For her thirteenth birthday on 12 June 1942, she was given an autograph book, bound with red-and-white chequered cloth, and with a small lock on the front. The girl, Anne Frank, decided she would use it as a diary and she began writing in it almost immediately. In her entry dated 20 June 1942, she lists many of the restrictions placed upon the lives of the Dutch Jewish population. The following month the family went into hiding. She kept her diary for a little over two years, until the family were discovered. Anne died in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in February 1945.
Who could have imagined that the scribbled thoughts of girl hidden from the world who died aged 15 would be shared around the world? Who could have foreseen that her life would touch the hearts of future generations? May her hopes help to shape our tomorrows:
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank, from her diary.
we look back and see
horrors we can hardly imagine:
the machinery of government or commence
to degrade and condemn.
Help us to look forward and see
with equal clearly
the despoliation of our age:
the gross inequalities,
the contamination of lives and planet,
that we might work
to improve our world.