75 Years Later, Anne Frank's Diary Still Has Much To Teach : NPR Ed The first entry of what became The Diary Of A Young Girl was written 75 years ago this month. We asked fifth-graders at Anne Frank Elementary School in Philadelphia what they learned from it.
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75 Years Later, Anne Frank's Diary Still Has Much To Teach

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75 Years Later, Anne Frank's Diary Still Has Much To Teach

75 Years Later, Anne Frank's Diary Still Has Much To Teach

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Seventy-five years ago this month, a 13-year-old sat down to write the first pages of a diary. Anne Frank was living in Amsterdam, which was occupied by German troops in World War II. She was part of a Jewish family in hiding. Her diary, discovered after her death in a concentration camp, is now read by millions of children in many countries. My class acted this out when I was in junior high school years ago. Lauren Migaki of the NPR Ed team asked what some young people in Philadelphia think of Anne Frank today.

TASLIM: My name is Taslim Sabil, and I'm in fifth grade, and I am a student at Anne Frank Elementary School.

SEBASTIAN: My name is Sebastian Gonzalez.

ALEXANDER: I'm Alexander Doldrik.

ADIB: I am Adib Khandaker from room 305.

SARAH: My name's Sarah Skenderi.

LAUREN MIGAKI, BYLINE: These fifth-graders at Anne Frank Elementary School just finished reading "The Diary Of A Young Girl."

SARAH: On Friday, June 12, I woke up at 6 o'clock, and no one wondered. It was my birthday.

SEBASTIAN: The weather is lovely, superb. I can't describe it. I'm going up to the attic in a minute.

ADIB: On Friday evening, for the first time in my life, I received something for Christmas. Kofius, Kraler and the girls had prepared a lovely surprise again.

ALEXANDER: It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet, I keep them.

TASLIM: Because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.

ELIZABETH ANGELO: My name is Elizabeth Angelo, and I am a fifth grade teacher at Anne Frank Elementary School.

MIGAKI: Mrs. Angelo knows that most kids don't read this book until middle school.

ANGELO: I felt like it was necessary with - they needed to know who this school is named after. This was a real girl that is close to their age, and kids can relate to that.

MIGAKI: Especially in a school as diverse as this one.

ANGELO: I have kids from Russia, Ukraine, Palestine, Colombia, I mean, all over. So I think it opened up discussion about what our differences are and how we can't necessarily judge someone based on that. Like, my Muslim kids were like, oh, well, you know, this is going on in the world with Muslims. And they were like - it kind of brought them together.

MIGAKI: And Anne's message isn't lost on fifth-graders Alexander Doldrik, Taslim Sabil, and Sebastian Gonzalez.

ALEXANDER: I guess my favorite part was when, like, they had hope. Anne Frank, she found hope in every single thing, even, like, the horrible things that the Nazi did. She sees the good in everything.

TASLIM: Anne had a dream in the book. She said she wanted to keep her memory going alive. And I feel like that our school, after it was named after Anne Frank, I feel like it could spread the message, too.

SEBASTIAN: Anne Frank, she still lives in all the staff and all the students in their hearts. We still remember her as if she was still alive. And we should never forget her because we don't want this to happen again.

MIGAKI: Lauren Migaki, NPR News, Philadelphia.

(SOUNDBITE OF DAEDELUS' "LA NOCTURN")

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