JUNE 12: Anne Frank starts writing in her diar…


On June 12, 1942, Anne Frank wrote her very first entry in the
book that would later become the unforgettable The Diary of a Young Girl.
Today, Anne Frank is a heartbreaking symbol of the Holocaust, but in 1942, she
was just a young Jewish girl who had been given a new journal for her
thirteenth birthday.

The original diary is on display at The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam (x).

Anne Frank was born on June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany. She
was only sixteen when she was murdered by the Nazis in the Bergen-Belsen death
camp, but she left behind a diary that chronicles the two years she spent
hidden away in a secret apartment along with her family and four others. A lot
of people have tried to prescribe certain labels onto Anne and argue the case
that she was a lesbian or that she was bisexual. I have no interest in hashing
out how a teenage girl from the 1940s might have possibly labeled herself in 2017;
instead, I want to simply highlight the parts in Anne’s diary where she
expresses love and desire for other girls and women. On pages 130-131, she

I already had these kinds of feelings subconsciously before
I came here, because I remember that once when I slept with a girl friend I had
a strong desire to kiss her, and that I did do so. I could not help being
terribly inquisitive over her body, for she had always kept it hidden from me.
I asked her whether, as a proof of our friendship, we should feel one another’s
breasts, but she refused. I go into ecstasies every time I see the naked figure
of a woman, such as Venus, for example. It strikes me as so wonderful and exquisite
that I have difficulty in stopping the tears rolling down my cheeks. If only I had a girl friend!”

Although this section as well as others where Anne talks
about exploring her pubescent body were excluded from the first
editions of The Diary of a Young Girl,
they have slowly but surely been making their way back into the manuscript. No
matter how Anne Frank might have identified as, her words are being read by
young girls of all sexualities in middle schools across the world, and the fact
that Anne’s accounts may be the first time they are exposed to a girl loving
other girls without stigma and oversexualization makes The Diary of a Young Girl near and dear to many wlw.