Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, chapter name NOVEMBER 27, 1943 - JANUARY 19, 1944

NOVEMBER 27, 1943 - JANUARY 19, 1944


Dearest Kitty,

Last night, just as I was falling asleep, Hanneli suddenly appeared before me. I saw her there, dressed in rags, her face thin and worn. She looked at me with such sadness and reproach in her enormous eyes that I could read the message in them: "Oh, Anne, why have you deserted me? Help me, help me, rescue me from this hell!" And I can't help her. I can only stand by and watch while other people suffer and die. All I can do is pray to God to bring her back to us. I saw Hanneli, and no one else, and I understood why. I misjudged her, wasn't mature enough to understand how difficult it was for her. She was devoted to her girlfriend, and it must have seemed as though I were trying to take her away. The poor thing, she must have felt awful! I know, because I recognize the feeling in myself! I had an occasional flash of understanding, but then got selfishly wrapped up again in my own problems and pleasures.

It was mean of me to treat her that way, and now she was looking at me, oh so helplessly, with her pale face and beseeching eyes. If only I could help her! Dear God, I have everything I could wish for, while fate has her in its deadly clutches. She was as devout as I am, maybe even more so, and she too wanted to do what was right. But then why have I been chosen to live, while she's probably going to die? What's the difference between us? Why are we now so far apart?

To be honest, I hadn't thought of her for months -- no, for at least a year. I hadn't forgotten her entirely, and yet it wasn't until I saw her before me that I thought of all her suffering.

Oh, Hanneli, I hope that if you live to the end of the war and return to us, I'll be able to take you in and make up for the wrong I've done you.

But even if I were ever in a position to help, she wouldn't need it more than she does now. I wonder if she ever thinks of me, and what she's feeling?

Merciful God, comfort her, so that at least she won't be alone. Oh, if only you could tell her I'm thinking of her with compassion and love, it might help her go on. I've got to stop dwelling on this. It won't get me anywhere. I keep seeing her enormous eyes, and they haunt me. Does Hanneli really and truly believe in God, or has religion merely been foisted upon her? I don't even know that. I never took the trouble to ask. Hanneli, Hanneli, if only I could take you away, if only I could share everything I have with you. It's too late. I can't help, or undo the wrong I've done. But I'll never forget her again and I'll always pray for her!

Yours, Anne



Dearest Kitty,

The closer it got to St. Nicholas Day, the more we all thought back to last year's festively decorated basket.

More than anyone, I thought it would be terrible to skip a celebration this year. After long deliberation, I finally came up with an idea, something funny. I consulted rim, and a week ago we set to work writing a verse for each person.

Sunday evening at a quarter to eight we trooped upstairs carrying the big laundry basket, which had been decorated with cutouts and bows made of pink and blue carbon paper. On top was a large piece of brown wrapping paper with a note attached.

Everyone was rather amazed at the sheer size of the gift. I removed the note and read it aloud:

"Once again St. Nicholas Day

Has even come to our hideaway;

It won't be quite as Jun, I fear,

As the happy day we had last year.

Then we were hopeful, no reason to doubt

That optimism would win the bout,

And by the time this year came round,

We'd all be free, and s* and sound.

Still, let's not forget it's St. Nicholas Day,

Though we've nothing left to give away.

We'll have to find something else to do:

So everyone please look in their shoe!"

As each person took their own shoe out of the basket, there was a roar of laughter. Inside each shoe was a little wrapped package addressed to its owner.

Yours, Anne


Dearest Kitty,

A bad case of flu has prevented me from writing to you until today. Being sick here is dreadful. With every cough, I had to duck under the blanket -- once, twice, three times -- and try to keep from coughing anymore.

Most of the time the tickle refused to go away, so I had to drink milk with honey, sugar or cough drops. I get dizzy just thinking about all the cures I've been subjected to: sweating out the fever, steam treatment, wet compresses, dry compresses, hot drinks, swabbing my throat, lying still, heating pad, hot-water bottles, lemonade and, every two hours, the thermometer. Will these remedies really make you better? The worst part was when Mr. Dussel decided to play doctor and lay his pomaded head on my bare chest to listen to the sounds. Not only did his hair tickle, but I was embarrassed, even though he went to school thirty years ago and does have some kind of medical degree. Why should he lay his head on my heart? After all, he's not my boyfriend! For that matter, he wouldn't be able to tell a healthy sound from an unhealthy one.

