January 13th. The war rages on. Anne observes that families are being torn apart as the Nazis draft young Dutch men to fight in the German army, and as they send more and more Jews to concentration camps. Anne again reflects that her family is quite lucky to have food and shelter while many (Jews and Christians alike) go hungry.
The suffering of the Jews forces Anne to consider, again, why her family has been spared while others are left to suffer and die. She is able to see that the Annex, while uncomfortable, is a relatively better fate than being caught by the Nazis. She is able to see beyond her own concerns.
January 30th. Anne is at her wits' end. "I'm seething with rage, yet I can't show it," she writes. Anne is fed up with her treatment by the other Annex dwellers, who often tease her or outright criticize her behavior. "I wish I could ask God to give me another personality," she writes, "one that doesn't antagonize everyone."
Again, Anne finds herself longing to be someone else – or, at least, that she can become a better or more personable version of herself. These feelings, which are part of growing up, add to her feelings of isolation.
February 5th. Tensions in the Secret Annex are still running high. Anne is being scolded, once again, for her chatty, rambunctious nature. The adults around her often tell her to be more like Margot. The adults bicker with each other at mealtimes – Mrs. van Daan criticizes Margot's scant appetite, which elicits a catty response from Mrs. Frank.
The war has continued to put great pressure on social life in the Annex. The adults find themselves acting in less-than-mature ways, and Anne finds her chatty outer self at odds with several of the adults in the household.
February 27th. The Annex dwellers strive to keep their hopes up regarding the war – Mr. Frank is hopeful for an imminent Allied invasion of German territories. Meanwhile, Mr. Kugler and Mr. Kleiman's landlord has sold their building (the one containing Opekta's offices, warehouses, and the Secret Annex), and Anne is fearful that the new landlord will demand to inspect the mysterious upper floors of the building where the Annex is hidden.
On a meta-textual level, it's important to note that Mr. Frank is closely following the Allied invasion all throughout his time in the Annex. He keeps a map pinned to the wall, and marks the Allies' movements with thumbtacks. This is just one of the ways the residents of the Annex work to keep hope alive.
March 10th. Power in the Annex has temporarily short-circuited, and warplanes roar overhead through the night. Anne has taken to crawling into bed with her father for comfort. Mrs. van Daan alerts the other Annex dwellers to some noises she heard in the attic – she's positive that robbers have gotten into the building. Upon inspection, it's found to be nothing more than rats. Mouschi the cat is put in the attic to keep the rats at bay.
The war has conflicting effects on Anne. On the one hand, it forces her to grow up in ways that she wouldn't have otherwise. On the other hand, it often sends her reeling back into childhood – as evidenced here, when she climbs into her father's bed for comfort. Dangers real and imagined continue to plague the inhabitants of the Annex.
March 12th. Food supplies are running short. The Annex dwellers are subsisting largely on beans (which Anne is sick of at this point), and their evening ration of bread has been canceled. Anne's father seems depressed. "His eyes look so sad again, the poor man!" writes Anne. Anne has outgrown her shoes, and new ones will have to be found on the black market.
This passage offers one of the diary's few glimpses into Mr. Frank's "inner self." Anne is puzzled by his sadness. One might speculate that Mr. Frank is filled with dread that his family might not survive the war. The fact that Anne has outgrown her shoes offers an explicit reminder that she continues to grow and mature, in spite of everything.
March 19th. The Annex dwellers are dismayed after a rumor that Turkey has entered the war is proven false. Meanwhile, it's discovered that Mr. Dussel has been disobeying the Annex rules – he's carrying on correspondence with a number of outsiders in addition to his Christian girlfriend, Charlotte. The adults in the Annex try to talk him out of doing this, to little avail.
Mr. Dussel's greed is a constant source of consternation for Anne. Yet at the same time, can he really be blamed for his actions? Separated from his family and his beloved Charlotte, it seems to make sense that Mr. Dussel would write more letters than he should. It's likely that Mr. Dussel feels as isolated as Anne, if not more so.
March 25th. Peter and Margot overhear some noise in the warehouse and panic spreads through the Annex. It's speculated that burglars were poking around the warehouse, and that they fled when they heard the Annex dwellers' footsteps. No one in the Annex sleeps much that night.
This is the first of several burglaries in the Opekta warehouse. The inhabitants of the Annex are desperate to create the illusion that the Annex is uninhabited – the burglars jeopardize this illusion, given that the police might be summoned (which might lead to a search of the premises).
