Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Is ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ Too Racy?

One parent in Michigan believes the unedited version is, files complaint

Print Email

Here’s something maybe we shouldn’t be talking about when we talk about Anne Frank: whether the definitive, unedited version of her famous diary is ‘pornographic’ or not.

According to one Michigan parent, the less commonly used edition of the diary contains detailed descriptions in which Frank (for intentional lack of a better description) makes biological observations presumably not uncommon to those of most female teenagers. The parent, Gail Horalek, has filed a complaint after her daughter complained:

After the class had been reading it for a week, Horalek said her daughter told her she didn’t want to read the book anymore because it made her uncomfortable. Horalek thought it might be because of the book’s depressing nature in regards to the Holocaust. But her daughter said that wasn’t why and gave Horalek the page numbers for the graphic passages.

This particular material is inappropriate for seventh grade students to read, especially without their parents’ knowledge, Horalek said.

“It doesn’t mean my child is sheltered, it doesn’t mean I live in a bubble, and it doesn’t mean I’m trying to ban books,” she said.

Another article includes a passage from the unedited version, which I feel odd publishing here on the site, which may or may not sway you.

So long as I am childless, I am happily going to sit this one out. But I’d be curious to hear what others have to say about this controversy.

Students Need Parents’ Permission Before Reading Unedited ‘Diary of Anne Frank,’ Northville Mother Says [Northville Patch]
Northville mother files complaint about passages in the unedited version of ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’
[Fox]

Print Email
marjorie says:

I am reminded of the Onion story, “Ghost of Anne Frank: ‘Quit Reading My Diary'” (http://www.theonion.com/articles/ghost-of-anne-frank-quit-reading-my-diary,796/). But on a more serious note, I’m horrified every time a parent tries to keep other people’s children from reading a fine book just because she doesn’t want HER kid it. I am sad that someone is offended by a passage about normal self-discovery, using actual proper terms for parts of the body. I’m proud that my kid, who is younger than this woman’s, has read the unexpurgated diary.

The fact that Anne seems like a real, normal tween/teenager, with familiar concerns and curiosity, is what makes the book so powerful and so popular. There is no better way to learn about the Holocaust than by way of a personal story by an actual, flawed, fully dimensional person who feels alive to the reader; that’s what makes her murder so vivid and horrifying.

    yah, that mother and others who complain about this, must have not told their children about their body’s at all… which is why the pregnancy and other conducts are so high in the states… parents need to get a grip and be a parent

UNDERWEAR_BALMER says:

How inconvenient when symbols behave as real people. Young Tiffany, please continue to get your education from the television only!

Pesele says:

The point of reading Anne Frank is, I think, to allow kids to be introduced to the Shoah through the eyes of someone their own age. (When I was that age, I Never Saw Another Butterfly served much the same purpose.) The “offending” passage is not relevant to that purpose, so you might think it could be excised.
Not so! Our culture stigmatizes genitalia–and women’s genitalia, in particular. That stigmatization leads to shame about one’s body, which goes nowhere good (for example, the recent spate of suicides following rapes posted online with a fair number of comments blaming the victims). The fact that Adam Chandler was too squeamish to quote the passage–written by a fourteen-year-old!–is telling (and Adam, get over it (or, in common parlance, “grow a pair”)). And the fact that, in 1942, hiding from the Nazis, that fourteen-year-old is observant, accurate, and clearly not ashamed of herself–well, that makes the passage that much more important.

Americans are such prudes.

Ya gotta love people who can find something dirty in a book written by a young girl. North Korean students called her a loser for “giving up.” THEY are enslaved by a heinous monster of a dictator and they find fault with Anne Frank?

Methinks that the woman who wants her little girl to be ignorant of her own body needs psychological help…in a locked down hospital.

OTOH, it could just be a closet Jew-hater? Nahhh…

pkbrandon says:

Any fourteen year old girl who isn’t aware that she has labia has a serious problem.
If there’s to be legal action, it ought to be child neglect.

    The current sex education varies a lot in quality. I get notes (on yahoo.answers) all the time where a youngster mentions her “vagina”, which is the name she has been given for the whole visible part of her genitals. Uncomfortable teachers must have said quickly that boys have a penis and girls have a vagina, without further understandable details.

    I wonder how much the “home-schooled” girls learn from their parents. Surely not as much as Anne did, from her parents and the small library in the hiding place.

this mother should have talked to her daughter about her body a while ago…

Scott says:

It pretty much does mean her child is sheltered, she is living in a bubble, and is trying to ban at least one book.

Anne Frank diary is just another kike HOAX.
Heebs should ne exterminated for REAL.

doctordogood says:

The point that has long been made is that Anne Franks’s diary is often the only exposure school children get to the Holocaust. And it’s mostly about a teenager whose problems are exacerbated by being in hiding with other people. The Shoah is largely invisible. And, in the universalized version most often in use, even the Jewish parts of the largley secular Frank are expurgated. There’s a more serious issue about the de-Judaized diary in general use than the one about Anne’s ruminations about her body. In fact, teachers have told me that the whole focus on a teenage girl’s dilemmas tends to alienate boys, who find her problems irrelevant.

And that’s the diary’s attraction: it really isn’t about the Shoah and allows children who read it never to confront the realities of that period. That’s probably why the revised Frank diary is used to the exclusion of the vast array of other memoirs available.

Frank was an ugly, filthy little kike and a nobody.

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Is ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ Too Racy?

One parent in Michigan believes the unedited version is, files complaint

More on Tablet:

Rediscovering the First Woman Rabbi

By Laura Geller — Ordained in 1935, Regina Jonas died at Auschwitz. Now, she’s being honored.