Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, chapter name MAY 31 - JUNE 30, 1944

MAY 31 - JUNE 30, 1944


Dearest Kitty,

Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday it was too hot to hold my fountain pen, which is why I couldn't write to you. Friday the drains were clogged, Saturday they were fixed. Mrs. Kleiman came for a visit in the afternoon and told us a lot about Jopiej she and Jacque van Maarsen are in the same hockey club. Sunday Bep dropped by to make sure there hadn't been a break-in and stayed for breakfast. Monday (a holiday because of Pentecost), Mr. Gies served as the Annex watchman, and Tuesday we were finally allowed to open the windows. We've seldom had a Pentecost weekend that was so beautiful and warm. Or maybe "hot" is a better word. Hot weather is horrible in the Annex. To give you an idea of the numerous complaints, I'll briefly describe these sweltering days.

Saturday: "Wonderful, what fantastic weather," we all said in the morning. "If only it weren't quite so hot," we said in the afternoon, when the windows had to be shut.

Sunday: "The heat's unbearable, the butter's melting, there's not a cool spot anywhere in the house, the bread's drying out, the milk's going sour, the windows can't be opened. We poor outcasts are suffocating while everyone else is enjoying their Pentecost." (According to Mrs. van D.)

Monday: "My feet hurt, I have nothing cool to wear, I can't do the dishes in this heat!" Grumbling from early in the morning to late at night. It was awful. I can't stand the heat. I'm glad the wind's come up today, but that the sun's still shining.

Yours, Anne M. Frank


FRIDAY, JUNE 2, 1944 J

Dear Kitty,

"If you're going to the attic, take an umbrella with you, preferably a large one!" This is to protect you from "household showers." There's a Dutch proverb: "High and dry, safe and sound," but it obviously doesn't apply to wartime (guns!) and to people in hiding (cat box!). Mouschi's gotten into the habit of relieving herself on some newspapers or between the cracks in the floor boards, so we have good reason to fear the splatters and, even worse, the stench. The new Moortje in the warehouse has the same problem. Anyone who's ever had a cat that's not housebroken can imagine the smells, other than pepper and thyme that permeate this house.

I also have a brand-new prescription for gunfire jitters: When the shooting gets loud, proceed to the nearest wooden staircase. Run up and down a few times, making sure to stumble at least once. What with the scratches and the noise of running and falling, you won't even be able to hear the shooting, much less worry about it. Yours truly has put this magic formula to use, with great success!

Yours, Anne M. Frank


MONDAY, JUNE 5, 1944

Dearest Kitty,

New problems in the Annex. A quarrel between Dussel and the Franks over the division of butter. Capitulation on the part of Dussel. Close friendship between the latter and Mrs. van Daan, flirtations, kisses and friendly little smiles. Dussel is beginning to long for female companionship.

The van Daans don't see why we should bake a spice cake for Mr. Kugler's birthday when we can't have one ourselves. All very petty. Mood upstairs: bad. Mrs. van D. has a cold. Dussel caught with brewer's yeast tablets, while we've got none.

The Fifth Army has taken Rome. The city neither destroyed nor bombed. Great propaganda for Hitler.

Very few potatoes and vegetables. One loaf of bread was moldy.

Scharminkeltje (name of new warehouse cat) can't stand pepper. She sleeps in the cat box and does her business in the wood shavings. Impossible to keep her.

Bad weather. Continuous bombing of Pas de Calais and the west coast of France.

No one buying dollars. Gold even less interesting.

The bottom of our black moneybox is in sight. What are we going to live on next month?

Yours, Anne M. Frank



My dearest Kitty,

"This is D Day," the BBC announced at twelve.

"This is the day." The invasion has begun!

This morning at eight the British reported heavy bombing of Calais, Boulogne, Le Havre and Cherbourg, as well as Pas de Calais (as usual). Further, as a precautionary measure for those in the occupied territories, everyone living within a zone of twenty miles from the coast was warned to prepare for bombardments. Where possible, the British will drop pamphlets an hour ahead of time.

According to the German news, British paratroopers have landed on the coast of France. "British landing craft are engaged in combat with German naval units," according to the BBC.

Conclusion reached by the Annex while breakfasting at nine: this is a trial landing, like the one two years ago in Dieppe.

