Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, chapter name FEBRUARY 16 - MARCH 8, 1944

FEBRUARY 16 - MARCH 8, 1944


Peter and I hadn't talked to each other all day, except for a few meaningless words. It was too cold to go up to the attic, and anyway, it was Margot's birthday. At twelve-thirty he came to look at the presents and hung around chatting longer than was strictly necessary, something he'd never have done otherwise. But I got my chance in the afternoon. Since I felt like spoiling Margot on her birthday, I went to get the coffee, and after that the potatoes. When I came to Peter's room, he immediately took his papers off the stairs, and I asked if I should close the trapdoor to the attic.

"Sure," he said, "go ahead. When you're ready to come back down, just knock and I'll open it for you."

I thanked him, went upstairs and spent at least ten minutes searching around in the barrel for the smallest potatoes. My back started aching, and the attic was cold.

Naturally, I didn't bother to knock but opened the trap-door myself. But he obligingly got up and took the pan out of my hands.

"I did my best, but I couldn't find any smaller ones."

"Did you look in the big barrel?"

"Yes, I've been through them all."

By this time I was at the bottom of the stairs, and he examined the pan of potatoes he was still holding. "Oh, but these are fine," he said, and added, as I took the pan from him, "My compliments!"

As he said this, he gave me such a warm, tender look that I started glowing inside. I could tell he wanted to please me, but since he couldn't make a long complimentary speech, he said everything with his eyes. I understood him so well and was very grateful. It still makes me happy to think back to those words and that look! When I went downstairs, Mother said she needed more potatoes, this time for dinner, so I volunteered to go back up. When I entered Peter's room, I apologized for disturbing him again. As I was going up the stairs, he stood up, went over to stand between the stairs and the wall, grabbed my arm and tried to stop me.

"I'll go," he said. "I have to go upstairs anyway."

I replied that it wasn't really necessary, that I didn't have to get only the small ones this time. Convinced, he let go of my arm. On my way back, he opened the trapdoor and once again took the pan from me. Standing by the door, I asked, "What are you working on?"

"French," he replied.

I asked if I could take a look at his lessons. Then I went to wash my hands and sat down across from him on the divan.

After I'd explained some French to him, we began to talk. He told me that after the war he wanted to go to the Dutch East Indies and live on a rubber plantation. He talked about his life at home, the black market and how he felt like a worthless bum. I told him he had a big inferiority complex. He talked about the war, saying that Russia and England were bound to go to war against each other, and about the Jews. He said life would have been much easier if he'd been a Christian or could become one after the war. I asked if he wanted to be baptized, but that wasn't what he meant either. He said he'd never be able to feel like a Christian, but that after the war he'd make sure nobody would know he was Jewish. I felt a momentary pang. It's such a shame he still has a touch of dishonesty in him.

Peter added, "The Jews have been and always will be the chosen people!"

I answered, "Just this once, I hope they'll be chosen for something good!"

But we went on chatting very pleasantly, about Father, about judging human character and all sorts of things, so many that I can't even remember them all.

I left at a quarter past five, because Bep had arrived.

That evening he said something else I thought was nice. We were talking about the picture of a movie star I'd once given him, which has been hanging in his room for at least a year and a half. He liked it so much that I offered to give him a few more.

"No," he replied, "I'd rather keep the one I've got. I look at it every day, and the people in it have become my friends."

I now have a better understanding of why he always hugs Mouschi so tightly. He obviously needs affection too. I forgot to mention something else he was talking about.

He said, "No, I'm not afraid, except when it comes to things about myself, but I'm working on that."

Peter has a huge inferiority complex. For example, he always thinks he's so stupid and we're so smart. When I help him with French, he thanks me a thousand times. One of these days I'm going to say, "Oh, cut it out! You're much better at English and geography!"

