Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, chapter name APRIL 19 - MAY 8, 1944

APRIL 19 - MAY 8, 1944


Dearest Darling,

(That's the title of a movie with Dorit Kreysler, Ida Wust and Harald Paulsen!)

What could be nicer than sitting before an open window, enjoying nature, listening to the birds sing, feeling the sun on your cheeks and holding a darling boy in your arms? I feel so peaceful and safe with his arm around me, knowing he's near and yet not having to speak; how can this be bad when it does me so much good? Oh, if only we were never disturbed again, not even by Mouschi.

Yours, Anne M. Frank


FRIDAY, APRIL 21, 1944

My dearest Kitty,

I stayed in bed yesterday with a sore throat, but since I was already bored the very first afternoon and didn't have a fever, I got up today. My sore throat has nearly disappeared.

Yesterday, as you've probably already discovered, was our Fiihrer's fifty-fifth birthday. Today is the eighteenth birthday of Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth of York. The BBC reported that she hasn't yet been declared of age, though royal children usually are. We've been wondering which prince they'll marry this beauty off to, but can't think of a suitable candidate; perhaps her sister, Princess Margaret Rose, can have Crown Prince Baudouin of Belgium!

Here we've been going from one disaster to the next. No sooner have the outside doors been reinforced than van Maaren rears his head again. In all likelihood he's the one who stole the potato flour, and now he's trying to pin the blame on Bep. Not surprisingly, the Annex is once again in an uproar. Bep is beside herself with rage. Perhaps Mr. Kugler will finally have this shady character tailed.

The appraiser from Beethovenstraat was here this morning. He offered us 400 guilders for our chest; in our opinion, the other estimates are also too low.

I want to ask the magazine The Prince if they'll take one of my fairy tales, under a pseudonym, of course. But up to now all my fairy tales have been too long, so I don't think I have much of a chance.

Until the next time, darling.

Yours, Anne M. Frank



Dearest Kitty,

For the last ten days Dussel hasn't been on speaking terms with Mr. van Daan, and all because of the new security measures since the break-in. One of these was that he's no longer allowed to go downstairs in the evenings. Peter and Mr. van Daan make the last round every night at nine-thirty, and after that no one may go downstairs. We can't flush the toilet anymore after eight at night or after eight in the morning. The windows may be opened only in the morning when the lights go on in Mr. Kugler's office, and they can no longer be propped open with a stick at night. This last measure is the reason for Dussel's sulking. He claims that Mr. van Daan bawled him out, but he has only himself to blame. He says he'd rather live without food than without air, and that they simply must figure out a way to keep the windows open. "I'll have to speak to Mr. Kugler about this," he said to me.

I replied that we never discussed matters of this sort with Mr. Kugler, only within the group.

"Everything's always happening behind my back. I'll have to talk to your father about that."

He's also not allowed to sit in Mr. Kugler's office anymore on Saturday afternoons or Sundays, because the manager of Keg's might hear him if he happens to be next door. Dussel promptly went and sat there anyway. Mr. van Daan was furious, and Father went downstairs to talk to Dussel, who came up with some flimsy excuse, but even Father didn't fall for it this time. Now Father's keeping his dealings with Dussel to a minimum because Dussel insulted him. Not one of us knows what he said, but it must have been pretty awful.

And to think that that miserable man has his birthday next week. How can you celebrate your birthday when you've got the sulks, how can you accept gifts from people you won't even talk to?

Mr. Voskuijl is going downhill rapidly. For more than ten days he's had a temperature of almost a hundred and four. The doctor said his condition is hopeless; they think the cancer has spread to his lungs. The poor man, we'd so like to help him, but only God can help him now!

I've written an amusing story called "Blurry the Explorer," which was a big hit with my three listeners.

I still have a bad cold and have passed it on to Margot, as well as Mother and Father.

If only Peter doesn't get it. He insisted on a kiss, and called me his El Dorado. You can't call a person that, silly boy! But he's sweet anyway!

Yours, Anne M. Frank



Dearest Kitty,

Mrs. van D. was in a bad mood this morning. All she did was complain, first about her cold, not being able to get cough drops and the agony of having to blow her nose all the time. Next she grumbled that the sun wasn't shining, the invasion hadn't started, we weren't allowed to look out the windows, etc., etc. We couldn't help but laugh at her, and it couldn't have been that bad, since she soon joined in.

