Thursday, January 28, 2010

Two Versions of Anne Frank's Diary?

Apparently, Anne’s father, Otto Frank, the sole survivor of the “Secret Annex,” felt the need to censor his daughter’s most intimate thoughts as well, eliminating about 30 percent of the original diary published in 1947.

He omitted parts where Anne criticized her mother and other Jews living in the confined quarters as well as some sexually suggestive references.

However, during the 50th anniversary of her death in a concentration camp, the Anne Frank Foundation published the unedited definitive version in 1995.

I didn't know about that. So what's the issue?

A version of an iconic autobiography detailing a young Jewish girl’s two-year experience hiding from Nazis in a cramped “Secret Annex” has been pulled from the shelves of Culpeper County Public Schools.

“The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition,” a vivid memoir of Anne Frank’s private thoughts during the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II, will no longer be assigned to CCPS students, according to Jim Allen, director of instruction for the school system...

Citing a parent’s concern over the sexual nature of the vagina passage in the definitive edition, Allen said school officials immediately chose to pull this version and use an alternative copy.

I'm sure most of us who've read this book read the bowdlerized version, unaware that any other version existed.

1 comment:

PeggyU said...

To me reading a diary already seems like an intrusion on someone's privacy, especially in this case where she never intended for it to see the light of day. Actually, I think Otto Frank did the right thing in editing embarrassing parts out. The parts of the revised version are sufficient to give an understanding of life in hiding. I don't feel like I need lurid details to appreciate it more.