Anne Frank



Dear Kitty,

I was upstairs this morning, since I promised Mrs. van D. I'd read her some of my stories. I began with "Eva's Dream," which she liked a lot, and then I read a few passages from "The Secret Annex," which had her in stitches. Peter also listened for a while (just the last part) and asked if I'd come to his room sometime to read more. I decided I had to take a chance right then and there, so I got my notebook and let him read that bit where Cady and Hans talk about God. I can't really tell what kind of impression it made on him. He said something I don't quite remember, not about whether it was good, but about the idea behind it. I told him I just wanted him to see that I didn't write only amusing things. He nodded, and I left the room. We'll see if I hear anything more!

Yours, Anne Frank



My dearest Kitty,

Whenever I go upstairs, it's always so I can see "him." Now that I have something to look forward to, my life here has improved greatly.

At least the object of my friendship is always here, and I don't have to be afraid of rivals (except for Margot). Don't think I'm in love, because I'm not, but I do have the feeling that something beautiful is going to develop between Peter and me, a kind of friendship and a feeling of trust. I go see him whenever I get the chance, and it's not the way it used to be, when he didn't know what to make of me. On the contrary, he's still talking away as I'm heading out the door. Mother doesn't like me going upstairs. She always says I'm bothering Peter and that I should leave him alone. Honestly, can't she credit me with some intuition? She always looks at me so oddly when I go to Peter's room. When I come down again, she asks me where I've been. It's terrible, but I'm beginning to hate her!

Yours, Anne M. Frank



Dearest Kitty,

It's Saturday again, and that should tell you enough. This morning all was quiet. I spent nearly an hour upstairs making meatballs, but I only spoke to "him" in passing. When everyone went upstairs at two-thirty to either read or take a nap, I went downstairs, with blanket and all, to sit at the desk and read or write. Before long I couldn't take it anymore. I put my head in my arms and sobbed my heart out. The tears streamed down my cheeks, and I felt desperately unhappy. Oh, if only' 'he" had come to comfort me.

It was past four by the time I went upstairs again. At five o'clock I set off to get some potatoes, hoping once again that we'd meet, but while I was still in the bathroom fixing my hair, he went to see Boche.

I wanted to help Mrs. van D. and went upstairs with my book and everything, but suddenly I felt the tears coming again. I raced downstairs to the bathroom, grabbing the hand mirror on the way. I sat there on the toilet, fully dressed, long after I was through, my tears leaving dark spots on the red of my apron, and I felt utterly dejected.

Here's what was going through my mind: "Oh, I'll never reach Peter this way. Who knows, maybe he doesn't even like me and he doesn't need anyone to confide in. Maybe he only thinks of me in a casual sort of way. I'll have to go back to being alone, without anyone to confide in and without Peter, without hope, comfort or anything to look forward to. Oh, if only I could rest my head on his shoulder and not feel so hopelessly alone and deserted! Who knows, maybe he doesn't care for me at all and looks at the others in the same tender way. Maybe I only imagined it was especially for me. Oh, Peter, if only you could hear me or see me. If the truth is disappointing, I won't be able to bear it."

A little later I felt hopeful and full of expectation again, though my tears were still flowing -- on the inside.

Yours, Anne M. Frank



What happens in other people's houses during the rest of the week happens here in the Annex on Sundays. While other people put on their best clothes and go strolling in the sun, we scrub, sweep and do the laundry.

Eight o'clock. Though the rest of us prefer to sleep in, Dussel gets up at eight. He goes to the bathroom, then downstairs, then up again and then to the bathroom, where he devotes a whole hour to washing himself.

Nine-thirty. The stoves are lit, the blackout screen is taken down, and Mr. van Daan heads for the bathroom. One of my Sunday morning ordeals is having to lie in bed and look at Dussel's back when he's praying. I know it sounds strange, but a praying Dussel is a terrible sight to behold. It's not that he cries or gets sentimental, not at all, but he does spend a quarter of an hour -- an entire fifteen minutes -- rocking from his toes to his heels. Back and forth, back and forth. It goes on forever, and if I don't shut my eyes tight, my head starts to spin.