Our recipe for potato kugel, modified due to lack of onions:

Put peeled potatoes through a food mill and add a little dry government-issue flour and salt. Grease a mold or ovenproof dish with paraffin or stearin and bake for 21/2 hours. Serve with rotten strawberry compote. (Onions not available. Nor oil for mold or dough!)

At the moment I'm reading Emperor Charles V, written by a professor at the University of Gottingen; he's spent forty years working on this book. It took me five days to read fifty pages. I can't do any more than that. Since the book has 598 pages, you can figure out just how long it's going to take me. And that's not even counting the second volume. But . . . very interesting!

The things a schoolgirl has to do in the course of a single day! Take me, for example. First, I translated a passage on Nelson's last battle from Dutch into English. Then, I read more about the Northern War (1700-21) involving Peter the Great, Charles XII, Augustus the Strong, Stanislaus Leczinsky, Mazeppa, von Gorz, Brandenburg, Western Pomerania, Eastern Pomerania and Denmark, plus the usual dates.

Next, I wound up in Brazil, where I read about Bahia tobacco, the abundance of coffee, the one and a half million inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro, Pernambuco and Sao Paulo and, last but not least, the Amazon River. Then about Negroes, mulattoes, mestizos, whites, the illiteracy rate -- over 50 percent -- and malaria. Since I had some time left, I glanced through a genealogical chart: John the Old, William Louis, Ernest Casimir I, Henry Casimir I, right up to little Margriet Franciska (born in 1943 in Ottawa).

Twelve o'clock: I resumed my studies in the attic, reading about deans, priests, ministers, popes and . . . whew, it was one o'clock!

At two the poor child (ho hum) was back at work. Old World and New World monkeys were next. Kitty, tell me quickly, how many toes does a hippopotamus have? Then came the Bible, Noah's Ark, Shem, Ham and Japheth. After that, Charles V. Then, with Peter, Thackeray's book about the colonel, in English. A French test, and then a comparison between the Mississippi and the Missouri!

Enough for today. Adieu!

Yours, Anne M. Frank


FRIDAY, APRIL 28, 1944

Dearest Kitty,

I've never forgotten my dream of Peter Schiff (see the beginning of January). Even now I can still feel his cheek against mine, and that wonderful glow that made up for all the rest. Once in a while I'd had the same feeling with this Peter, but never so intensely . . . until last night. We were sitting on the divan, as usual, in each other's arms. Suddenly the everyday Anne slipped away and the second Anne took her place. The second Anne, who's never overconfident or amusing, but wants only to love and be gentle.

I sat pressed against him and felt a wave of emotion come over me. Tears rushed to my eyes; those from the left fell on his overalls, while those from the right trickled down my nose and into the air and landed beside the first. Did he notice? He made no movement to show that he had. Did he feel the same way I did? He hardly said a word. Did he realize he had two Annes at his side? My questions went unanswered. At eight-thirty I stood up and went to the window, where we always say good-bye. I was still trembling, I was still Anne number two. He came over to me, and I threw my arms around his neck and kissed him on his left cheek. I was about to kiss the other cheek when my mouth met his, and we pressed our lips together. In a daze, we embraced, over and over again, never to stop, oh!

Peter needs tenderness. For the first time in his life he's discovered a girl; for the first time he's seen that even the biggest pests also have an inner self and a heart, and are transformed as soon as they're alone with you. For the first time in his life he's given himself and his friendship to another person. He's never had a friend before, boy or girl. Now we've found each other. I, for that matter, didn't know him either, had never had someone I could confide in, and it's led to this . . .

The same question keeps nagging me: "Is it right?" Is it right for me to yield so soon, for me to be so passionate, to be filled with as much passion and desire as Peter? Can I, a girl, allow myself to go that far?

There's only one possible answer: "I'm longing so much . . . and have for such a long time. I'm so lonely and now I've found comfort!"

