I remember the first time I read ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’ by Anne Frank while working for a publishing house I was moved. While flipping through the pages, I saw a girl with simple dreams and a good family life which was shattered by the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during the Second World War, and how they were forced to live in hiding for a long time. A lot many people identify that era of Nazism with the haunting cover image of the published diary of Anne Frank, one of the most talked-about Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
While in hiding, Anne Frank documented her life in the private annex. The diary was later found by her father Otto Frank, who was the sole survivor of the family. But no one get to know about her life in the Holocaust. Otto Frank with one of his helpers, Miep Gies managed to get the diary published in 1947 in Dutch. Later, it was translated into English and was published in 1952 as The Diary of a Young Girl.
Ever since then the diary has been translated into more than 60 languages resulting in distortions which created doubts about the authenticity. Hence, on May 14, 1986, the Dutch Institute for War Documentation published the “Critical Edition” of the diary. It is the only complete collection of Anne Frank’s writings. It includes comparisons from all known versions, both edited and unedited. It includes discussion asserting the diary’s authentication, as well as additional historical information relating to the family and the diary itself.
Some other important events that happened on May 14 in history are:
• 1771 – Thomas Wedgwood, an English physicist, was born. He is the first acknowledged photographer.
• 1796 – English physician Edward Jenner gives the first successful smallpox vaccination.
• 1870 – The first game of rugby in New Zealand is played in Nelson between Nelson College and the Nelson Rugby Football Club.
• 1897 – Guglielmo Marconi sends the first communication by wireless telegraph.
• 1904 – The Olympic Games were held in the United States for the first time, in St. Louis, Missouri.
• 1925 – Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs Dalloway is published.
• 1939 – Lina Medina becomes the world’s youngest confirmed mother in medical history at the age of five.
• 1948 – Israel gained its independence from British rule and gained the status of nationhood after 2000 years.
• 1973 – The U.S. space station Skylab is launched.
• 1989 – 1st Tour de Trump bicycle race run (Atlanta).
• 1995 – Dalai Lama proclaims 6-year-old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima 11th reincarnation of Panchen Lama, Tibet’s 2nd most senior spiritual leader.
Birthday wishes for May 14
Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit, German physicist, instrument maker, inventor of the thermometer (1686); George Lucas, film director and producer (Star Wars) (1944); Mark Zuckerberg (1984); Mrinal Sen, Bangladeshi-Indian director, producer, and screenwriter (1923)
Text by Supriya Aggarwal