Ten-fifteen. The van Daans whistle; the bathroom's free. In the Frank family quarters, the first sleepy faces are beginning to emerge from their pillows. Then everything happens fast, fast, fast. Margot and I take turns doing the laundry. Since it's quite cold downstairs, we put on pants and head scarves. Meanwhile, Father is busy in the bathroom. Either Margot or I have a turn in the bathroom at eleven, and then we're all clean.

Eleven-thirty. Breakfast. I won't dwell on this, since there's enough talk about food without my bringing the subject up as well.

Twelve-fifteen. We each go our separate ways. Father, clad in overalls, gets down on his hands and knees and brushes the rug so vigorously that the room is enveloped in a cloud of dust. Mr. Dussel makes the beds (all wrong, of course), always whistling the same Beethoven violin concerto as he goes about his work. Mother can be heard shuffling around the attic as she hangs up the washing. Mr. van Daan puts on his hat and disappears into the lower regions, usually followed by Peter and Mouschi. Mrs. van D. dons a long apron, a black wool jacket and overshoes, winds a red wool scarf around her head, scoops up a bundle of dirty laundry and, with a well-rehearsed washerwoman's nod, heads downstairs. Margot and I do the dishes and straighten up the room.



My dearest Kitty,

The weather's been wonderful since yesterday, and I've perked up quite a bit. My writing, the best thing I have, is coming along well. I go to the attic almost every morning to get the stale air out of my lungs. This morning when I went there, Peter was busy cleaning up. He finished quickly and came over to where I was sitting on my favorite spot on the floor. The two of us looked out at the blue sky, the bare chestnut tree glistening with dew, the seagulls and other birds glinting with silver as they swooped through the air, and we were so moved and entranced that we couldn't speak. He stood with his head against a thick beam, while I sat. We breathed in the air, looked outside and both felt that the spell shouldn't be broken with words. We remained like this for a long while, and by the time he had to go to the loft to chop wood, I knew he was a good, decent boy. He climbed the ladder to the loft, and I followed; during the fifteen minutes he was chopping wood, we didn't say a word either. I watched him from where I was standing, and could see he was obviously doing his best to chop the right way and show off his strength. But I also looked out the open window, letting my eyes roam over a large part of Amsterdam, over the rooftops and on to the horizon, a strip of blue so pale it was almost invisible.

"As long as this exists," I thought, "this sunshine and this cloudless sky, and as long as I can enjoy it, how can I be sad?"

The best remedy for those who are frightened, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere they can be alone, alone with the sky, nature and God. For then and only then can you feel that everything is as it should be and that God wants people to be happy amid nature's beauty and simplicity.

As long as this exists, and that should be forever, I know that there will be solace for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances. I firmly believe that nature can bring comfort to all who suffer.

Oh, who knows, perhaps it won't be long before I can share this overwhelming feeling of happiness with someone who feels the same as I do.

Yours, Anne

P.S. Thoughts: To Peter.

We've been missing out on so much here, so very much, and for such a long time. I miss it just as much as you do. I'm not talking about external things, since we're well provided for in that sense; I mean the internal things. Like you, I long for freedom and fresh air, but I think we've been amply compensated for their loss. On the inside, I mean.

This morning, when I was sitting in front of the window and taking a long, deep look outside at God and nature, I was happy, just plain happy. Peter, as long as people feel that kind of happiness within themselves, the joy of nature, health and much more besides, they'll always be able to recapture that happiness.

Riches, prestige, everything can be lost. But the happiness in your own heart can only be dimmed; it will always be there, as long as you live, to make you happy again. Whenever you're feeling lonely or sad, try going to the loft on a beautiful day and looking outside. Not at the houses and the rooftops, but at the sky. As long as you can look fearlessly at the sky, you'll know that you're pure within and will find happiness once more.