He'd have to have his ears cleaned first, since he's becoming alarmingly hard of hearing. But enough about my illness. I'm fit as a fiddle again. I've grown almost half an inch and gained two pounds. I'm pale, but itching to get back to my books. By way of exception, we're all getting on well together. No squabbles, though that probably won't last long. There hasn't been such peace and quiet in this house for at least six months.

Bep is still in isolation, but any day now her sister will no longer be contagious.

For Christmas, we're getting extra cooking oil, candy and molasses. For Hanukkah, Mr. Dussel gave Mrs. van Daan and Mother a beautiful cake, which he'd asked Miep to bake. On top of all the work she has to do! Margot and I received a brooch made out of a penny, all bright and shiny. I can't really describe it, but it's lovely. I also have a Christmas present for Miep and Bep. For a whole month I've saved up the sugar I put on my hot cereal, and Mr. Kleiman has used it to have fondant made. The weather is drizzly and overcast, the stove stinks, and the food lies heavily on our stomachs, producing a variety of rumbles.

The war is at an impasse, spirits are low.

Yours, Anne



Dear Kitty,

As I've written you many times before, moods have a tendency to affect us quite a bit here, and in my case it's been getting worse lately. "On top of the world, or in the depths of despair." certainly applies to me. I'm "on top of the world" when I think of how fortunate we are and compare myself to other Jewish children, and "in the depths of despair" when, for example, Mrs. Kleiman comes by and talks about Jopie's hockey club, canoe trips, school plays and afternoon teas with friends.

I don't think I'm jealous of Jopie, but I long to have a really good time for once and to laugh so hard it hurts.

We're stuck in this house like lepers, especially during winter and the Christmas and New Year's holidays. Actually, I shouldn't even be writing this, since it makes me seem so ungrateful, but I can't keep everything to myself, so I'll repeat what I said at the beginning: "Paper is more patient than people."

Whenever someone comes in from outside, with the wind in their clothes and the cold on their cheeks, I feel like burying my head under the blankets to keep from thinking,

"When will we be allowed to breathe fresh air again?" I can't do that -- on the contrary, I have to hold my head up high and put a bold face on things, but the thoughts keep coming anyway. Not just once, but over and over. Believe me, if you've been shut up for a year and a half, it can get to be too much for you sometimes. But feelings can't be ignored, no matter how unjust or ungrateful they seem. I long to ride a bike, dance, whistle, look at the world, feel young and know that I'm free, and yet I can't let it show. Just imagine what would happen if all eight of us were to feel sorry for ourselves or walk around with the discontent clearly visible on our faces. Where would that get us? I sometimes wonder if anyone will ever understand what I mean, if anyone will ever overlook my ingratitude and not worry about whether or not I'm Jewish and merely see me as a teenager badly in need of some good plain fun. I don't know, and I wouldn't be able to talk about it with anyone, since I'm sure I'd start to cry. Crying can bring relief, as long as you don't cry alone. Despite all my theories and efforts, I miss -- every day and every hour of the day -- having a mother who understands me. That's why with everything I do and write, I imagine the kind of mom I'd like to be to my children later on. The kind of mom who doesn't take everything people say too seriously, but who does take me seriously. I find it difficult to describe what I mean, but the word' 'mom" says it all. Do you know what I've come up with? In order to give me the feeling of calling my mother something that sounds like "Mom," I often call her" Momsy." Sometimes I shorten it to "Moms"; an imperfect "Mom." I wish I could honor her by removing the "s." It's a good thing she doesn't realize this, since it would only make her unhappy. Well, that's enough of that. My writing has raised me somewhat from "the depths of despair."

Yours, Anne

It's the day after Christmas, and I can't help thinking about Pim and the story he told me this time last year. I didn't understand the meaning of his words then as well as I do now. If only he'd bring it up again, I might be able to show him I understood what he meant!

I think Pim told me because he, who knows the "intimate secrets" of so many others, needed to express his own feelings for once; Pim never talks about himself, and I don't think Margot has any inkling of what he's been through. Poor Pim, he can't fool me into thinking he's forgotten that girl. He never will. It's made him very accommodating, since he's not blind to Mother's faults. I hope I'm going to be a little like him, without having to go through what he has!




