During the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, Anne Frank received a blank diary as one of her presents on 12 June 1942, her 13th birthday. According to the Anne Frank House, the red, checkered autograph book which Anne used as her diary was actually not a surprise, since she had chosen it the day before with her father when browsing a bookstore near her home. She entered a one-sentence note on her birthday, writing "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." The main diary was written from 14 June.
The diary is not written in the classic forms of "Dear Diary" or as letters to oneself; Anne calls her diary "Kitty", so almost all of the letters are written to Kitty. Anne used the above-mentioned names for her annex-mates in the first volume, from 25 September 1942 until 13 November 1942, when the first notebook ends. It is believed that these names were taken from characters found in a series of popular Dutch books written by Cissy van Marxveldt.
There are two versions of the diary written by Anne Frank. She wrote the first version in a designated diary and two notebooks (version A), but rewrote it (version B) in 1944 after hearing on the radio that war-time diaries were to be collected to document the war period. Version B was written on loose paper, and is not identical to Version A, as parts were added and others omitted.
In 1950, the Dutch translator Rosey E. Pool made a first translation of the diary, which was never published. At the end of 1950, another translator was found to produce an English-language version. Barbara Mooyaart-Doubleday was contracted by Vallentine Mitchell in England, and by the end of the following year, her translation was submitted, now including the deleted passages at Otto Frank's request. As well, Judith Jones, while working for the publisher Doubleday, read and recommended the Diary, pulling it out of the rejection pile. Jones recalled that she came across Frank's work in a slush pile of material that had been rejected by other publishers; she was struck by a photograph of the girl on the cover of an advance copy of the French edition. "I read it all day", she noted. "When my boss returned, I told him, 'We have to publish this book.' He said, 'What? That book by that kid?'" She brought the diary to the attention of Doubleday's New York office. "I made the book quite important because I was so taken with it, and I felt it would have a real market in America. It's one of those seminal books that will never be forgotten", Jones said.The book appeared in the United States and in the United Kingdom in 1952, becoming a best-seller. The introduction to the English publication was written by Eleanor Roosevelt.
In February 2014, authorities discovered that 265 copies of the Frank diary and other material related to the Holocaust were vandalized across 31 public libraries in Tokyo. The Simon Wiesenthal Center expressed "its shock and deep concern" and, in response, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga called the vandalism "shameful." Israel donated 300 copies of Anne Frank's diary to replace the vandalized copies. An anonymous donor using the pseudonym "Chiune Sugihara" donated two boxes of books pertaining to the Holocaust to the Tokyo Metropolitan Library. Police arrested an unemployed man in March 2014. In June, prosecutors decided not to indict the suspect after he was found to be mentally incompetent. According to librarians in Tokyo, books relating to the Holocaust such as the diary and Man's Search for Meaning attract people with mental disorders and are subject to occasional vandalism.[better source needed]
As reported in The New York Times in 2015, "When Otto Frank first published his daughter's red-checked diary and notebooks, he wrote a prologue assuring readers that the book mostly contained her words". Although many Holocaust deniers, such as Robert Faurisson, have claimed that Anne Frank's diary was fabricated, critical and forensic studies of the text and the original manuscript have supported its authenticity.
The Netherlands Institute for War Documentation commissioned a forensic study of the manuscripts after the death of Otto Frank in 1980. The material composition of the original notebooks and ink, and the handwriting found within them and the loose version were extensively examined. In 1986, the results were published: the handwriting attributed to Anne Frank was positively matched with contemporary samples of Anne Frank's handwriting, and the paper, ink, and glue found in the diaries and loose papers were consistent with materials available in Amsterdam during the period in which the diary was written.
In 2015, the Anne Frank Fonds made an announcement, as reported in The New York Times, that the 1947 edition of the diary was co-authored by Otto Frank. According to Yves Kugelmann, a member of the board of the foundation, their expert advice was that Otto had created a new work by editing, merging, and trimming entries from the diary and notebooks and reshaping them into a "kind of collage", which had created a new copyright. Agnès Tricoire, a lawyer specializing in intellectual property rights, responded by warning the foundation to "think very carefully about the consequences". She added "If you follow their arguments, it means that they have lied for years about the fact that it was only written by Anne Frank."
As a former book clerk this intrigues me. I am sure there is still enough in common for a fun comparison of customers and book selling in general of the 1930s vs those of the 1980s and 1990s. However, we clerks were a pretty odd and entertaining bunch, as well, as I witnessed working in bookstores in four states of the US! I would enjoy those comparisons, too :) 2b1af7f3a8