My dearest Kitty,

From early in the morning to late at night, all I do is think about Peter. I fall asleep with his image before my eyes, dream about him and wake up with him still looking at me.

I have the strong feeling that Peter and I aren't really as different as we may seem on the surface, and I'll explain why: neither Peter nor I have a mother. His is too superficial, likes to flirt and doesn't concern herself much with what goes on in his head. Mine takes an active interest in my life, but has no tact, sensitivity or motherly understanding.

Both Peter and I are struggling with our innermost feelings. We're still unsure of ourselves and are too vulnerable, emotionally, to be dealt with so roughly. Whenever that happens, I want to run outside or hide my feelings. Instead, I bang the pots and pans, splash the water and am generally noisy, so that everyone wishes I were miles away. Peter's reaction is to shut himself up, say little, sit quietly and daydream, all the while carefully hiding his true self.

But how and when will we finally reach each other?

I don't know how much longer I can continue to keep this yearning under control.

Yours, Anne M. Frank



My dearest Kitty,

It's like a nightmare, one that goes on long after I'm awake. I see him nearly every hour of the day and yet I can't be with him, I can't let the others notice, and I have to pretend to be cheerful, though my heart is aching.

Peter Schiff and Peter van Daan have melted into one Peter, who's good and kind and whom I long for desperately. Mother's horrible, Father's nice, which makes him even more exasperating, and Margot's the worst, since she takes advantage of my smiling face to claim me for herself, when all I want is to be left alone.

Peter didn't join me in the attic, but went up to the loft to do some carpentry work.

At every rasp and bang, another chunk of my courage broke off and I was even more unhappy. In the distance a clock was tolling' 'Be pure in heart, be pure in mind!"

I'm sentimental, I know. I'm despondent and foolish, I know that too.

Oh, help me!

Yours, Anne M. Frank



Dearest Kitty,

My own affairs have been pushed to the background by . . . a break-in. I'm boring you with all my break-ins, but what can I do when burglars take such pleasure in honoring Gies & Go. with their presence? This incident is much more complicated than the last one, in July 1943.

Last night at seven-thirty Mr. van Daan was heading, as usual, for Mr. Kugler's office when he saw that both the glass door and the office door were open. He was surprised, but he went on through and was even more astonished to see that the alcove doors were open as well and that there was a terrible mess in the front office. "There's been a burglary" flashed through his mind. But just to make sure, he went downstairs to the front door, checked the lock and found everything closed. "Bep and Peter must just have been very careless this evening," Mr. van. D. concluded. He remained for a while in Mr. Kugler's office, switched off the lamp and went upstairs without worrying much about the open doors or the messy office.

Early this morning Peter knocked at our door to tell us that the front door was wide open and that the projector and Mr. Kugler's new briefcase had disappeared from the closet. Peter was instructed to lock the door. Mr. van Daan told us his discoveries of the night before, and we were extremely worried.

The only explanation is that the burglar must have had a duplicate key, since there were no signs of a forced entry. He must have sneaked in early in the evening, shut the door behind him, hidden himself when he heard Mr. van Daan, fled with the loot after Mr. van Daan went upstairs and, in his hurry, not bothered to shut the door. Who could have our key? Why didn't the burglar go to the warehouse? Was it one of our own warehouse employees, and will he turn us in, now that he's heard Mr. van Daan and maybe even seen him?

It's really scary, since we don't know whether the burglar will take it into his head to try and get in again. Or was he so startled when he heard someone else in the building that he'll stay away?

Yours, Anne

P.S. We'd be delighted if you could hunt up a good detective for us. Obviously, there's one condition: he must be relied upon not to inform on people in hiding.



Dearest Kitty,

Margot and I were in the attic together today. I can't enjoy being there with her the way I imagine it'd be with Peter (or someone else). I know she feels the same about most things as I do!