In the mornings we act normally, in the afternoons too, except now and then. But in the evenings the suppressed longing of the entire day, the happiness and the bliss of all the times before come rushing to the surface, and all we can think about is each other. Every night, after our last kiss, I feel like running away and never looking him in the eyes again. Away, far away into the darkness and alone!

And what awaits me at the bottom of those fourteen stairs? Bright lights, questions and laughter. I have to act normally and hope they don't notice anything.

My heart is still too tender to be able to recover so quickly from a shock like the one I had last night. The gentle Anne makes infrequent appearances, and she's not about to let herself be shoved out the door so soon after she's arrived. Peter's reached a part of me that no one has ever reached before, except in my dream! He's taken hold of me and turned me inside out. Doesn't everyone need a little quiet time to put themselves to rights again? Oh, Peter, what have you done to me? What do you want from me? Where will this lead?

Oh, now I understand Bep. Now, now that I'm going through it myself, I understand her doubts; if I were older and he wanted to marry me, what would my answer be? Anne, be honest! You wouldn't be able to marry him. But it's so hard to let go. Peter still has too little character, too little willpower, too little courage and strength. He's still a child, emotionally no older than I am; all he wants is happiness and peace of mind. Am I really only fourteen? Am I really just a silly schoolgirl? Am I really so inexperienced in everything? I have more experience than most; I've experienced something almost no one my age ever has.

I'm afraid of myself, afraid my longing is making me yield too soon. How can it ever go right with other boys later on? Oh, it's so hard, the eternal struggle between heart and mind. There's a time and a place for both, but how can I be sure that I've chosen the right time?

Yours, Anne M. Frank


TUESDAY, MAY 2, 1944

Dearest Kitty,

Saturday night I asked Peter whether he thinks I should tell Father about us. After we'd discussed it, he said he thought I should. I was glad; it shows he's sensible, and sensitive. As soon as I came downstairs, I went with Father to get some water. While we were on the stairs, I said, "Father, I'm sure you've gathered that when Peter and I are together, we don't exactly sit at opposite ends of the room. Do you think that's wrong?"

Father paused before answering: "No, I don't think it's wrong. But Anne, when you're living so close together, as we do, you have to be careful." He said some other words to that effect, and then we went upstairs.

Sunday morning he called me to him and said, "Anne, I've been thinking about what you said." (Oh, oh, I knew what was coming!) "Here in the Annex it's not such a good idea. I thought you were just friends. Is Peter in love with you?"

"Of course not," I answered.

"Well, you know I understand both of you. But you must be the one to show restraint; don't go upstairs so often, don't encourage him more than you can help. In matters like these, it's always the man who takes the active role, and it's up to the woman to set the limits. Outside, where you're free, things are quite different. You see other boys and girls, you can go outdoors, take part in sports and all kinds of activities. But here, if you're together too much and want to get away, you can't. You see each other every hour of the day-all the time, in fact. Be careful, Anne, and don't take it too seriously!

"I don't, Father, but Peter's a decent boy, a nice boy."

"Yes, but he doesn't have much strength of character. He can easily be influenced to do good, but also to do bad. I hope for his sake that he stays good, because he's basically a good person."

We talked some more and agreed that Father would speak to him too.

Sunday afternoon when we were in the front attic, Peter asked, "Have you talked to your Father yet, Anne?"

"Yes," I replied, "I'll tell you all about it. He doesn't think it's wrong, but he says that here, where we're in such close quarters, it could lead to conflicts."

"We've already agreed not to quarrel, and I plan to keep my promise."

"Me too, Peter. But Father didn't think we were serious, he thought we were just friends. Do you think we still can be?"

"Yes, I do. How about you?"

"Me too. I also told Father that I trust you. I do trust you, Peter, just as much as I do Father. And I think you're worthy of my trust. You are, aren't you?"

"I hope so." (He was very shy, and blushing.)

"I believe in you, Peter," I continued. "I believe you have a good character and that you'll get ahead in this world."

After that we talked about other things. Later I said, "If we ever get out of here, I know you won't give me another thought."

He got all fired up. "That's not true, Anne. Oh no, I won't let you even think that about me!"

Just then somebody called us.

Father did talk to him, he told me Monday. "Your Father thought our friendship might turn into love," he said. "But I told him we'd keep ourselves under control."

