It has been 90 years since the birth of Anne Frank. Her diary remains, for millions worldwide, the most accessible introduction to the grim subject of the Holocaust. It is also a literary miracle of sharply observed character analysis and precocious moral reflection. Presented by Bruce Thompson, Ph.D., Friday, May 24, 2019, at 7:00PM (doors open at 6:15PM for the wine reception).
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In one of the worst decisions in the history of publishing, Alfred A. Knopf rejected Anne Frank's Diary as "very dull ... a dreary record of typical family bickering, petty annoyances and adolescent emotions." But as we all know, The Diary of a Young Girl became one of the best-selling books of the twentieth century, with sales over 30 million in more than sixty languages. Not only does it remain, for millions of readers, the most accessible introduction to the grim subject of the Holocaust, it is also a literary miracle, a vivid account of life in the "secret annex" that alternates between sharply observed character analysis and precocious moral reflection. Beginning with a historical analysis of the Holocaust in the Netherlands, where fewer than 25 percent of the country's Jewish population survived the war, our lecture will illuminate the fate of the Frank family, the posthumous triumph of the Diary, and Anne's astonishing literary talent. Presented by Bruce Thompson, Ph.D., Friday, May 24, 2019, at 7:00PM (doors open at 6:15PM for the wine reception). (NOTE: This lecture is presented twice, on May 24 and May 25.)
Bruce Thompson is a lecturer in the Departments of History and Literature and the Associate Director of Jewish Studies at U.C.-Santa Cruz, and also teaches at the Institute. He received his Ph.D. in History from Stanford; his areas of scholarly research include European intellectual and cultural history, French history, British Isles history, American Jewish intellectual and cultural history, the history of cinema, and the history of espionage.