’s will. They conducted a definitive forensic and literary analysis of the diary using then state-of-the-art technology. Their report, which was published as The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition, is 719 pages long. The State Institute conclusively determined that the diary currently published as the “definitive” version is not a “novel” or a “literary fraud” but it is an accurate presentation of the original material, that it was Anne Frank’s handwriting, and that the ink and paper was consistent with that period of time.

    The facts about whether the diary exhibits a level of maturity beyond a teenaged girl.

    In fact, Anne’s last entries are radically different from the first ones. Consider this typical entry, two days after she started the diary: “During recess I passed out cookies to my teachers and my class . . . I went to gym with the rest of my class. As it was my birthday, I got to decide what game my classmates would play, and I chose volleyball. Afterward they all danced around me in a circle and sang “Happy Birthday.” (June 14, 1942)

    Contrast that with one of her final entries a few weeks before they were betrayed and arrested:   “’Deep down, the young are lonelier than the old. I read this in a book somewhere and it’s stuck in my mind. As far as I can tell, it’s true. . . Anyone who claims that the older folks have a more difficult time in the Annex doesn’t realize that the problems have a far greater impact on us. We’re much too young to deal with these problems, but they keep thrusting themselves on us until, finally, we’re forced to think up a solution, though most of the time our solutions crumble when faced with the facts. It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams, and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality . . . It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too. I feel the suffering of millions.” (July 15, 1944)

    Anne matured dramatically over the 25 months she spent in hiding—something David Irving might have noticed if he had taken the time to read the whole book. From a typical 13-year-old girl consumed with gossip about friends and school, Anne slowly turns, before the reader’s eyes, into a mature young woman beyond her age of 15.

    Conclusion

    Anne Frank’s diary was not written by her father, Otto Frank, for monetary gain. Otto Frank compiled and edited his daughter’s writings but he remained true to the essence of his daughter’s writings.

    The literary and handwriting comparisons and the forensic results on the diary’s paper and ink done by the Netherland State Institute show conclusively that Anne Frank was undeniably the author of the diary.

    The charge that the writing was too mature for a teenaged girl does not hold up. A thoughtful reading of the diary shows that Anne changed during the 25 months she spent in hiding; her diary entries document that change. Indeed, this is one of the reasons why Anne’s diary remains so powerful to so many readers.

    Anne’s Diary. By Heather Cowper www.heatheronhertravels.com [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

    NOTES

    [1] Richard Harwood, “Did Six Million Really Die?” (“Best Seller A Hoax”) at http://www.historiography-project.com/books.

    [2] David Irving, Hitler and His Generals (Berlin: Ullstein Verlag, 1975), Introduction, p. III as cited in Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation, The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition (New York: Doubleday, 1988), p. 91, fn 53.

    [3] “David Irving answers a student asking for his views on the Anne Frank diary,” http://www.fpp.co.uk/Auschwitz/docs/controversies/AnneFrank/Jules150286.html

    [4] David Irving, “Documents on Anne Frank and her Diary” at http://www.fpp.co.uk/Auschwitz/docs/controversies/AnneFrank/index.html.

    [5] Ditlieb Felderer, Anne Frank’s Diary: A Hoax (Institute for Historical Review, 1979) at http://www.radioislam.org/annefrank/. Select “Teenage Sex” and “Sexual Extravaganza.”

    [6] Ditlieb Felderer, Anne Frank’s Diary: A Hoax (Institute for Historical Review, 1979) at http://www.radioislam.org/annefrank/. Select “Foreword.”