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Is ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ Too Racy?

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

Adam Chandler
April 26, 2013

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.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.