March 27th. Anne hears a speech by Rauter ("some German bigwig") calling for the extermination of Jews from the province of Utrecht over the course of the next month. Anne is horrified to the point that she has to stop writing about it. "My own thoughts give me nightmares!"
Anne is again horrified and guilt-ridden by the suffering of the Jews who haven't managed to go into hiding. Their horrific treatment stands in stark contrast to the kindness shown to the Annex dwellers by their allies (Miep, Mr. Kugler, etc.).
April 1st. The Annex dwellers' outside support system is faltering. Mr. Kleiman has fallen ill, and has to be bedridden for the next three weeks. Bep has come down with the flu, and Mr. Voskuijl has to have surgery for a stomach ulcer.
The tenuousness of the Annex's inhabitants' safety and survival is exemplified in this passage. What would have been a simple inconvenience in peacetime becomes a life-or-death matter in wartime.
April 2nd. One night, Mrs. Frank comes into Anne's bedroom and asks if Anne wants to say her prayers with her instead of Mr. Frank. Anne declines, and Mrs. Frank bursts into tears. "I don't want to be angry with you," she says. "I can't make you love me!" Mr. Frank is angered by Anne's behavior. Anne stubbornly refuses to apologize – she feels she was acting in accordance with her feelings.
Anne's rejection of her mother is emblematic of her desire to assert her individuality – which is a very teenage thing to do. What she doesn't realize, though, is how selfish her actions are. As she grows more mature, Anne will look back on this incident in a different light.
April 27th. The whole Annex is quarreling. Parts of Amsterdam have gone up in flames, and air raids are increasing. Anne has bags under her eyes from lack of sleep. Food supplies continue to run short.
The war is taking its toll on Anne's body and mind. The barrage of firebombs, food shortages, and confinement have driven the inhabitants of the Annex to take out their frustrations on each other.
May 1st. Mr. Dussel celebrates his birthday – he receives a package of foodstuffs from Charlotte. It's discovered that Mr. Dussel has been hoarding food in his cupboard, and Anne is aghast at his greed. Gunfire in the city has increased, and Anne packs a suitcase just in case she has to flee in the night. After observing this, Mrs. Frank points out that there's nowhere to go.
In spite of (or perhaps because of) their hardships, it's interesting to see how important holidays and birthdays become to the inhabitants of the Annex. These celebrations allow their goodness and generosity to shine through – even as the war rages, hope wanes, and the denizens of the Annex also act selfishly (such as by hoarding food). The portrait of human nature that emerges from the diary is one of people who can be generous and selfish, almost at the same time.
May 2nd. Although she recognizes that their lives are far better than most, Anne bemoans the fact that the Annex dwellers' "manners" have declined as the war drags on. Mr. Frank wears frayed trousers and the linens go unwashed due to detergent rationing. Anne wonders how they'll ever return to normal life once the war is over.
Anne's concerns about "manners" can be seen as a concern about how the Annex inhabitants present their "outer selves." If they can't keep up the appearance of normality, does that mean that they've admitted defeat? Or that they've given up their humanity?
May 2nd. Anne writes an additional entry, titled "The Attitude of the Annex Residents Toward the War." Mr. van Daan (whom Anne considers somewhat pessimistic) argues that the war will continue through the end of the year. Mrs. van Daan argues that the Annex dwellers should obtain costly (and unaffordable) false IDs. Anne thinks she's ridiculous, and points out that one day she's saying she wants to move to Jerusalem after the war, and the next day expresses an interest in being baptized once it's all over.
In examining the attitudes of the Annex's residents toward the war, Anne is also trying to get at who they are as individuals. Mrs. van Daan's attitude, for instance, seems to betray her frivolous, fickle, and somewhat naive nature. What Anne doesn't seem to realize, though, is how Mrs. van Daan's argument for the fake IDs betrays her hidden terror and desperation.
May 18th. The war grows in intensity. Anne witnesses a dogfight between German and English planes in the sky. There's news that all college students in Holland will have to sign a statement of allegiance to the Nazis, or else face dire consequences. There's a firebombing near the Secret Annex, which sends the whole household into an uproar.
The horrors of war are all around the Annex. Anne isn't sheltered from these scenes of chaos and destruction, and they will shape the person she becomes over the course of the next year.
June 13th. Anne celebrates her 14th birthday. Mr. Frank composes a special poem for her, which Margot translates into Dutch. Anne receives candy and a book on Greek and Roman mythology.
Again, birthdays offer the Annex's residents opportunities to try to recapture the normality of prewar life.