BBC broadcast in German, Dutch, French and other languages at ten: The invasion has begun! So this is the "real" invasion. BBC broadcast in German at eleven: speech by Supreme Commander General Dwight Eisenhower.

BBC broadcast in English: "This is 0 Day." General Eisenhower said to the French people: "Stiff fighting will come now, but after this the victory. The year 1944 is the year of complete victory. Good luck!"

BBC broadcast in English at one: 11,000 planes are shuttling back and forth or standing by to land troops and bomb behind enemy lines; 4,000 landing craft and small boats are continually arriving in the area between Cherbourg and Le Havre. English and American troops are already engaged in heavy combat. Speeches by Gerbrandy, the Prime Minister of Belgium, King Haakon of Norway, de Gaulle of France, the King of England and, last but not least, Churchill.

A huge commotion in the Annex! Is this really the beginning of the long-awaited liberation? The liberation we've all talked so much about, which still seems too good, too much of a fairy tale ever to come true? Will this year, 1944, bring us victory? We don't know yet. But where there's hope, there's life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again. We'll need to be brave to endure the many fears and hardships and the suffering yet to come. It's now a matter of remaining calm and steadfast, of gritting our teeth and keeping a stiff upper lip! France, Russia, Italy, and even Germany, can cry out in agony, but we don't yet have that right!

Oh, Kitty, the best part about the invasion is that I have the feeling that friends are on the way. Those terrible Germans have oppressed and threatened us for so long that the thought of friends and salvation means everything to us! Now it's not just the Jews, but Holland and all of occupied Europe. Maybe, Margot says, I can even go back to school in October or September.

Yours, Anne M. Frank

P.S. I'll keep you informed of the latest news!

This morning and last night, dummies made of straw and rubber were dropped from the air behind German lines, and they exploded the minute they hit the ground. Many paratroopers, their faces blackened so they couldn't be seen in the dark, landed as well. The French coast was bombarded with 5,500 tons of bombs during the night, and then, at six in the morning, the first landing craft came ashore. Today there were 20,000 airplanes in action. The German coastal batteries were destroyed even before the landing; a small bridgehead has already been formed. Everything's going well, despite the bad weather. The army and the people are "one will and one hope."


FRIDAY, JUNE 9, 1944

Dearest Kitty,

Great news of the invasion! The Allies have taken Bayeux, a village on the coast of France, and are now fighting for Caen. They're clearly intending to cut off the peninsula where Cherbourg is located. Every evening the war correspondents report on the difficulties, the courage and the fighting spirit of the army. To get their stories, they pull off the most amazing feats. A few of the wounded who are already back in England also spoke on the radio. Despite the miserable weather, the planes are flying diligently back and forth. We heard over the BBC that Churchill wanted to land along with the troops on D Day, but Eisenhower and the other generals managed to talk him out of it. Just imagine, so much courage for such an old man he must be at least seventy!

The excitement here has died down somewhat; still, we're all hoping that the war will finally be over by the end of the year. It's about time! Mrs. van Daan's constant griping is unbearable; now that she can no longer drive us crazy with the invasion, she moans and groans all day about the bad weather. If only we could plunk her down in the loft in a bucket of cold water!

Everyone in the Annex except Mr. van Daan and Peter has read the Hunaarian Rhapsody trilogy, a biography of the composer, piano virtuoso and child prodigy Franz Liszt. It's very interesting, though in my opinion there's a bit too much emphasis on women; Liszt was not only the greatest and most famous pianist of his time, he was also the biggest womanizer, even at the age of seventy. He had an affair with Countess Marie d' Agoult, Princess Carolyne Sayn- Wittgenstein, the dancer Lola Montez, the pianist Agnes Kingworth, the pianist Sophie Menter, the Circassian princess Olga Janina, Baroness Olga Meyendorff, actress Lilla what's-her-name, etc., etc., and there's no end to it. Those parts of the book dealing with music and the other arts are much more interesting. Some of the people mentioned are Schumann, Clara Wieck, Hector Berlioz, Johannes Brahms, Beethoven, Joachim, Richard Wagner, Hans von Bulow, Anton Rubinstein, Frederic Chopin, Victor Hugo, Honore de Balzac, Hiller, Hummel, Czerny, Rossini, Cherubini, Paganini, Mendelssohn, etc., etc. Liszt appears to have been a decent man, very generous and modest, though exceptionally vain. He helped others, put art above all else, was extremely fond of cognac and women, couldn't bear the sight of tears, was a gentleman, couldn't refuse anyone a favor, wasn't interested in money and cared about religious freedom and the world.