Father wants me to stop going upstairs so often, but I don't want to. Not just because I like being with Peter, but because I've said I trust him. I do trust him, and I want to prove it to him, but I'll never be able to if I stay downstairs out of distrust.

No, I'm going!

In the meantime, the Dussel drama has been resolved. Saturday evening at dinner he apologized in beautiful Dutch. Mr. van Daan was immediately reconciled. Dussel must have spent all day practicing his speech.

Sunday, his birthday, passed without incident. We gave him a bottle of good wine from 1919, the van Daans (who can now give their gift after all) presented him with a jar of piccalilli and a package of razor blades, and Mr. Kugler gave him a jar of lemon syrup (to make lemonade), Miep a book, Little Martin, and Bep a plant. He treated everyone to an egg.

Yours, Anne M. Frank



Dearest Kitty,

First the weekly news! We're having a vacation from politics. There's nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, to report. I'm also gradually starting to believe that the invasion will come. After all, they can't let the Russians do all the dirty work; actually, the Russians aren't doing anything at the moment either.

Mr. Kleiman comes to the office every morning now. He got a new set of springs for Peter's divan, so Peter will have to get to work reupholstering it; not surprisingly, he isn't at all in the mood. Mr. Kleiman also brought some flea powder for the cats. Have I told you that our Boche has disappeared? We haven't seen hide nor hair of her since last Thursday. She's probably already in cat heaven, while some animal lover has turned her into a tasty dish. Perhaps some girl who can afford it will be wearing a cap made of Boche's fur. Peter is heartbroken.

For the last two weeks we've been eating lunch at eleven-thirty on Saturdays; in the mornings we have to make do with a cup of hot cereal. Starting tomorrow it'll be like this every day; that saves us a meal. Vegetables are still very hard to come by. This afternoon we had rotten boiled lettuce. Ordinary lettuce, spinach and boiled lettuce, that's all there is. Add to that rotten potatoes, and you have a meal fit for a king! I hadn't had my period for more than two months, but it finally started last Sunday. Despite the mess and bother, I'm glad it hasn't deserted me.

As you can no doubt imagine, we often say in despair, "What's the point of the war? Why, oh, why can't people live together peacefully? Why all this destruction?"

The question is understandable, but up to now no one has come up with a satisfactory answer. Why is England manufacturing bigger and better airplanes and bombs and at the same time churning out new houses for reconstruction? Why are millions spent on the war each day, while not a penny is available for medical science, artists or the poor? Why do people have to starve when mountains of food are rotting away in other parts of the world? Oh, why are people so crazy?

I don't believe the war is simply the work of politicians and capitalists. Oh no, the common man is every bit as guilty; otherwise, people and nations would have rebelled long ago! There's a destructive urge in people, the urge to rage, murder and kill. And until all of humanity, without exception, undergoes a metamorphosis, wars will continue to be waged, and everything that has been carefully built up, cultivated and grown will be cut down and destroyed, only to start all over again!

I've often been down in the dumps, but never desperate. I look upon our life in hiding as an interesting adventure, full of danger and romance, and every privation as an amusing addition to my diary. I've made up my mind to lead a different life from other girls, and not to become an ordinary housewife later on. What I'm experiencing here is a good beginning to an interesting life, and that's the reason -- the only reason -- why I have to laugh at the humorous side of the most dangerous moments.

I'm young and have many hidden qualities; I'm young and strong and living through a big adventure; I'm right in the middle of it and can't spend all day complaining because it's impossible to have any fun! I'm blessed with many things: happiness, a cheerful disposition and strength. Every day I feel myself maturing, I feel liberation drawing near, I feel the beauty of nature and the goodness of the people around me. Every day I think what a fascinating and amusing adventure this is! With all that, why should I despair?

Yours, Anne M. Frank


FRIDAY, MAY 5, 1944

Dear Kitty,

Father's unhappy with me. After our talk on Sunday he thought I'd stop going upstairs every evening. He won't have any of that Necking going on. I can't stand that word. Talking about it was bad enough -- why does he have to make me feel bad too! I'll have a word with him today. Margot gave me some good advice.