June 15th. A setback for the Annex: it is discovered that Mr. Voskuijl has cancer, and as a result he's stopped coming in to work. This is bad news, given that a new warehouse manager will have to be brought in as a result.
This is an important plot-point on a meta-textual level, given that there's speculation that the warehouse manager who was brought in to replace Mr. Voskuijl (Wilhelm van Maaren) has, in recent times, been pointed to as one of the possible betrayers of the Frank family. If that is accurate, had Voskuijl not gotten cancer, the inhabitants of the Annex might have survived the war.
July 11th. Anne has resolved to do everything she can to avoid criticism from her elders. She realizes that "a little hypocrisy" (as opposed to saying what's on her mind) makes her life a lot easier. Meanwhile, Miep has been helping the Annex out greatly – she scrapes together food for them every day, and brings them library books on the weekends.
This is a huge turning point for Anne. She begins to scrutinize her own actions, and in doing so begins to mature. Even though it's a self-serving act, it's ultimately a generous one, in that she's trying to make life easier for everyone in the Annex. Meanwhile, Miep's generosity continues to shine.
July 13th. Employing her newfound tact, Anne politely asks Mr. Dussel if she can use the table in their bedroom for a few hours each day. Mr. Dussel kicks up a fuss, calling Anne "shamefully self-centered," but eventually gives in after a discussion with Mr. Frank.
Again, from Anne's perspective Mr. Dussel seems like a selfish dolt. Considering his circumstances, however, one can hardly blame Mr. Dussel for acting selfishly –it seems like he's clinging to whatever he can in order to feel secure.
July 16th. While the Annex dwellers sleep, burglars break into the warehouse and make their way into the upstairs offices. Money is stolen, along with the Annex's entire allotment of sugar coupons.
The war has driven many people to looting. The greed of the robbers places the Annex dwellers in grave danger of being caught.
July 19th. Much of Amsterdam has been bombed and children are searching the ruins for the bodies of their parents. Thankfully, the Annex has been spared. Anne is chilled by the memory of the sound of the oncoming bombers.
A child herself, Anne can't help but be haunted by the accounts of war orphans. One gets a sense of Anne's isolation in this scene – she's a part of the war, but strangely separate from it.
July 23rd. Anne recounts what some of the Annex's residents would like to do once they're able to come out of hiding. (Margot and Mr. Van Daan long for a hot bath; Mrs. van Daan would like a cake; Mr. Dussel wants to see Charlotte; Mrs. Frank wants a cup of coffee; Anne wants to go back to school; etc.)
This passage reveals how the Annex's residents are constantly battling their desires – not just the desire for the war to be over, but the desire for comfort, for luxury, and, above all, for normality.
July 26th. Amsterdam is bombed twice in one day. Anne is so frightened that her legs are quaking when she goes to bed that night. More bombers arrive in the middle of the night, sending Anne into a panic. The Annex wakes to news of Mussolini's resignation, and everyone is again filled with hope that the war will soon end.
When Anne describes bombings or gunfire, she doesn't often describe herself in relation to the others around her – it seems that this experience leaves her feeling utterly alone (which is why she seeks out her father).
July 29th. Anne is infuriated when Mr. Dussel and Mrs. van Daan tease and criticize her opinions of a book. They claim her opinions are childish, and that she's been brought up improperly. Anne furiously recounts Mrs. van Daan's shortcomings in her diary.
Anne's journey from childhood to maturity often involves her ability to channel her anger. Mr. Dussel and Mrs. van Daan's ridicule only serves to make Anne feel more isolated.
August 3rd. Another air raid. Anne steels herself, in an attempt to practice being courageous. Mrs. van Daan, on the other hand, crumples under the pressure; her husband comforts her as she weeps, and Anne admits to being almost sentimental at the sight.
It takes an air raid for Anne to start to see Mrs. van Daan's humanity. A bit of Mrs. van Daan's inner self is revealed here.
August 4th. Anne decides to describe an ordinary evening in the life of the Annex dwellers. Anne describes the Annex's bedtime rituals: how they take turns with the bathroom; how she has to get up in the middle of the night to use her tin can chamber pot; the noises Mr. Dussel makes as he falls asleep, etc. She describes how she runs to her father's room if there's gunfire.
In the face of extraordinary circumstances, the residents of the Annex have achieved a kind of new normal. It's revealed here that Anne often climbs into bed with her father – a childlike act that contrasts with her otherwise rebellious, adolescent nature.