Yours, Anne M. Frank


TUESDAY, JUNE 13, 1944

Dearest Kit,

Another birthday has gone by, so I'm now fifteen. I received quite a few gifts: Springer's five-volume art history book, a set of underwear, two belts, a handkerchief, two jars of yogurt, a jar of jam, two honey cookies (small), a botany book from Father and Mother, a gold bracelet from Margot, a sticker album from the van Daans, Biomalt and sweet peas from Dussel, candy from Miep, candy and notebooks from Bep, and the high point: the book Maria Theresa and three slices of full-cream cheese from Mr. Kugler. Peter gave me a lovely bouquet of peonies; the poor boy had put a lot of effort into finding a present, but nothing quite worked out.

The invasion is still going splendidly, in spite of the miserable weather, pouring rains, gale winds and high seas.

Yesterday Churchill, Smuts, Eisenhower and Arnold visited the French villages that the British have captured and liberated. Churchill was on a torpedo boat that shelled the coast. Like many men, he doesn't seem to know what fear is -- an enviable trait! From our position here in Fort Annex, it's difficult to gauge the mood of the Dutch. No doubt many people are glad the idle British have finally rolled up their sleeves and gotten down to work. Those who keep claiming they don't want to be occupied by the British don't realize how unfair they're being. Their line of reasoning boils down to this: England must fight, struggle and sacrifice its sons to liberate Holland and the other occupied countries. After that the British shouldn't remain in Holland: they should offer their most abject apologies to all the occupied countries, restore the Dutch East Indies to its rightful owner and then return, weakened and impoverished, to England. What a bunch of idiots. And yet, as I've already said, many Dutch people can be counted among their ranks. What would have become of Holland and its neighbors if England had signed a peace treaty with Germany, as it's had ample opportunity to do? Holland would have become German, and that would have been the end of that! All those Dutch people who still look down on the British, scoff at England and its government of old fogies, call the English cowards, yet hate the Germans, should be given a good shaking, the way you'd plump up a pillow. Maybe that would straighten out their jumbled brains!

Wishes, thoughts, accusations and reproaches are swirling around in my head. I'm not really as conceited as many people think; I know my various faults and shortcomings better than anyone else, but there's one difference: I also know that I want to change, will change and already have changed greatly!

Why is it, I often ask myself, that everyone still thinks I'm so pushy and such a know-it-all? Am I really so arrogant? Am I the one who's so arrogant, or are they? It sounds crazy, I know, but I'm not going to cross out that last sentence, because it's not as crazy as it seems. Mrs. van Daan and Dussel, my two chief accusers, are known to be totally unintelligent and, not to put too fine a point on it, just plain "stupid"! Stupid people usually can't bear it when others do something better than they do; the best examples of this are those two dummies, Mrs. van Daan and Dussel. Mrs. van D. thinks I'm stupid because I don't suffer so much from this ailment as she does, she thinks I'm pushy because she's even pushier, she thinks my dresses are too short because hers are even shorter, and she thinks I'm such a know-it-all because she talks twice as much as I do about topics she knows nothing about. The same goes for Dussel. But one of my favorite sayings is "Where there's smoke there's fire," and I readily admit I'm a know-it-all.

What's so difficult about my personality is that I scold and curse myself much more than anyone else does; if Mother adds her advice, the pile of sermons becomes so thick that I despair of ever getting through them. Then I talk back and start contradicting everyone until the old familiar Anne refrain inevitably crops up again: "No one understands me!"

This phrase is part of me, and as unlikely as it may seem, there's a kernel of truth in it. Sometimes I'm so deeply buried under self-reproaches that I long for a word of comfort to help me dig myself out again. If only I had someone who took my feelings seriously. Alas, I haven't yet found that person, so the search must go on.

I know you're wondering about Peter, aren't you, Kit? It's true, Peter loves me, not as a girlfriend, but as a friend. His affection grows day by day, but some mysterious force is holding us back, and I don't know what it is.

