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Product_catalog : School : LitLink : Grade08 : The Diary of Anne Frank, act 1
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Reader's Toolbox
Dialogue. Dialogue is conversation involving two or more people or characters. Plays are made up of dialogue and stage directions. As you read, choose one person from the play, and write about an instance where what he or she says reflects his or her personality or character.

Setting. The setting of a literary work is the time and place in which it happens. Writers create settings in many different ways. In drama, the setting is usually revealed by the stage set and costumes. As you read, think about the role setting plays in The Diary of Anne Frank. Why is setting an integral part of this play? What historical events determine the setting of the play? Refer to page 764 for a diagram of the Franks’ hiding place, the “Secret Annex,” in which the play takes place.

Reader's Resource
  • World History Connection. The Holocaust refers to the mass murder of European Jews by German Nazis during World War II. Part of Nazi Dictator Adolf Hitler’s plan to conquer the world included eliminating the entire Jewish population. The Nazis killed more than six million Jews in Europe between 1938 and 1945. In addition, Hitler was responsible for the murder of another five million Europeans, including Gypsies, Poles, and Slavs.
  • The Holocaust began when the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933 and started to persecute Jewish members of the population. Laws and regulations prevented Jews from attending universities and, in many cases, from owning businesses or property. In 1938, the Nazis began sending German Jews to concentration camps as political prisoners. Concentration camps were places of horror where Jewish people were used as slave labor. Many people were worked to death, starved, or died from disease. Those who were not able to perform hard labor—mostly women, children, the sick, and the elderly—were murdered in gas chambers. In 1939, Germany invaded Poland and forced Jews to leave their homes and live in special areas called ghettos. In 1940 many other countries, including France and the Netherlands, fell to Germany.
  • Anne Frank was a Jew born in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1929. In 1933, she and her family moved to the Netherlands to escape persecution. There, they were safe until 1940, when the Germans invaded Holland and put anti-Jewish laws into practice. In 1942, when Anne’s sister was called for deportation to a concentration camp, the family went into hiding. The Franks hid with another family, the Van Daans, in a few rooms in the upper story of the building where Otto Frank had worked. They were later joined by a dentist named Mr. Dussel. During the two years they were in the “Secret Annex,” as they called their hiding place, Anne kept a diary on which the play The Diary of Anne Frank is based.
readers journal
Think about the things in life that are most important to you. What are some of the things that you most cherish or believe in most strongly? How might you react if someone threatened to take those away from you? Would you consider risking your safety and well-being to help another hold on to those same things?
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