byAlvin H. Rosenfeld, who teaches Jewish Studies at Indiana University, is the author of “A Double Dying: Reflections on Holocaust Literature,” “Imagining Hitler” and other works on Holocaust literature.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Among the thousands of stories written about World War II and the fate of the Jews, none is more widely known, or more cherished, than that of Anne Frank. “The Diary of a Young Girl,” first published in Dutch in 1947 as “Het Achterhuis” and since translated into more than 60 languages, is today an international literary classic. Often read as a school text, it has been a primary source of information on the war years and the Nazi persecution of the Jews for millions of young people. The transmutation and dissemination of the book by other media — stage, film, television, song, dance and traveling exhibitions — have spread Frank’s story, or versions of it, to still larger audiences. The famous house in Amsterdam, at 263 Prinsengracht, where for 25 months the young girl and seven other Jews hid from their Nazi hunters, is among Europe’s most popular pilgrimage sites.

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