Course Hero. "The Diary of a Young Girl Study Guide." Course Hero. 12 Jan. 2017. Web. 10 June 2023. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Diary-of-a-Young-Girl/>.
Course Hero. (2017, January 12). The Diary of a Young Girl Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved June 10, 2023, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Diary-of-a-Young-Girl/
(Course Hero, 2017)
Course Hero. "The Diary of a Young Girl Study Guide." January 12, 2017. Accessed June 10, 2023. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Diary-of-a-Young-Girl/.
Course Hero, "The Diary of a Young Girl Study Guide," January 12, 2017, accessed June 10, 2023, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Diary-of-a-Young-Girl/.
In one of the diary's most poignant entries, Anne writes on November 27 about a nightmare she's just had about her close childhood friend, Hanneli, who had remained in Germany. Her friend stands "dressed in rags, her face thin and worn" and begs Anne to rescue her. Awake, Anne is wrenched by the thought of all the people she's unable to help and by guilt about how she treated Hanneli when the girls were younger. On December 27, she will again dream about Hanneli. She also wonders whether Hanneli is still alive.
Anne rallies enough to help provide funny St. Nicholas Day gifts for everyone in the Secret Annex. She also goes without sugar for a month to make a Christmas treat for Miep Gies and Bep. The residents spend a modest, happy holiday. Anne admits in her diary about how much she misses life in the outside world, but also acknowledges that self-pity is not helpful and that she realizes she is more fortunate than other Jewish children.
Anne is still a teenager, and she continues to struggle with her negative feelings for her mother. On January 2, however, Anne rereads earlier entries about her mother and is shocked by the "anger and hatred" she used to feel for her. She realizes that a year ago, she could see things from only her own perspective. About her mother, Anne says, "It's true, she didn't understand me, but I didn't understand her either ... I can understand why she was often short at me." She comforts herself by remembering that "it's better for unkind words to be down on paper" than spoken aloud.
Anne Frank's terrible dream about Hanneli seems even sadder when the reader learns that the friends were later reunited in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany.
Hannah Goslar, nicknamed Hanneli, was one of Anne Frank's best school friends in Amsterdam. The Goslars were unable to go into hiding because Hanneli's mother was pregnant with her third child. In fact, Mrs. Goslar died in childbirth, along with the baby. In 1943, the remaining members of the Goslar family were sent to Westerbork, the Dutch transit camp.
From Westerbork, the Goslars were shipped to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Because they had Paraguayan passports and Palestinian papers issued by the British that could have been used in exchange for German prisoners of war, the Goslars were treated better than many other inmates there.
In late 1944, Anne and Margot Frank were also sent to Bergen-Belsen but were housed in a far worse section of the camp. At some point in the early part of 1945, Anne and Hannah met briefly in the camp. "I was glad to see her," Hannah later reported, "but I had hoped she was safe in Switzerland, so it was very sad." Hanneli managed to collect bread, prunes, and one sock for Anne. She threw the package over the fence separating the two girls. Hannah and her younger sister did survive Bergen-Belsen and were eventually sent back to Holland. There, Hannah met Anne's father and learned that Anne and Margot had died in the camp.
The diary reveals that while Anne has the reactions of a typical teenager (in her anger toward her mother, for example), she continues to mature, often through the act of writing itself. In her diary, she analyzes her thoughts, considers her own point of view, and increasingly, the point of view of others. The diary thus acts for readers as a way to chart Anne's growth as a human being as she develops a broader, more nuanced perspective on her place in the world and her relationship to the people in it. She says of Hanneli, who faced deportation in Germany, "you're a reminder of what my fate may have been." Anne is empathetic toward the suffering of others, rather than feeling superior to them because she has not suffered the same fate. She finally achieves a more balanced, responsible perspective on her relationship with her mother as well, acknowledging how she herself played a role in their strife.