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Diary of ‘France’s Anne Frank’ on sale

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The war diary of a Jewish woman living in occupied Paris arrives in French bookstores this week.

“The Journal of Helene Berr” was discovered by archivists from France’s Holocaust Museum more than 50 years after it was given to her fiance, Jean Morawiecki, who escaped France to fight with the resistance.

Berr already is being called “France’s Anne Frank,” though she was 21 when she started her diary in 1942. Anne Frank, a Dutch girl, began her famed diary the same year but at the age of 13.

Berr’s diary ends on Feb. 15, 1944.

Berr died with her family in the Bergen-Belsen death camp, among the 70,000 Jews deported from France during World War II.

The diary begins with descriptions of Berr’s life in France before the war came to the country, and ends with the description of a visit she received from a former prisoner of war in Germany who tells her about the persecution and extermination of Jews. The final words of the diary are “the horror, the horror, the horror.”

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