While doing the dishes, Bep began talking to Mother and Mrs. van Daan about how discouraged she gets. What help did those two offer her? Our tactless mother, especially, only made things go from bad to worse. Do you know what her advice was? That she should think about all the other people in the world who are suffering! How can thinking about the misery of others help if you're miserable yourself? I said as much. Their response, of course, was that I should stay out of conversations of this sort.

The grown-ups are such idiots! As if Peter, Margot, Bep and I didn't all have the same feelings. The only thing that helps is a mother's love, or that of a very, very close friend. But these two mothers don't understand the first thing about us! Perhaps Mrs. van Daan does, a bit more than Mother. Oh, I wish I could have said something to poor Bep, something that I know from my own experience would have helped. But Father came between us, pushing me roughly aside. They're all so stupid!

I also talked to Margot about Father and Mother, about how nice it could be here if they weren't so aggravating. We'd be able to organize evenings in which everyone could take turns discussing a given subject. But we've already been through all that. It's impossible for me to talk here! Mr. van Daan goes on the offensive, Mother  gets sarcastic and can't say anything in a normal voice, Father doesn't feel like taking part, nor does Mr. Dussel, and Mrs. van D. is attacked so often that she just sits there with a red face, hardly able to put up a fight anymore. And what about us? We aren't allowed to have an opinion! My, my, aren't they progressive! Not have an opinion! People can tell you to shut up, but they can't keep you from having an opinion. You can't forbid someone to have an opinion, no matter how young they are! The only thing that would help Bep, Margot, Peter and me would be great love and devotion, which we don't get here. And no one, especially not the idiotic sages around here, is capable of understanding us, since we're more sensitive and much more advanced in our thinking than any of them ever suspect!

Love, what is love? I don't think you can really put it into words. Love is understanding someone, caring for him, sharing his joys and sorrows. This eventually includes physical love. You've shared something, given something away and received something in return, whether or not you're married, whether or not you have a baby. Losing your virtue doesn't matter, as long as you know that for as long as you live you'll have someone at your side who understands you, and who doesn't have to be shared with anyone else!

Yours, Anne M. Frank

At the moment, Mother's grouching at me again; she's clearly jealous because I talk to Mrs. van Daan more than to her. What do I care!

I managed to get hold of Peter this afternoon, and we talked for at least forty-five minutes. He wanted to tell me something about himself, but didn't find it easy. He finally got it out, though it took a long time. I honestly didn't know whether it was better for me to stay or to go. But I wanted so much to help him! I told him about Bep and how tactless our mothers are. He told me that his parents fight constantly, about politics and cigarettes and all kinds of things. As I've told you before, Peter's very shy, but not too shy to admit that he'd be perfectly happy not to see his parents for a year or two. "My father isn't as nice as he looks," he said. "But in the matter of the cigarettes, Mother's absolutely right."

I also told him about my mother. But he came to Father's defense. He thought he was a "terrific guy."

Tonight when I was hanging up my apron after doing the dishes, he called me over and asked me not to say anything downstairs about his parents' having had another argument and not being on speaking terms. I promised, though I'd already told Margot.

But I'm sure Margot won't pass it on.

"Oh no, Peter," I said, you don't have to worry about me. I've learned not to blab everything I hear. I never repeat what you tell me."

He was glad to hear that. I also told him what terrible gossips we are, and said,

"Margot's quite right, of course, when she says I'm not being honest, because as much as I want to stop gossiping, there's nothing I like better than discussing Mr. Dussel."

"It's good that you admit it," he said. He blushed, and his sincere compliment almost embarrassed me too.

Then we talked about "upstairs" and "downstairs" some more. Peter was really rather surprised to hear that don't like his parents. "Peter," I said, "you know I'm always honest, so why shouldn't I tell you this as well? We can see their faults too."

I added, "Peter, I'd really like to help you. Will you let me? You're caught in an awkward position, and I know, even though you don't say anything, that it upsets you."

"Oh, your help is always welcome!"