August 5th. Anne continues her description of life in the Annex. At lunchtime, the workers from the office (Jan, Mr. Kleiman, Mr. Kugler, Bep, and Miep) come into the Annex, where everyone shares lunch. Anne has use of the table in her room until 4:00 – if she's a minute late, Mr. Dussel is often waiting impatiently with a clock in his hand.
It might seem surprising that the Opekta workers share lunch with the residents of the Annex. It's important to remember that Jan, Mr. Kleiman, Mr. Kugler, Bep, and Miep are all close friends with the Franks – something that puts their generosity and familiarity in perspective.
August 9th. The description continues – Anne now describes supper. Anne remarks that Mr. van Daan and Mrs. van Daan eat generous portions of the best bits of food. She observes that Mrs. van Daan puts on a certain façade, a combination of coquettishness and motherliness. Anne observes that her father, on the other hand, is very conscientious – he makes sure others are served before him, etc.
Anne is under the impression that the van Daans are being selfish. However, it's important to remember that Mrs. van Daan is in charge of the cooking. Given that she cooked the meal, is it selfish of her to eat more, or to eat the best parts? From Mrs. van Daan's perspective, it might not be that selfish.
August 10th. Anne continues to adjust her attitude. She decides to speak primarily to herself at mealtimes (in an effort to avoid arguments) and she no longer complains about her food. "Do you know what Mother calls this sort of thing? The art of living," she writes. Anne is upset that Mr. Dussel asked Miep for an anti-Mussolini book from the library – she almost had a run-in with the SS on her way back with the book, and Anne can't help but wonder what would have happened if they'd questioned her.
Anne continues to evaluate her actions and adjust her outer self in order to keep the peace in the Annex. In spite of her growth in this area, Anne continues to be quite judgmental of those around her, particularly Mr. Dussel. Anne is right to be concerned by his library request, but it's interesting that her anger doesn't extend to Miep, who supplies the book.
September 16th. Meals in the Annex grow more and more silent as tensions increase. Mr. van Maaren, the warehouse man who has been brought in to replace Mr. Voskuijl, is growing suspicious about the strange noises in the Annex (which is located directly above the warehouse.)
The Franks and the van Daans have been in hiding for over a year now, so it's natural that confinement is taking its toll on their sanity.
September 29th. Mrs. van Daan celebrates her birthday. In spite of their paltry stores, the Annex dwellers manage to give her a jar of jam, ration stamps, and flowers. The people of the Annex now rely very deeply on Bep, and the stress causes her to have a small meltdown. The adults are quarreling with each other. Mr. Frank is upset with the van Daans – he's under the impression that they're hoarding food.
There is great generosity shown toward Mrs. van Daan, and Bep's selflessness leads her to crumble under the pressure. Simultaneously, the adults find themselves acting selfishly, but perhaps not without reason – they've been in hiding for over a year, and food is becoming an issue.
October 29th. Mrs. van Daan is forced to sell her prized fur coat. She receives a good deal of money for it, but is furious when she's told the money is needed for household expenses (she wishes to use the money to buy clothing after the war is over). All the fighting in the Annex s taking its toll on Anne – she's lost her appetite, and she cries herself to sleep at night.
November 3rd. In an effort to help take their mind off things, Mr. Frank orders a catalog from a correspondence school and encourages the Annex dwellers to take lessons. Tensions have lessoned, for the most part – Mr. Dussel and the van Daans are still at odds, however, over a number of petty things.
Clinging to prewar rituals and behaviors offers a modicum of comfort to the inhabitants of the Annex. The correspondence courses can be seen both as an act of generosity on the part of Mr. Frank and a survival tactic.
November 8th, 1943. Anne observes that a life of confinement has forced her to be at the mercy of her moods. She admits to feeling depressed, and that she has trouble imagining life after the war. "It's as if I were talking about a castle in the air," she writes.
November 17th. Mr. Dussel, who has now been living in the Annex for a year, is mysteriously unhappy. Anne asks him if he should be consoled or congratulated for his time in the Annex, and Mr. Dussel replies that either one will do.
Funnily enough, it seems like Mr. Dussel is suffering from the same depression that Anne is! It's likely that Mr. Dussel feels isolated and fearful that he'll die before he sees his loved ones again.