Sometimes I think my terrible longing for him was over exaggerated. But that's not true, because if I'm unable to go to his room for a day or two, I long for him as desperately as I ever did. Peter is kind and good, and yet I can't deny that he's disappointed me in many ways. I especially don't care for his dislike of religion, his table conversations and various things of that nature. Still, I'm firmly convinced that we'll stick to our agreement never to quarrel. Peter is peace-loving, tolerant and extremely easygoing. He lets me say a lot of things to him that he'd never accept from his mother. He's making a determined effort to remove the blots from his copybook and keep his affairs in order. Yet why does he hide his innermost self and never allow me access? Of course, he's much more closed than I am, but I know from experience (even though I'm constantly being accused of knowing all there is to know in theory, but not in practice) that in time, even the most uncommunicative types will long as much, or even more, for someone to confide in.

Peter and I have both spent our contemplative years in the Annex. We often discuss the future, the past and the present, but as I've already told you, I miss the real thing, and yet I know it exists!

Is it because I haven't been outdoors for so long that I've become so smitten with nature? I remember a time when a magnificent blue sky, chirping birds, moonlight and budding blossoms wouldn't have captivated me. Things have changed since I came here. One night during the Pentecost holiday, for instance, when it was so hot, I struggled to keep my eyes open until eleven-thirty so I could get a good look at the moon, all on my own for once. Alas, my sacrifice was in vain, since there was too much glare and I couldn't risk opening a window. An- other time, several months ago, I happened to be upstairs one night when the window was open. I didn't go back down until it had to be closed again. The dark, rainy evening, the wind, the racing clouds, had me spellbound; it was the first time in a year and a half that I'd seen the night face-to-face. After that evening my longing to see it again was even greater than my fear of burglars, a dark rat-infested house or robberies. I went downstairs all by myself and looked out the windows in the kitchen and private office. Many people think nature is beautiful, many people sleep from time to time under the starry sky, and many people in hospitals and prisons long for the day when they'll be free to enjoy what nature has to offer. But few are as isolated and cut off as we are from the joys of nature, which can be shared by rich and poor alike.

It's not just my imagination -- looking at the sky, the clouds, the moon and the stars really does make me feel calm and hopeful. It's much better medicine than valerian or bromide. Nature makes me feel humble and ready to face every blow with courage! As luck would have it, I'm only able -- except for a few rare occasions-to view nature through dusty curtains tacked over dirt-caked windows; it takes the pleasure out of looking. Nature is the one thing for which there is no substitute!

One of the many questions that have often bothered me is why women have been, and still are, thought to be so inferior to men. It's easy to say it's unfair, but that's not enough for me; I'd really like to know the reason for this great injustice!

Men presumably dominated women from the very beginning because of their greater physical strength; it's men who earn a living, beget children and do as they please. . .

Until recently, women silently went along with this, which was stupid, since the longer it's kept up, the more deeply entrenched it becomes. Fortunately, education, work and progress have opened women's eyes. In many countries they've been granted equal rights; many people, mainly women, but also men, now realize how wrong it was to tolerate this state of affairs for so long. Modern women want the right to be completely independent!

But that's not all. Women should be respected as well! Generally speaking, men are held in great esteem in all parts of the world, so why shouldn't women have their share? Soldiers and war heroes are honored and commemorated, explorers are granted immortal fame, martyrs are revered, but how many people look upon women too as soldiers?

In the book Soldiers on the Home Front I was greatly struck by the fact that in childbirth alone, women commonly suffer more pain, illness and misery than any war hero ever does. And what's her reward for enduring all that pain? She gets pushed aside when she's disfigured by birth, her children soon leave, her beauty is gone. Women, who struggle and suffer pain to ensure the continuation of the human race, make much tougher and more courageous soldiers than all those big-mouthed freedom-fighting heroes put together!

I don't mean to imply that women should stop having children; on the contrary, nature intended them to, and that's the way it should be. What I condemn are our system of values and the men who don't acknowledge how great, difficult, but ultimately beautiful women's share in society is.

I agree completely with Paul de Kruif, the author of this book, when he says that men must learn that birth is no longer thought of as inevitable and unavoidable in those parts of the world we consider civilized. It's easy for men to talk -- they don't and never will have to bear the woes that women do!