"Maybe it'd be better for you to talk to Father. You can tell him anything, he won't pass it on."

"I know, he's a real pal."

"You like him a lot, don't you?"

Peter nodded, and I continued, "Well, he likes you too, you know!"

He looked up quickly and blushed. It was really touching to see how happy these few words made him.

"You think so?" he asked.

"Yes," I said. "You can tell from the little things he lets slip now and then."

Then Mr. van Daan came in to do some dictating.

Peter's a "terrific guy," just like Father!

Yours, Anne M. Frank



My dearest Kitty,

When I looked into the candle tonight, I felt calm and happy again. It seems Grandma is in that candle, and it's Grandma who watches over and protects me and makes me feel happy again. But . . . there's someone else who governs all my moods and that's. . . Peter. I went to get the potatoes today, and while I was standing on the stairway with my pan full, he asked, "What did you do during the lunch break?"

I sat down on the stairs, and we began to talk. The potatoes didn't make it to the kitchen until five-fifteen (an hour after I'd gone to get them). Peter didn't say anything more about his parents; we just talked about books and about the past. Oh, he gazes at me with such warmth in his eyes; I don't think it will take much for me to fall in love with him.

He brought the subject up this evening. I went to his room after peeling potatoes and remarked on how hot it was. "You can tell the temperature by looking at Margot and me, because we turn white when it's cold and red when it's hot." I said.

"In love?" he asked.

"Why should I be in love?" It was a pretty silly answer (or, rather, question).

"Why not?" he said, and then it was time for dinner.

What did he mean? Today I finally managed to ask him whether my chatter bothered him. All he said was,

"Oh, it's fine with me!" I can't tell how much of his reply was due to shyness. Kitty, I sound like someone who's in love and can talk about nothing but her dearest darling. And Peter is a darling. Will I ever be able to tell him that? Only if he thinks the same of me, but I'm the kind of person you have to treat with kid gloves, I know that all too well.

And he likes to be left alone, so I don't know how much he likes me. In any case, we're getting to know each other a little better. I wish we dared to say more. But who knows, maybe that time will come sooner than I think!

Once or twice a day he gives me a knowing glance, I wink back, and we're both happy. It seems crazy to talk about his being happy, and yet I have the overwhelming feeling he thinks the same way I do.

Yours, Anne M. Frank



Dear Kitty,

This is the first Saturday in months that hasn't been tiresome, dreary and boring. The reason is Peter. This morning as I was on my way to the attic to hang up my apron, Father asked whether I wanted to stay and practice my French, and I said yes. We spoke French together for a while and I explained something to Peter, and then we worked on our English. Father read aloud from Dickens, and I was in seventh heaven, since I was sitting on Father's chair, close to Peter.

I went downstairs at quarter to eleven. When I went back up at eleven-thirty, Peter was already waiting for me on the stairs. We talked until quarter to one. Whenever I leave the room, for example after a meal, and Peter has a chance and no one else can hear, he says, "Bye, Anne, see you later."

Oh, I'm so happy! I wonder if he's going to fall in love with me after all. In any case, he's a nice boy, and you have no idea how good it is to talk to him!

Mrs. van D. thinks it's all right for me to talk to Peter, but today she asked me teasingly, "Can I trust you two up there?"

"Of course," I protested. "I take that as an insult!"

Morning, noon and night, I look forward to seeing Peter.

Yours, Anne M. Frank

PS. Before I forget, last night everything was blanketed in snow. Now it's thawed and there's almost nothing left.



Dearest Kitty,

Ever since Peter told me about his parents, I've felt a certain sense of responsibility toward him-don't you think that's strange? It's as though their quarrels were just as much my business as his, and yet I don't dare bring it up anymore, because I'm afraid it makes him uncomfortable. I wouldn't want to intrude, not for all the money in the world.