Friday evening, for the first time in my life, I received a Christmas present. Mr. Kleiman, Mr. Kugler and the girls had prepared a wonderful surprise for us. Miep made a delicious Christmas cake with "Peace 1944" written on top, and Bep provided a batch of cookies that was up to prewar standards.

There was a jar of yogurt for Peter, Margot and me, and a bottle of beer for each of the adults. And once again everything was wrapped so nicely, with pretty pictures glued to the packages. For the rest, the holidays passed by quickly for us.




I was very sad again last night. Grandma and Hanneli came to me once more. Grandma, oh, my sweet Grandma. How little we understood what she suffered, how kind she always was and what an interest she took in everything that concerned us. And to think that all that time she was carefully guarding her terrible secret. Grandma was always so loyal and good. She would never have let any of us down. Whatever happened, no matter how much I misbehaved, Grandma always stuck up for me. Grandma, did you love me, or did you not understand me either? I don't know. How lonely Grandma must have been, in spite of us. You can be lonely even when you're loved by many people, since you're still not the 'One and Only' to anyone. And Hanneli? Is she still alive? What's she doing? Dear God, watch over her and bring her back to us. Hanneli, you're a reminder of what my fate might have been. I keep seeing myself in your place. So why am I often miserable about what goes on here? Shouldn't I be happy, contented and glad, except when I'm thinking of Hanneli and those suffering along with her? I'm selfish and cowardly. Why do I always think and dream the most awful things and want to scream in terror? Because, in spite of everything, I still don't have enough faith in God. He's given me so much, which I don't deserve, and yet each day I make so many mistakes!

Thinking about the suffering of those you hold dear can reduce you to tears; in fact, you could spend the whole day crying. The most you can do is pray for God to perform a miracle and save at least some of them. And I hope I'm doing enough of that!




Dearest Kitty,

Since the last raging quarrels, things have settled down here, not only between ourselves, Dussel and "upstairs," but also between Mr. and Mrs. van D. Nevertheless, a few dark thunderclouds are heading this way, and all because of . . . food. Mrs. van D. came up with the ridiculous idea of frying fewer potatoes in the morning and saving them for later in the day. Mother and Dussel and the rest of us didn't agree with her, so now we're dividing up the potatoes as well. It seems the fats and oils aren't being doled out fairly, and Mother's going to have to put a stop to it. I'll let you know if there are any interesting developments. For the last few months now we've been splitting up the meat (theirs with fat, ours without), the soup (they eat it, we don't), the potatoes (theirs peeled, ours not), the extras and now the fried potatoes too. If only we could split up completely!

Yours, Anne

P.S. Bep had a picture postcard of the entire Royal Family copied for me. Juliana looks very young, and so does the Queen. The three little girls are adorable. It was incredibly nice of Bep, don't you think?



Dearest Kitty,

This morning, when I had nothing to do, I leafed through the pages of my diary and came across so many letters dealing with the subject of "Mother" in such strong terms that I was shocked. I said to myself, "Anne, is that really you talking about hate? Oh, Anne, how could you?"

I continued to sit with the open book in my hand and wonder why I was filled with so much anger and hate that I had to confide it all to you. I tried to understand the Anne of last year and make apologies for her, because as long as I leave you with these accusations and don't attempt to explain what prompted them, my conscience won't be clear. I was suffering then (and still do) from moods that kept my head under water (figuratively speaking) and allowed me to see things only from my own perspective, without calmly considering what the others -- those whom I, with my mercurial temperament, had hurt or offended -- had said, and then acting as they would have done.

I hid inside myself, thought of no one but myself and calmly wrote down all my joy, sarcasm and sorrow in my diary. Because this diary has become a kind of memory book, it means a great deal to me, but I could easily write "over and done with" on many of its pages.

I was furious at Mother (and still am a lot of the time). It's true, she didn't understand me, but I didn't understand her either. Because she loved me, she was tender and affectionate, but because of the difficult situations I put her in, and the sad circumstances in which she found herself, she was nervous and irritable, so I can understand why she was often short with me.

