The Lost Diary of Anne Frank
Published October 30, 2020
Addison & Highsmith
The Diary of Anne Frank is a seminal piece of twentieth-century literature. It recounts the tragic and moving story of a young Jewish teenager faced with the horrors of Nazism. In it, Anne establishes a bond with her readers that transcends both time and space, making them her friends and confidants. Readers feel a connection with each dream she had, each fear she endured, and each struggle she confronted. Her diary ended, but her story did not. The Lost Diary of Anne Frank picks up where her original journal left off, taking the reader on a credible journey through the tragic final months of her life, faithfully adhering to her own, very personal, diary format in the process.
In The Lost Diary of Anne Frank, Anne receives mysterious help from many quarters. A strange lady on the other side of the fence haunts her dreams. Her mom once vilified, becomes a hero. Anne struggles with the existence of God and His presence or absence in all of her ordeals. She contrasts the depravity of man with what she sees as mankind’s evident virtues. Her longing to experience sensual pleasures is numbed by forced over-exposure. She finds that in the Nazi efforts to extinguish the humanity of their victims, a chorus of unity evolves among the captives. Anne’s vaulted dreams for fame and notice are ultimately traded in for the true longings of life, love, and peace. The Lost Diary of Anne Frank follows her story to the chilling end.
Author Guest Post
LOCKED IN – What inspired me to write The Lost Diary of Anne Frank
My first visit to Auschwitz in Poland was overwhelming. I got there early and toured the entire place. I then joined the tour that I prepaid – listening in, asking questions, wanting to stay longer at each spot, but being pushed to move forward to keep up with the guide. I then went back after my guided tour was over. I would fall in behind other guides to learn more. At the end of the day, I walked the grounds again just thinking, reflecting on all that I had learned at the very site of mankind’s most heinous criminal acts.
I went back for a second time a few years later. I got to Auschwitz after noon for my first day. I began to walk through the barracks, peer through the barbed wire, stand at the place where transports came daily, imagining the dreaded selection process. I walked into other barracks where no one was, just wanting to imagine the faces, the voices, the fear, the determination, the frustration, the depression, and the surrender of life. I listened in silence. I then walked down to the crematories – or to what was left of them. I looked at the brick remains. I imagined the bodies being brought there, soldiers rifling through each to see if there was anything of value left like gold fillings in the victims’ teeth. I imagined the iron doors to the heated furnaces, the burning, the emptying of ashes. I stood at the ash pits where bodies were irreverently disposed.
Shadows of the evening began to fall. I just stood there. The crowds thinned. Later that evening, I finally noticed everyone had gone. I did not want to leave, but I knew they had to be closing the grounds soon. I slowly made my way past the women’s barracks, toward the entrance gate just to find it was locked. The caretakers had no idea I was there. They literally locked me in Auschwitz for the night. Fear swept over me. I had a current fear of how I would get out and get to my hotel. A distant past fear also swept over me. Is this what they felt when they were brought and locked in Auschwitz, the death camp? I called but no one answered. I looked for people, anyone, but found no one. There was a light in the guard house at the entrance, but I saw and heard not one human being. Is this how it was? Looking around, it didn’t feel like 2004, more like 1944. I walked hurriedly around the barbed wire fences, the brick entrance, looking for some way out, some open gate, some gap in the wire to squeeze through. I found nothing. I started to cry out. I knocked and then banged on the door to the guard house hoping someone was near the light in the upper window. Finally, a guard whose language I did not understand yelled back. I responded in hope. Another light came on, then a sound of walking. I was relieved. The guard opened the gate and let me leave Auschwitz.
The third visit to Auschwitz, I had my family with me – my wife and our two girls. I wanted them to see this, to learn this. As we went through the women’s’ barracks. I related my story of being locked in Auschwitz. I put my hand on a bunk near the window of one of the barracks and I reimagined for them what it was like to be Anne Frank here. My family was spellbound. They didn’t say a word. Reverence and silence were absorbed by all four of us. With that, my wife said quietly, “You have got to retell this to others. You have got to tell the rest of Anne’s story”.
So, I have with great affection and care, holding to the facts and reaching for the emotions – The Lost Diary of Anne Frank. This book follows Anne through Westerbork, Auschwitz, and Bergen-Belsen to her death. It details so much of what she faced and how she endured, being brave to the very end.
About the Author
Dr. Johnny Teague is an author and historian having earned five degrees, culminating with a doctorate in exposition. History and life stories have been his passion. Through travel, interviews, and extensive study, he continues to build on his foundation. Preparation for this book has included interviews with Holocaust survivors, studies at the Holocaust museums in Houston, Washington, D.C., and at the Yad Vashem in Israel. His study has carried him around the world multiple times to research at sites including Auschwitz, Dachau, the Corrie ten Boom House, and the Anne Frank House.
A big Thank You to all of our hosts:
@justa.gal.andherbooks (author interview)
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