I can tell by Peter's face that he ponders things just as deeply as I do. Last night I was annoyed when Mrs. van D. scoffed, "The thinker!" Peter flushed and looked embarrassed, and I nearly blew my top.

Why don't these people keep their mouths shut?

You can't imagine what it's like to have to stand on the sidelines and see how lonely he is, without being able to do anything. I can imagine, as if I were in his place, how despondent he must sometimes feel at the quarrels. And about love. Poor Peter, he needs to be loved so much!

It sounded so cold when he said he didn't need any friends. Oh, he's so wrong! I don't think he means it. He clings to his masculinity, his solitude and his feigned indifference so he can maintain his role, so he'll never, ever have to show his feelings.

Poor Peter, how long can he keep it up? Won't he explode from this superhuman effort?

Oh, Peter, if only I could help you, if only you would let me! Together we could banish our loneliness, yours and mine!

I've been doing a great deal of thinking, but not saying much. I'm happy when I see him, and happier still if the sun shines when we're together. I washed my hair yesterday, and because I knew he was next door, I was very rambunctious. I couldn't help it; the more quiet and serious I am on the inside, the noisier I get on the outside!

Who will be the first to discover the chink in my armor?

It's just as well that the van Daans don't have a daughter. My conquest could never be so challenging, so beautiful and so nice with someone of the same sex!

Yours, Anne M. Frank

PS. You know I'm always honest with you, so I think I should tell you that I live from one encounter to the next. I keep hoping to discover that he's dying to see me, and I'm in raptures when I notice his bashful attempts. I think he'd like to be able to express himself as easily as I do; little does he know it's his awkwardness that I find so touching.



Dearest Kitty,

When I think back to my life in 1942, it all seems so unreal. The Anne Frank who enjoyed that heavenly existence was completely different from the one who has grown wise within these walls. Yes, it was heavenly. Five admirers on every street corner, twenty or so friends, the favorite of most of my teachers, spoiled rotten by Father and Mother, bags full of candy and a big allowance. What more could anyone ask for?

You're probably wondering how I could have charmed all those people. Peter says it’s because I’m "attractive," but that isn't it entirely. The teachers were amused and entertained by my clever answers, my witty remarks, my smiling face and my critical mind. That's all I was: a terrible flirt, coquettish and amusing. I had a few plus points, which kept me in everybody's good graces: I was hardworking, honest and generous. I would never have refused anyone who wanted to peek at my answers, I was magnanimous with my candy, and I wasn't stuck-up.

Would all that admiration eventually have made me overconfident? It's a good thing that, at the height of my glory, I was suddenly plunged into reality. It took me more than a year to get used to doing without admiration.

How did they see me at school? As the class comedian, the eternal ringleader, never in a bad mood, never a crybaby. Was it any wonder that everyone wanted to bicycle to school with me or do me little favors?

I look back at that Anne Frank as a pleasant, amusing, but superficial girl, who has nothing to do with me. What did Peter say about me? "Whenever I saw you, you were surrounded by a flock of girls and at least two boys, you were always laughing, and you were always the center of attention!" He was right.

What's remained of that Anne Frank? Oh, I haven't forgotten how to laugh or toss off a remark, I'm just as good, if not better, at raking people over the coals, and I can still flirt and be amusing, if I want to be . . .

But there's the catch. I'd like to live that seemingly carefree and happy life for an evening, a few days, a week. At the end of that week I'd be exhausted, and would be grateful to the first person to talk to me about something meaningful. I want friends, not admirers. People who respect me for my character and my deeds, not my flattering smile. The circle around me would be much smaller, but what does that matter, as long as they're sincere?

In spite of everything, I wasn't altogether happy in 1942; I often felt I'd been deserted, but because I was on the go all day long, I didn't think about it. I enjoyed myself as much as I could, trying consciously or unconsciously to fill the void with jokes.