I was offended, took it far too much to heart and was insolent and beastly to her, which, in turn, made her unhappy. We were caught in a vicious circle of unpleasantness and sorrow. Not a very happy period for either of us, but at least it's coming to an end. I didn't want to see what was going on, and I felt very sorry for myself, but that's understandable too.

Those violent outbursts on paper are simply expressions of anger that, in normal life, I could have worked off by locking myself in my room and stamping my foot a few times or calling Mother names behind her back.

The period of tearfully passing judgment on Mother is over. I've grown wiser and Mother's nerves are a bit steadier. Most of the time I manage to hold my tongue when I'm annoyed, and she does too; so on the surface, we seem to be getting along better. But there's one thing I can't do, and that's to love Mother with the devotion of a child.

I soothe my conscience with the thought that it's better for unkind words to be down on paper than for Mother to have to carry them around in her heart.

Yours, Anne



Dearest Kitty,

Today I have two things to confess. It's going to take a long time, but I have to tell them to someone, and you're the most likely candidate, since I know you'll keep a secret, no matter what happens.

The first is about Mother. As you know, I've frequently complained about her and then tried my best to be nice. I've suddenly realized what's wrong with her. Mother has said that she sees us more as friends than as daughters. That's all very nice, of course, except that a friend can't take the place of a mother. I need my mother to set a good example and be a person I can respect, but in most matters she's an example of what not to do. I have the feeling that Margot thinks so differently about these things that she'd never be able to understand what I've just told you. And Father avoids all conversations having to do with Mother.

I imagine a mother as a woman who, first and foremost, possesses a great deal of tact, especially toward her adolescent children, and not one who, like Momsy, pokes fun at me when I cry. Not because I'm in pain, but because of other things.

This may seem trivial, but there's one incident I've never forgiven her for. It happened one day when I had to go to the dentist. Mother and Margot planned to go with me and agreed I should take my bicycle. When the dentist was finished and we were back outside, Margot and Mother very sweetly informed me that they were going downtown to buy or look at something, I don't remember what, and of course I wanted to go along. But they said I couldn't come because I had my bike with me. Tears of rage rushed to my eyes, and Margot and Mother began laughing at me. I was so furious that I stuck my tongue out at them, right there on the street. A little old lady happened to be passing by, and she looked terribly shocked. I rode my bike home and must have cried for hours. Strangely enough, even though Mother has wounded me thousands of times, this particular wound still stings whenever I think of how angry I was.

I find it difficult to confess the second one because it's about myself. I'm not prudish, Kitty, and yet every time they give a blow-by-blow account of their trips to the bathroom, which they often do, my whole body rises in revolt.

Yesterday I read an article on blushing by Sis Heyster. It was as if she'd addressed it directly to me. Not that I blush easily, but the rest of the article did apply. What she basically says is that during puberty girls withdraw into themselves and begin thinking about the wondrous changes taking place in their bodies. I feel that too, which probably accounts for my recent embarrassment over Margot, Mother and Father. On the other hand, Margot is a lot shyer than I am, and yet she's not in the least embarrassed.

I think that what's happening to me is so wonderful, and I don't just mean the changes taking place on the outside of my body, but also those on the inside. I never discuss myself or any of these things with others, which is why I have to talk about them to myself. Whenever I get my period (and that's only been three times), I have the feeling that in spite of all the pain, discomfort and mess, I'm carrying around a sweet secret. So even though it's a nuisance, in a certain way I'm always looking forward to the time when I'll feel that secret inside me once again.

Sis Heyster also writes that girls my age feel very insecure about themselves and are just beginning to discover that they're individuals with their own ideas, thoughts and habits. I'd just turned thirteen when I came here, so I started thinking about myself and realized that I've become an "independent person" sooner than most girls. Sometimes when I lie in bed at night I feel a terrible urge to touch my breasts and listen to the quiet, steady beating of my heart.

Unconsciously, I had these feelings even before I came here. Once when I was spending the night at Jacque's, I could no longer restrain my curiosity about her body, which she'd always hidden from me and which I'd never seen. I asked her whether, as proof of our friendship, we could touch each other's breasts. Jacque refused. I also had a terrible desire to kiss her, which I did. Every time I see a female nude, such as the Venus in my art history book, I go into ecstasy. Sometimes I find them so exquisite I have to struggle to hold back my tears. If only I had a girlfriend!



