Everyone knows – or thinks they know – the story of Anne Frank, the teenage diarist who went into hiding for two years with her family and four others during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. During this period, she wrote and revised her diary, with the intention of publishing it when the war ended. Instead, the residents of the annex at Prinsengracht 263 were apprehended in early August 1944. Anne Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in winter 1945. The diary was first published in Dutch in 1947. Since then, it has been published in over 60 languages. Anne Frank has become a world-wide phenomenon. Her diary has inspired films, documentaries, and an award-winning Broadway play. Frank’s face and wisdom grace posters, coffee cups, t-shirts, and jewelry. This class will examine the contemporary Anne Frank industry through the lens of the diary itself. We will analyze the diary as a personal, historical, and literary document; delve into how the diary has been used to promote various cultural, political, and consumer-driven agendas; and investigate how these agendas have affected historical truth. Classes will be discussion and debate.
Phyllis Deutsch holds a Ph.D. in Modern European History from New York University. For several years, she taught history at NYU, Columbia University, The New School for Social Research, and the University of Pennsylvania. For 15 years, she served as editor-in-chief at University Press of New England, where she specialized in publishing books in Jewish studies. She is currently a Lecturer in the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric at Dartmouth College.
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Dartmouth requires an annual membership to participate in courses. Membership fees are $70 (expiring June 30, 2018) or $105 (expiring June 30, 2019).