I believe that in the course of the next century the notion that it's a woman's duty to have children will change and make way for the respect and admiration of all women, who bear their burdens without complaint or a lot of pompous words!

Yours, Anne M. Frank


FRIDAY, JUNE 16, 1944

Dearest Kitty,

New problems: Mrs. van D. is at her wit's end. She's talking about getting shot, being thrown in prison, being hanged and suicide. She's jealous that Peter confides in me and not in her, offended that Dussel doesn't respond sufficiently to her flirtations and afraid her husband's going to squander all the fur-coat money on tobacco. She quarrels, curses, cries, feels sorry for herself, laughs and starts all over again.

What on earth can you do with such a silly, sniveling specimen of humanity? Nobody takes her seriously, she has no strength of character, she complains to one and all, and you should see how she walks around: acts like a schoolgirl, looks like a frump. Even worse, Peter's becoming insolent, Mr. van Daan irritable and Mother cynical. Yes, everyone's in quite a state! There's only one rule you need to remember: laugh at everything and forget everybody else! It sounds egotistical, but it's actually the only cure for those suffering from self-pity. Mr. Kugler's supposed to spend four weeks in Alkmaar on a work detail. He's trying to get out of it with a doctor's certificate and a letter from Opekta. Mr. Kleiman's hoping his stomach will be operated on soon. Starting at eleven last night, all private phones were cut off.

Yours, Anne M. Frank


FRIDAY, JUNE 23, 1944

Dearest Kitty,

Nothing special going on here. The British have begun their all-out attack on Cherbourg. According to Pim and Mr. van Oaan, we're sure to be liberated before October 10. The Russians are taking part in the campaign; yesterday they started their offensive near Vitebsk, exactly three years to the day that the Germans invaded Russia.

Bep's spirits have sunk lower than ever. We're nearly out of potatoes; from now on, we're going to count them out for each person, then everyone can do what they want with them. Starting Monday, Miep's taking a week of vacation. Mr. Kleiman's doctors haven't found anything on the X rays. He's torn between having an operation and letting matters take their course.

Yours, Anne M. Frank


TUESDAY, JUNE 27, 1944

My dearest Kitty,

The mood has changed, everything's going enormously well. Cherbourg, Vitebsk and Zhlobin fell today. They're sure to have captured lots of men and equipment. Five German generals were killed near Cherbourg and two taken captive. Now that they've got a harbor, the British can bring whatever they want on shore. The whole Cotentin Peninsula has been captured just three weeks after the invasion! What a feat!

In the three weeks since D Day there hasn't been a day without rain and storms, neither here nor in France, but this bad luck hasn't kept the British and the Americans from displaying their might. And how! Of course, the Germans have launched their wonder weapon, but a little firecracker like that won't hardly make a dent, except maybe minor damage in England and screaming headlines in the Kraut newspapers. Anyway, when they realize in "Krautland" that the Bolsheviks really are getting closer, they'll be shaking in their boots.

All German women who aren't working for the military are being evacuated, together with their children, from the coastal regions to the provinces of Groningen, Friesland and Gelderland. Mussert has announced that if the invasion reaches Holland, he'll enlist. Is that fat pig planning to fight? He could have done that in Russia long before now. Finland turned down a peace offer some time ago, and now the negotiations have been broken off again.

Those numbskulls, they'll be sorry!

How far do you think we'll be on July 27?

Yours, Anne M. Frank


FRIDAY, JUNE 30, 1944

Dearest Kitty,

Bad weather from one at a stretch to the thirty June. Don't I say that well? Oh yes, I already know a little English; just to prove it I'm reading An Ideal Husband with the help of a dictionary! War's going wonderfully: Bobruysk, Mogilev and Orsha have fallen, lots of prisoners.

Everything's all right here. Spirits are improving, our super optimists are triumphant, the van Daans are doing disappearing acts with the sugar, Bep' s changed her hair, and Miep has a week off. That's the latest news!

I've been having really ghastly root-canal work done on one of my front teeth. It's been terribly painful. It was so bad Dussel thought I was going to faint, and I nearly did. Mrs. van D. promptly got a toothache as well!

Yours, Anne M. Frank

P.S. We've heard from Basel that Bernd played the part of the innkeeper in Minna von Barnhelm. He has "artistic leanings," says Mother.