Ken Lyen's Home
Ken's Links
London Revisited 2000
Letter from London 2006
Singapore Musical Theatre
Making the Grade
Writing Musicals
Musicals from Movies
Fred Ebb
The Story of Chess
Mama Mia
Bad Vibrations
Chestnuts 2003
Chestnuts 2004
Chestnuts 2005
Incubating New Musicals
List of Musicals on Film
Is Musical Theatre Dead?
Is Classical Music Dead?
Is Poetry Dead?
Why Read Poetry?
New Words
Nothing's Wrong
Hippie Dictionary
Singlish Dictionary
Blog Dictionary
Best of the Best
English Spoke
Reading in Decline
Too Many Books
Magic of Reading
Pablo Neruda
Graphic Novels
Writers Bar
Lost For Words
Encyclopedia Wars
Library in Cyberspace
The Bridge
Growing A Film Industry
Great Levellers
Rote Rites and Rongs
Beautiful Minds
Create Talented Individuals?
Rise of the Creative Class
Perchance to Dream
Children's EQ
Gifted Education
Gifted Children
Mozart Effect
Confucius and Multiple Intelligences
Predicting Your Future
Mistyping Personality
Messy Homes
Does Age Matter?
Too Young for Philosophy?
Philosopher for Hire
Deconstructing Derrida
University Quotas
Ranking Universities
University Ranking Continued
The Future of Universities
If Thine Eye Offends Thee
If It Ain't Broke
New Exams for Old!
Too Many Test
The Sincerest Form of Flattery
Childhood Memories
Signs of Success
Follow Your Dreams
First Impressions
Handphone Etiquette
Handphones Silenced
Apple Of My i
Sex and the Media
The Greeks
Geographic Clangers
Domino Theory
Hello Kitty
Heels on Wheels
What a Racket!
Potty Training
Skip to the Loo
Corporal Punishment
Is Modern Art Rubbish?
Mona Lisa Grins
Sunday in the Park
Vision and Art
Spam Glorious Spam!
Humble Pie
Sour Grapes?
Murphy's Law Calculator
Perfect Search
False Logic
Noah's Ark
Who Discovered America?
Palaces of Dictators
Joys of Stress
Games Academics Play
Virtual Reality Treatmemt
Autistic Underconnectivity
Asperger Syndrome
Pay Attention!
Attention Deficit
Speech Delay
Almost Normal
Prozac Nation
Gilles de la Tourette
Singapore Medicine
Virtual Dissection
War Against Malaria
Into the Frying Pan
Back to Methuselah
Poetic Medicine
Far Eastern Economic Review
History of the Singapore Musical
My Research
Singapore Idle
Best Countries
Brain Drain
Greatest Happiness
Remaking Singapore
Singapore Nobel Prize
Singapore MRT Map
National Day
Caste System
Doctors' Fees
Leadership and Teambuilding
Doctor Do-Much
Play it Again, Doc
A Dose of Music
Prescription for the Heart
Multiple Personality
Fly By Night
Rape of Nanking
Iris Chang
Anne Frank
Angela's Ashes
The Notebook
Hollywood Insider
Fahrenheit 9/11 Pirates
The Front
The Barbarian Invasions
Les Choristes
The Return
Road Home
Farewell My Concubine
So You Want to be a Nurse
School House Rockz
Makan Place
e-mail me

Anne Frank



by Anne Frank

The Definitive Edition, Viking 1997

reviewed by Kenneth Lyen

It is only recently that I finally got round to reading Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. It records 13-year-old Anne Frank’s experiences from 1942 to 1944 during the Nazi occupation of Holland where 8 Jews from 3 families were hiding in a cramped warehouse annex. Eventually they were discovered by the Gestapo in 1944 and all of them were sent to concentration camps, where everyone died except for Anne’s father. This latest 1997 edition is one of the most comprehensive, with a new translation, and containing 30% more material than previous editions.

A remarkable book for such a young teenage girl. Honestly written, it is full of insight, humour, and humanity. In her diary, she wrote that "in spite of everything I still believe, that people are truly good at heart." Anne described their cramped quarters, their near starvation, their frustrations and conflicts living so close together, isolated from the outside world. She also related her own coming of age, which was deleted from earlier editions.

Hiding in the annexe, they had to keep quiet all the time, afraid to flush the toilet and not allowed to open their window. "We’ve been strongly reminded of the fact that we’re Jews in chains, chained to one spot, without any rights, but with a thousand obligations... The time will come when we’ll be people again and not just Jews!"

With clairvoyance she wrote, "You’ve known for a long time that my greatest wish is to be a journalist, and later on, a famous writer. We’ll have to wait and see if these grand illusions (or delusions!) will ever come true, but till now I’ve had no lack of topics. In any case, after the war I’d like to publish a book called ‘The Secret Annexe’. It remains to be seen whether I’ll succeed, but my diary can serve as the basis." Little did she realise that her dream would come true, but only posthumously.

All eight fugitives were betrayed by some informer and were arrested by the Gestapo on 4 August 1944. Anne was taken to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where she died, age 15 years.

Read the book for a good cry. I wish I had read it many years earlier.