The Phenomenon of Anne Frank

The Phenomenon of Anne Frank

David Barnouw, Jeannette Ringold
Distribution: World
Publication date: 02/07/2018
Format: Paperback 8 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-03219-5
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While Anne Frank was in hiding during the German Occupation of the Netherlands, she wrote what has become the world's most famous diary. But how could an unknown Jewish girl from Amsterdam be transformed into an international icon? Renowned Dutch scholar David Barnouw investigates the facts and controversies that surround the global phenomenon of Anne Frank. Barnouw highlights the ways in which Frank's life and ultimate fate have been represented, interpreted, and exploited. He follows the evolution of her diary into a book (with translations into nearly 60 languages and editions that added previously unknown material), an American play, and a movie. As he asks, "Who owns Anne Frank?" Barnouw follows her emergence as a global phenomenon and what this means for her historical persona as well as for her legacy as a symbol of the Holocaust.

Author Bio

David Barnouw is an independent scholar and emeritus researcher and former director of communications at the Dutch Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies. He has written more than fifteen books and dozens of articles on World War II subjects.

Jeannette K. Ringold has translated over twenty fiction and non-fiction works by Dutch authors into English. She was born in the Netherlands and now lives in California.


“Everything you want to know about the Anne Frank phenomenon, about the perception and the effect of the text, whose writer became an icon, is said within these pages.”
 — Wolfgang Benz, author of A Concise History of the Third Reich

“Reasonable, elegant, sometimes provocative, essential.”
 — Ian Buruma, author of Year Zero: A History of 1945

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Table of Contents

Author’s Note
Translator’s Note
1. Frankfurt – Amsterdam – Bergen-Belsen
2. Anne Frank: From Diary to Het Achterhuis/Das Tagebuch/Le Journal/The Diary
3. Anne Frank on Broadway: The Play
4. Anne Frank in Hollywood: The Movie
5. Anne’s Diary under Attack
6. Who Owns Anne Frank?
7. A Girl’s Book or Literature?
8. How to Continue in the 21st Century?