Anne Frank: The Biography

Melissa Müller, trans. from the German by Rita and Robert Kimber. Metropolitan, $32.50 (480p) ISBN 978-0-8050-8731-4
When she first read Anne Frank’s diary, Müller (Lost Lives, Lost Art) was 13, the same age as Anne was when she went into hiding. Before being sent to her death at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, Anne spent 25 months furtively penning one of the most powerful documents of the Holocaust, but it was not until 1947 that her father, Otto, finally published his daughter’s work. Müller’s biography of the young girl and her at-once intimate and universal missives has also long been a work in progress. The book was originally published in 1998, but this expanded edition takes into account diary entries that had previously been redacted by Anne’s father, as well as recently discovered letters from Otto to relatives in the United States and unpublished documents provided to Müller during interviews with those who knew Anne and her family—including Miep Gies, one of those responsible for hiding the Franks and preserving the diary after its author had perished. In addition to fleshing out her subject, Müller investigates who was responsible for outing the family and what happened to Anne during the eight months between her last diary entry and her death at the age of 16. This nuanced and valuable supplement to Anne’s diary eschews idealization, providing a fuller picture of a vibrant, willful, and soul-searching young woman. 42 b&w photos & family trees. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/08/2013
Release date: 06/11/2013
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