Looking back, I realize that this period of my life has irrevocably come to a close; my happy-go-lucky, carefree schooldays are gone forever. I don't even miss them. I've outgrown them. I can no longer just kid around, since my serious side is always there. I see my life up to New Year's 1944 as if I were looking through a powerful magnifying glass. When I was at home, my life was filled with sunshine. Then, in the middle of 1942, everything changed overnight. The quarrels, the accusations -- I couldn't take it all in. I was caught off guard, and the only way I knew to keep my bearings was to talk back.

The first half of 1943 brought crying spells, loneliness and the gradual realization of my faults and short- comings, which were numerous and seemed even more so. I filled the day with chatter, tried to draw Pim closer to me and failed. This left me on my own to face the difficult task of improving myself so I wouldn't have to hear their reproaches, because they made me so despondent.

The second half of the year was slightly better. I became a teenager, and was treated more like a grown-up. I began to think about things and to write stories, finally coming to the conclusion that the others no longer had anything to do with me. They had no right to swing me back and forth like a pendulum on a clock. I wanted to change myself in my own way. I realized I could man- age without my mother, completely and totally, and that hurt. But what affected me even more was the realization that I was never going to be able to confide in Father. I didn't trust anyone but myself.

After New Year's the second big change occurred: my dream, through which I discovered my longing for . . . a boy; not for a girlfriend, but for a boyfriend. I also discovered an inner happiness underneath my superficial and cheerful exterior. From time to time I was quiet. Now I live only for Peter, since what happens to me in the future depends largely on him!

I lie in bed at night, after ending my prayers with the words "Thank you, God, for all that is good and dear and beautiful" and I'm filled with joy. I think of going into hiding, my health and my whole being as das Cute; Peter's love (which is still so new and fragile and which neither of us dares to say aloud), the future, happiness and love as das Liebe; the world, nature and the tremendous beauty of everything, all that splendor, as das Schone.

At such moments I don't think about all the misery, but about the beauty that still remains. This is where Mother and I differ greatly. Her advice in the face of melancholy is: "Think about all the suffering in the world and be thankful you're not part of it." My advice is: "Go outside, to the country, enjoy the sun and all nature has to offer. Go outside and try to recapture the happiness within yourself; think of all the beauty in yourself and in everything around you and be happy."

I don't think Mother's advice can be right, because what are you supposed to do if you become part of the suffering? You'd be completely lost. On the contrary, beauty remains, even in misfortune. If you just look for it, you discover more and more happiness and regain your balance. A person who's happy will make others happy; a person who has courage and faith will never die in misery!

Yours, Anne M. Frank



Margot and I have been writing each other notes, just for fun, of course.

Anne: It's strange, but I can only remember the day after what has happened the night before. For example, I suddenly remembered that Mr. Dussel was snoring loudly last night. (It's now quarter to three on Wednesday afternoon and Mr. Dussel is snoring again, which is why it flashed through my mind, of course.) When I had to use the potty, I deliberately made more noise to get the snoring to stop.

Margot: Which is better, the snoring or the gasping for air?

Anne: The snoring's better, because it stops when I make noise, without waking the person in question.

What I didn't write to Margot, but what I'll confess to you, dear Kitty, is that I've been dreaming of Peter a great deal. The night before last I dreamed I was skating right here in our living room with that little boy from the Apollo ice-skating rink; he was with his sister, the girl with the spindly legs who always wore the same blue dress. I introduced myself, overdoing it a bit, and asked him his name. It was Peter. In my dream I wondered just how many Peters I actually knew!

Then I dreamed we were standing in Peter's room, facing each other beside the stairs. I said something to him; he gave me a kiss, but replied that he didn't love me all that much and that I shouldn't flirt. In a desperate and pleading voice I said, "I'm not flirting, Peter!"

When I woke up, I was glad Peter hasn't said it after all.

Last night I dreamed we were kissing each other, but

Peter's cheeks were very disappointing: they weren't as soft as they looked. They were more like Father's cheeks -- the cheeks of a man who already shaves.