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Anne Frank Started Her Famous Diary 70 Years Ago Today

and let it be known

Most of us learned the tragic story of young Anne Frank in school. The young Jewish girl whose family was hidden away from Nazi soldiers in a secret apartment in Amsterdam was immortalized thanks to a diary her father gave her shortly before they fled. Frank started that diary on June 12, 1942. The date also marks what would have been her 83rd birthday.

Frank turned thirteen on the day her father, Otto Frank, gave her a red-and-white checkered autograph book. She had admired it in a shop window days earlier and decided to use it as a diary instead. “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,” she wrote on that day.

Little did she know it would document her and her family’s ordeal and long survive her. On July 6, 1942, the Frank family went into hiding in a secret annex above her father’s business after her sister, Margot Frank, was ordered to relocate to a Nazi “work” camp. We all know they were the dreaded concentration camps where terrible acts of violence were committed against the Jews and where many were put to death.

Lots of people have dissected Frank’s diary through the years both in historical works and fiction but did you know that her story has now gone mobile? According to AnneFrank.org:

The Anne Frank House has recently launched the mobile app Anne’s Amsterdam, which you can use to explore the history of Anne Frank and her contemporaries at thirty locations around Amsterdam. You see stories, films and photos from the past at the same locations today. On and around the Merwedeplein square you can see the only moving images of Anne Frank, an interview with her neighbour and friend Hanneli Goslar and a photo of the Blankevoort bookshop where Anne bought her red checked diary. You can pick up the images and stories and collect them in a digital album on your mobile phone. The items you pick up are linked to the website Anne Frank’s Amsterdam, where you can find more information.

Knowing that his daughter wanted to be a writer, Otto, who had survived the war, made attempts to see her diary published. His wish came true in 1947.

Little known fact (at least to me anyway), NASA named an asteroid after her. Do you remember learning about Anne Frank in school? How old were you and what did you think?

(via ABC)

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Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” (TheNerdyBird.com). She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."