Dearest Kitty,

My longing for someone to talk to has become so unbearable that I somehow took it into my head to select Peter for this role. On the few occasions when I have gone to Peter's room during the day, I've always thought it was nice and cozy. But Peter's too polite to show someone the door when they're bothering him, so I've never dared to stay long. I've always been afraid he'd think I was a pest. I've been looking for an excuse to linger in his room and get him talking without his noticing, and yesterday I got my chance. Peter, you see, is currently going through a crossword-puzzle craze, and he doesn't do anything else all day. I was helping him, and we soon wound up sitting across from each other at his table, Peter on the chair and me on the divan. It gave me a wonderful feeling when I looked into his dark blue eyes and saw how bashful my unexpected visit had made him. I could read his innermost thoughts, and in his face I saw a look of helplessness and uncertainty as to how to behave, and at the same time a flicker of awareness of his masculinity. I saw his shyness, and I melted. I wanted to say, "Tell me about yourself. Look beneath my chatty exterior." But I found that it was easier to think up questions than to ask them.

The evening came to a close, and nothing happened, except that I told him about the article on blushing. Not what I wrote you, of course, just that he would grow more secure as he got older. "

That night I lay in bed and cried my eyes out, all the while making sure no one could hear me. The idea that I had to beg Peter for favors was simply revolting. But people will do almost anything to satisfy their longings; take me, for example, I've made up my mind to visit Peter more often and, somehow, get him to talk to me. You mustn't think I'm in love with Peter, because I'm not. If the van Daans had had a daughter instead of a son, I'd have tried to make friends with her.

This morning I woke up just before seven and immediately remembered what I'd been dreaming about. I was sitting on a chair and across from me was Peter. . . Peter Schiff. We were looking at a book of drawings by Mary Bos. The dream was so vivid I can even remember some of the drawings. But that wasn't all -- the dream went on. Peter's eyes suddenly met mine, and I stared for a long time into those velvety brown eyes. Then he said very softly, "If I'd only known, I'd have come to you long ago!" I turned abruptly away, overcome by emotion. And then I felt a soft, oh-so-cool and gentle cheek against mine, and it felt so good, so good . . .

At that point I woke up, still feeling his cheek against mine and his brown eyes staring deep into my heart, so deep that he could read how much I'd loved him and how much I still do. Again my eyes filled with tears, and I was sad because I'd lost him once more, and yet at the same time glad because I knew with certainty that Peter is still the only one for me. '

It's funny, but I often have such vivid images in my dreams. One night I saw Grammy so clearly that I could even make out her skin of soft, crinkly velvet. Another time Grandma appeared to me as a guardian angel. After that it was Hanneli, who still symbolizes to me the suffering of my friends as well as that of Jews in general, so that when I'm praying for her, I'm also praying for all the Jews and all those in need.

And now Peter, my dearest Peter. I've never had such a clear mental image of him. I don't need a photograph, I can see him oh so well.

Yours, Anne



Dearest Kitty,

I'm such an idiot. I forgot that I haven't yet told you the story of my one true love. When I was a little girl, way back in kindergarten, I took a liking to Sally Kimmel. His father was gone, and he and his mother lived with an aunt. One of Sally's cousins was a good-looking, slender, dark-haired boy named Appy, who later turned out to look like a movie idol and aroused more admiration than the short, comical, chubby Sally. For a long time we went everywhere together, but aside from that, my love was unrequited until Peter crossed my path. I had an out-and-out crush on him. He liked me too, and we were inseparable for one whole summer. I can still see us walking hand in hand through our neighborhood, Peter in a white cotton suit and me in a short summer dress. At the end of the summer vacation he went to the seventh grade at the middle school, while I was in the sixth grade at the grammar school. He'd pick me up on the way home, or I'd pick him up. Peter was the ideal boy: tall, good-looking and slender, with a serious, quiet and intelligent face. He had dark hair, beautiful brown eyes, ruddy cheeks and a nicely pointed nose. I was crazy about his smile, which made him look so boyish and mischievous.

I'd gone away to the countryside during summer vacation, and when I came back, Peter was no longer at his old address; he'd moved and was living with a much older boy, who apparently told him I was just a kid, because Peter stopped seeing me. I loved him so much that I didn't want to face the truth. I kept clinging to him until the day I finally realized that if I continued to chase after him, people would say I was boy-crazy.

