In the 1960s, Otto Frank recalled his feelings when reading the diary for the first time, "For me, it was a revelation. There, was revealed a completely different Anne to the child that I had lost. I had no idea of the depths of her thoughts and feelings." Michael Berenbaum, former director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, wrote "Precocious in style and insight, it traces her emotional growth amid adversity. In it she wrote, 'In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.'"
Denialism and historical authenticity
Anne Frank's story has become symbolic of the scale of Nazi atrocities during the war, a stark example of Jewish persecution under Adolf Hitler, and a dire warning of the consequences of persecution. However, there have been many claims by holocaust denialists that Anne Frank's diary was fabricated. Holocaust deniers such as Robert Faurisson have claimed that the diary is a forgery, though critical and forensic studies of the text and the original manuscript have supported its authenticity.
In his will, Otto Frank bequeathed his daughter's original manuscripts to the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation. After his death in 1980, the Institute commissioned a forensic study of the manuscripts. The material composition of the original notebooks and ink, and the handwriting found within them and the loose version were extensively examined. In 1986, the results were published: the handwriting was positively matched with contemporary samples of Anne Frank's handwriting, and the paper, ink, and glue found in the diaries and loose papers were consistent with materials available in Amsterdam during the period in which the diary was written.
The survey of her manuscripts compared an unabridged transcription of Anne Frank's original notebooks with the entries she expanded and clarified on loose paper in a rewritten form and the final edit as it was prepared for the English translation. The investigation revealed that all of the entries in the published version were accurate transcriptions of manuscript entries in Anne Frank's handwriting, and that they represented approximately a third of the material collected for the initial publication. The magnitude of edits to the text is comparable to other historical diaries such as those of Katherine Mansfield, Anaïs Nin and Leo Tolstoy in that the authors revised their diaries after the initial draft, and the material was posthumously edited into a publishable manuscript by their respective executors, only to be superseded in later decades by unexpurgated editions prepared by scholars.
It was reported globally that in February 2014, 265 copies of the Frank's diary and other material related to the Holocaust were found to be vandalized in 31 public libraries in Tokyo, Japan. The Simon Wiesenthal Center expressed "its shock and deep concern" and, in response, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga called the vandalism "shameful." Israel donated 300 copies of Anne Frank's diary to replace the vandalized copies. An anonymous donor under the name of 'Chiune Sugihara' donated two boxes of books pertaining to the Holocaust to the Tokyo central library. After the media fuss, police arrested an unemployed man in March. In June, prosecutors decided not to indict the suspect after he was found to be mentally incompetent. It has been known to librarians that Nazi-related books such as the diary and Man's Search for Meaning attract people with mental disorder and are subject to occasional vandalism.
In 2010, the Culpeper County, Virginia school system banned the 50th Anniversary "Definitive Edition" of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, due to "complaints about its sexual content and homosexual themes." This version "includes passages previously excluded from the widely read original edition.... Some of the extra passages detail her emerging sexual desires; others include unflattering descriptions of her mother and other people living together." After consideration, it was decided a copy of the newer version would remain in the library and classes would revert to using the older version.
In 2013, a similar controversy arose in a 7th grade setting in Northville, Michigan, focusing on explicit passages about sexuality. The mother behind the formal complaint referred to portions of the book as "pretty pornographic."
The American Library Association stated that there have been six challenges to the book in the United States since it started keeping records on bans and challenges in 1990, and "Most of the concerns were about sexually explicit material".