Here's more or less what I'd like to say:

I think you expect an explanation from me, Father, so I'll give you one. You're disappointed in me, you expected more restraint from me, you no doubt want me to act the way a fourteen-year-old is supposed to. But that's where you're wrong!

Since we've been here, from July 1942 until a few weeks ago, I haven't had an easy time. If only you knew how much I used to cry at night, how unhappy and despondent I was, how lonely I felt, you'd understand my wanting to go upstairs! I've now reached the point where I don't need the support of Mother or anyone else. It didn't happen overnight. I've struggled long and hard and shed many tears to become as independent as I am now. You can laugh and refuse to believe me, but I don't care. I know I'm an independent person, and I don't feel I need to account to you for my actions. I'm only telling you this because I don't want you to think I'm doing things behind your back. But there's only one person I'm accountable to, and that's me. When I was having problems, everyone -- and that includes you -- closed their eyes and ears and didn't help me. On the contrary, all I ever got were admonitions not to be so noisy. I was noisy only to keep myself from being miserable all the time. I was overconfident to keep from having to listen to the voice inside me. I've been putting on an act for the last year and a half, day in, day out. I've never complained or dropped my mask, nothing of the kind, and now . . . now the battle is over. I've won! I'm independent, in both body and mind. I don't need a mother anymore, and I've emerged from the struggle a stronger person.

Now that it's over, now that I know the battle has been won, I want to go my own way, to follow the path that seems right to me. Don't think of me as a fourteen-year-old, since all these troubles have made me older; I won't regret my actions, I'll behave the way I think I should!

Gentle persuasion won't keep me from going upstairs. You'll either have to forbid it, or trust me through thick and thin. Whatever you do, just leave me alone!

Yours, Anne M. Frank



Dearest Kitty,

Last night before dinner I tucked the letter I'd written into Father's pocket. According to Margot, he read it and was upset for the rest of the evening. (I was upstairs doing the dishes!) Poor Pim, I might have known what the effect of such an epistle would be. He's so sensitive! I immediately told Peter not to ask any questions or say anything more. Pim's said nothing else to me about the matter. Is he going to?

Everything here is more or less back to normal. We can hardly believe what Jan, Mr. Kugler and Mr. Kleiman tell us about the prices and the people on the outside; half a pound of tea costs 350.00 guilders, half a pound of coffee 80.00 guilders, a pound of butter 35.00 guilders, one egg 1.45 guilders. People are paying 14.00 guilders an ounce for Bulgarian tobacco! Everyone's trading on the black market; every errand boy has something to offer. The delivery boy from the bakery has supplied us with darning thread-90 cents for one measly skein-the milkman can get hold of ration books, an undertaker delivers cheese. Break-ins, murders and thefts are daily occurrences. Even the police and night watchmen are getting in on the act. Everyone wants to put food in their stomachs, and since salaries have been frozen, people have had to resort to swindling. The police have their hands full trying to track down the many girls of fifteen, sixteen, seventeen and older who are reported missing every day.

I want to try to finish my story about Ellen, the fairy. Just for fun, I can give it to Father on his birthday, together with all the copyrights.

See you later! (Actually, that's not the right phrase. In the German program broadcast from England they always close with "Aufwiederhoren." So I guess I should say, "Until we write again.")

Yours, Anne M. Frank



Dearest Kitty,

Father and I had a long talk yesterday afternoon. I cried my eyes out, and he cried too. Do you know what he said to me, Kitty?

"I've received many letters in my lifetime, but none as hurtful as this. You, who have had so much love from your parents. You, whose parents have always been ready to help you, who have always defended you, no matter what. You talk of not having to account to us for your actions! You feel you've been wronged and left to your own devices. No, Anne, you've done us a great injustice!

"Perhaps you didn't mean it that way, but that's what you wrote. No, Anne, we have done nothing to deserve such a reproach!"

Oh, I've failed miserably. This is the worst thing I've ever done in my entire life. I used my tears to show off, to make myself seem important so he'd respect me. I've certainly had my share of unhappiness, and everything I said about Mother is true. But to accuse Pim, who's so good and who's done everything for me-no, that was too cruel for words.