The years went by. Peter hung around with girls his own age and no longer bothered to say hello to me. I started school at the Jewish Lyceum, and several boys in my class were in love with me. I enjoyed it and felt honored by their attentions, but that was all. Later on, Hello had a terrible crush on me, but as I've already told you, I never fell in love again.

There's a saying: "Time heals all wounds." That's how it was with me. I told myself I'd forgotten Peter and no longer liked him in the least. But my memories of him were so strong that I had to admit to myself that the only reason I no longer liked him was that I was jealous of the other girls. This morning I realized that nothing has changed; on the contrary, as I've grown older and more mature, my love has grown along with me. I can understand now that Peter thought I was childish, and yet it still hurts to think he'd forgotten me completely. I saw his face so clearly; I knew for certain that no one but Peter could have stuck in my mind that way.

I've been in an utter state of confusion today. When Father kissed me this morning, I wanted to shout, "Oh, if only you were Peter!" I've been thinking of him constantly, and all day long I've been repeating to myself, "Oh, Petel, my darling, darling Petel…"

Where can I find help? I simply have to go on living and praying to God that, if we ever get out of here, Peter's path will cross mine and he'll gaze into my eyes, read the love in them and say, "Oh, Anne, if I'd only known, I'd have come to you long ago."

Once when Father and I were talking about sex, he said I was too young to understand that kind of desire. But I thought I did understand it, and now I'm sure I do. Nothing is as dear to me now as my darling Petel!

I saw my face in the mirror, and it looked so different. My eyes were clear and deep, my cheeks were rosy, which they hadn't been in weeks, my mouth was much softer. I looked happy, and yet there was something so sad in my expression that the smile immediately faded from my lips. I'm not happy, since I know Petel's not thinking of me, and yet I can still feel his beautiful eyes gazing at me and his cool, soft cheek against mine. . . Oh, Petel, Petel, how am I ever going to free myself from your image? Wouldn't anyone who took your place be a poor substitute? I love you, with a love so great that it simply couldn't keep growing inside my heart, but had to leap out and reveal itself in all its magnitude.

A week ago, even a day ago, if you'd asked me, "Which of your friends do you think you'd be most likely to marry?" I'd have answered, "Sally, since he makes me feel good, peaceful and safe!" But now I'd cry, "Petel, because I love him with all my heart and all my soul. I surrender myself completely!" Except for that one thing: he may touch my face, but that's as far as it goes.

This morning I imagined I was in the front attic with Petel, sitting on the floor by the windows, and after talking for a while, we both began to cry. Moments later I felt his mouth and his wonderful cheek! Oh, Petel, come to me. Think of me, my dearest Petel!



Dearest Kitty,

Bep's been back for the last two weeks, though her sister won't be allowed back at school until next week. Bep herself spent two days in bed with a bad cold. Miep and Jan were also out for two days, with upset stomachs.

I'm currently going through a dance and ballet craze and am diligently practicing my dance steps every evening. I've made an ultramodern dance costume out of a lacy lavender slip belonging to Momsy. Bias tape is threaded through the top and tied just above the bust. A pink corded ribbon completes the ensemble. I tried to turn my tennis shoes into ballet slippers, but with no success. My stiff limbs are well on the way to becoming as limber as they used to be. A terrific exercise is to sit on the floor, place a heel in each hand and raise both legs in the air. I have to sit on a cushion, because otherwise my poor backside really takes a beating.

Everyone here is reading a book called A Cloudless Morning. Mother thought it was extremely good because it describes a number of adolescent problems. I thought to myself, a bit ironically, "Why don't you take more interest in your own adolescents first!"

I think Mother believes that Margot and I have a better relationship with our parents than anyone in the whole wide world, and that no mother is more involved in the lives of her children than she is. She must have my sister in mind, since I don't believe Margot has the same problems and thoughts as I do. Far be it from me to point out to Mother that one of her daughters is not at all what she imagines. She'd be completely bewildered, and anyway, she'd never be able to change; I'd like to spare her that grief, especially since I know that everything would remain the same. Mother does sense that Margot loves her much more than I do, but she thinks I'm just going through a phase.

