When Anne Frank turned thirteen, she received a red and white checkered autograph book from her parents that she decided to use as a diary. Anne named her diary “Kitty” and began to write to her on a regular basis. Although no one could have predicted it at the time, Anne was writing the beginning to what would be a famous first person account of the holocaust.
Anne aspired to be famous, and therefore, with her love of writing came a desire to be a published writer. On March 28, 1944, Anne heard a public announcement from the Dutch Cabinet Minister Gerritt Bolkestein, announcing that they would be collecting all first hand documents, or “ordinary documents” in order to reveal and preserve the truth about what Jewish citizens were going through during this time. After hearing this announcement, Anne began to aspire to her journal being published.
In order to prepare, Anne Frank began to revisit and revise every entry from her journal, rewriting each one onto sheets of paper. In her revising process, Anne shortened some entries, made others longer, changed wording, and made sure every entry started with “Dear Kitty”. During her reworking of her journal, Anne filled in all the gaps of times when she was not able to write, as well as continued to write new entries as she was altering her old entries.
Unfortunately, although Anne was working rapidly in order to publish her journal once the war was over, she was still in the process of modification when she was arrested alongside her family and the others staying in the secret annex. However, once Otto Frank returned to Amsterdam from Auschwitz, Miep Gies returned to him the pages of Anne’s Diary that she had been saving in order to return to Anne.
Otto Frank finished editing Anne’s diary for her, and then attempted for years to get it published. First Frank gave it to a historian who unsuccessfully tried to have it published. Then, the historian give it to her husband, Jan Romein, who had it published in the newspaper Het Parool in an article called “Kinderstem” which means “a child’s voice”.
Being published in this newspaper brought about attention from publishers, and was quickly published in the Netherlands. Then, in 1950, the diary, under the title Het Achterhuis, was published in Germany and France. In 1952, it was published in the United States for the first time as Anne Frank: The Diary of A Young Girl. While the book was successful in all of these places, its biggest success was in Japan, where more than 100,000 copies were sold while in its first edition. Anne Frank had aspired to famous and to have her journal published, and after all of her hard work, even though she had died before being able to see it published, Anne achieved her goal.