It's good that somebody has finally cut me down to size, has broken my pride, because I've been far too smug. Not everything Mistress Anne does is good! Anyone who deliberately causes such pain to someone they say they love is despicable, the lowest of the low!

What I'm most ashamed of is the way Father has forgiven me; he said he's going to throw the letter in the stove, and he's being so nice to me now, as if he were the one who'd done something wrong. Well, Anne, you still have a lot to learn. It's time you made a beginning, in- stead of looking down at others and always giving them the blame!

I've known a lot of sorrow, but who hasn't at my age? I've been putting on an act, but was hardly even aware of it. I've felt lonely, but never desperate! Not like Father, who once ran out into the street with a knife so he could put an end to it all. I've never gone that far.

I should be deeply ashamed of myself, and I am. What's done can't be undone, but at least you can keep it from happening again. I'd like to start all over, and that shouldn't be difficult, now that I have Peter. With him supporting me, I know I can do it! I'm not alone anymore. He loves me, I love him, I have my books, my writing and my diary. I'm not all that ugly, or that stupid, I have a sunny disposition, and I want to develop a good character!

Yes, Anne, you knew full well that your letter was unkind and untrue, but you were actually proud of it! I'll take Father as my example once again, and I will improve myself.

Yours, Anne M. Frank


MONDAY, MAY 8, 1944

Dearest Kitty,

Have I ever told you anything about our family? I don't think I have, so let me begin. Father was born in Frankfurt am Main to very wealthy parents: Michael Frank owned a bank and became a millionaire, and Alice Stern's parents were prominent and well-to-do. Michael Frank didn't start out rich; he was a self-made man. In his youth Father led the life of a rich man's son. Parties every week, balls, banquets, beautiful girls, waltzing, dinners, a huge house, etc. After Grandpa died, most of the money was lost, and after the Great War and inflation there was nothing left at all. Up until the war there were still quite a few rich relatives. So Father was extremely well-bred, and he had to laugh yesterday because for the first time in his fifty-five years, he scraped out the frying pan at the table.

Mother's family wasn't as wealthy, but still fairly well-off, and we've listened openmouthed to stories of private balls, dinners and engagement parties with 250 guests.

We're far from rich now, but I've pinned all my hopes on after the war. I can assure you, I'm not so set on a bourgeois life as Mother and Margot. I'd like to spend a year in Paris and London learning the languages and studying art history. Compare that with Margot, who wants to nurse newborns in Palestine. I still have visions of gorgeous dresses and fascinating people. As I've told you many times before, I want to see the world and do all kinds of exciting things, and a little money won't hurt!

This morning Miep told us about her cousin's engagement party, which she went to on Saturday. The cousin's parents are rich, and the groom's are even richer. Miep made our mouths water telling us about the food that was served: vegetable soup with meatballs, cheese, rolls with sliced meat, hors d'oeuvres made with eggs and roast beef, rolls with cheese, genoise, wine and cigarettes, and you could eat as much as you wanted.

Miep drank ten schnapps and smoked three cigarettes -- could this be our temperance advocate? If Miep drank all those, I wonder how many her spouse managed to toss down. Everyone at the party was a little tipsy, of course. There were also two officers from the Homicide Squad, who took photographs of the wedding couple. You can see we're never far from Miep's thoughts, since she promptly noted their names and addresses in case anything should happen and we needed contacts with good Dutch people.

Our mouths were watering so much. We, who'd had nothing but two spoon full of hot cereal for breakfast and were absolutely famished; we, who get nothing but half-cooked spinach (for the vitamins!) and rotten potatoes day after day; we, who fill our empty stomachs with nothing but boiled lettuce, raw lettuce, spinach, spinach and more spinach. Maybe we'll end up being as strong as Popeye, though up to now I've seen no sign of it!

If Miep had taken us along to the party, there wouldn't have been any rolls left over for the other guests. If we'd been there, we'd have snatched up everything in sight, including the furniture. I tell you, we were practically pulling the words right out of her mouth. We were gathered around her as if we'd never in all our lives heard of" delicious food or elegant people! And these are the granddaughters of the distinguished millionaire. The world is a crazy place!

Yours, Anne M. Frank