Margot's gotten much nicer. She seems a lot different than she used to be. She's not nearly as catty these days and is becoming a real friend. She no longer thinks of me as a little kid who doesn't count.

It's funny, but I can sometimes see myself as others see me. I take a leisurely look at the person called "Anne Frank" and browse through the pages of her life as though she were a stranger.

Before I came here, when I didn't think about things as much as I do now, I occasionally had the feeling that I didn't belong to Momsy, Pim and Margot and that I would always be an outsider. I sometimes went around for six months at a time pretending I was an orphan. Then I'd chastise myself for playing the victim, when really, I'd always been so fortunate. After that I'd force myself to be friendly for a while. Every morning when I heard footsteps on the stairs, I hoped it would be Mother coming to say good morning. I'd greet her warmly, because I honesly did look forward to her affectionate glance. But then she'd snap at me for having made some comment or other (and I'd go off to school feeling completely discouraged. On the way home I'd make excuses for her, telling myself that she had so many worries. I'd arrive home in high spirits, chatting nineteen to the dozen, until the events of the morning would repeat themselves and I'd leave the room with my schoolbag in my hand and a pensive look on my face. Sometimes I'd decide to stay angry, but then I always had so much to talk about after school that I'd forget my resolution and want Mother to stop whatever she was doing and lend a willing ear. Then the time would come once more when I no longer listened for the steps on the stairs and felt lonely and cried into my pillow every night.

Everything has gotten much worse here. But you already knew that. Now God has sent someone to help me: Peter. I fondle my pendant, press it to my lips and think, "What do I care! Petel is mine and nobody knows it!" With this in mind, I can rise above every nasty remark. Which of the people here would suspect that so much is going on in the mind of a teenage girl?



My dearest Kitty,

There's no reason for me to go on describing all our quarrels and arguments down to the last detail. It's enough to tell you that we've divided many things like meat and fats and oils and are frying our own potatoes. Recently we've been eating a little extra rye bread because by four o'clock we're so hungry for dinner we can barely control our rumbling stomachs.

Mother's birthday is rapidly approaching. She received some extra sugar from Mr. Kugler, which sparked off jealousy on the part of the van Daans, because Mrs. van D. didn't receive any on her birthday. But what's the point of boring you with harsh words, spiteful conversations and tears when you know they bore us even more? Mother has expressed a wish, which isn't likely to come true any time soon: not to have to see Mr. van Daan's face for two whole weeks. I wonder if everyone who shares a house sooner or later ends up at odds with their fellow residents. Or have we just had a stroke of bad luck? At mealtime, when Dussel helps himself to a quarter of the half-filled gravy boat and leaves the rest of us to do without, I lose my appetite and feel like jumping to my feet, knocking him off his chair and throwing him out the door.

Are most people so stingy and selfish? I've gained some insight into human nature since I came here, which is good, but I've had enough for the present. Peter says the same.

The war is going to go on despite our quarrels and our longing for freedom and fresh air, so we should try to make the best of our stay here.

I'm preaching, but I also believe that if I live here much longer, I'll turn into a dried-up old beanstalk. And all I really want is to be an honest-to-goodness teenager!

Yours, Anne



Dearest Kitty,

I (there I go again!) don't know what's happened, but since my dream I keep noticing how I've changed. By the way, I dreamed about Peter again last night and once again I felt his eyes penetrate mine, but this dream was less vivid and not quite as beautiful as the last.

You know that I always used to be jealous of Margot's relationship with Father.

There's not a trace of my jealousy left now; I still feel hurt when Father's nerves cause him to be unreasonable toward me, but then I think, "I can't blame you for being the way you are. You talk so much about the minds of children and adolescents, but you don't know the first thing about them!" I long for more than Father's affection, more than his hugs and kisses. Isn't it awful of me to be so preoccupied with myself? Shouldn't I, who want to be good and kind, forgive them first? I forgive Mother too, but every time she makes a sarcastic remark or laughs at me, it's all I can do to control myself.

I know I'm far from being what I should; will I ever be?

Anne Frank

P.S. Father asked if I told you about the cake. For Mother's birthday, she received a real mocha cake, prewar quality, from the office. It was a really nice day! But at the moment there's no room in my head for things like that.