November 27th. Just as she's falling asleep, Anne has a vision of her old schoolmate Hanneli. "I saw her there, dressed in rags, her face thin and worn." Hanneli looks at Anne with deep sadness, and Anne feels overwhelming guilt that she has deserted Hanneli. "Why have I been chosen to live, while she's probably going to die?" Anne wonders. Faith and religion enter into her thoughts on Hanneli – is Anne more devout than Hanneli? Is that why she was spared?
Hanneli serves as the embodiment of Anne's survivor's guilt; it's not clear whether Hanneli appears to her in an actual vision or in a dream. On a meta-textual level, Anne's guilt surrounding Hanneli is ultimately ironic, given that even though Hanneli had in fact been sent to a concentration camp, she actually managed to survive and went on to live a full life while Anne herself did not survive the war.
December 6th. Anne thinks it would be terrible to go without celebrating St. Nicholas day, so she and her father decide to come up with a celebration that fits within their scant means. Anne writes a poem for every member of the Annex, and tucks these poems in to their shoes.
Once again, celebrations and rituals play an important role in reaffirming the humanity of the residents of the Annex. Anne's act of generosity can be seen as evidence that she's becoming more mature.
Anne has come down with the flu. Tensions in the Annex have eased. For Hanukkah, Mr. Dussel gives Mrs. Frank and Mrs. van Daan a cake. Anne has saved up all of her sugar for a month, and plans to have Mr. Kleiman make it into a fondant as a Christmas present for Miep and Bep.
As with St. Nicholas Day, Hanukkah and Christmas give the Annex residents a chance to remember their humanity and exercise prewar levels of generosity. An otherwise "selfish" Mr. Dussel exhibits an uncharacteristic level of generosity in making a cake for the ladies of the house. That the residents give the Opekta workers Christmas presents shows how things used to be in Holland before the Nazi's arrived, with friendships and tolerance across racial lines.
December 24th. Anne quotes Goethe, saying that she feels both on top of the world (she is fortunate to survive) and in the depths of despair (when she dwells on how she longs for freedom). Anne longs to "laugh so hard it hurts," to breathe fresh air, and to be free from confinement. She wonders if anyone will ever see her not as a Jew but "as a teenager badly in need of some good plain fun." Anne also reflects on her relationship with her mother – she longs to have a mother who understands her. She closes the entry by observing that writing has lifted her spirits a bit.
Anne's feelings of isolation – both from the outside world and from those supposedly closest to her – fill her with simultaneous depression and longing. She's grateful to be alive, but that feeling is undoubtedly complicated by feelings of survivor's guilt. Anne longs to return to her normal, pre-Annex life – a life where she was able to be carefree and innocent, one where her Jewishness wasn't central to how she was treated.
December 26th. Anne reflects on a story her father told her a year prior, about a girl he was once in love with. "Poor Pim," she writes, "he can't fool me into thinking he's forgotten that girl. He never will."
This moment, small as it may seem, reveals that Anne is considering the "inner selves" of the adults around her – there's more to her father than meets the eye.
December 27th. Anne writes of her Christmas present – the first she's ever gotten in her life. Mr. Kleiman, Mr. Kugler, Bep, and Miep provided a Christmas cake with "Peace 1944" written on top, along with a batch of pre-war quality cookies. Anne also received a jar of yogurt, wrapped in pretty paper.
The Christmas cake, with its heartbreaking message of peace written on top, offers yet another example of the Annex's Christian helpers' selflessness. It also shows that they're clearly as eager for peace as their Jewish friends.
December 29th. Anne's visions continue. This time, she has visions of both her grandmother and Hanneli. "Grandma, oh my sweet Grandma. How little we understood what she suffered," she writes. Anne speculates that even though her grandmother was beloved, she probably felt very lonely. Anne then turns to the thought of Hanneli. "Hanneli, you're a reminder of what my fate might have been. I keep seeing myself in your place." Anne then wonders why she thinks and dreams "the most awful things" that make her "want to scream in terror." She speculates that it's because she doesn't have enough faith in God.
Anne's vision of her maternal grandmother in this entry differs from later entries – in this passage, the vision of her grandmother is accompanied by feelings of guilt and sadness. Anne realizes that her grandmother may have harbored hidden loneliness in her old age, in spite of being surrounded by family. Anne interprets her nightmares of concentration camps as a crisis of faith, indicating the growing importance of God and religion in her life.
December 30th. Food is growing scarce, and tensions are beginning to rise again in the Annex as a result. There's worry that food isn't being divided fairly, and there's a push to ration potatoes in the Annex. In frustration, Anne writes that she wishes the Franks could finally part ways from the rest of the Annex. Meanwhile, Bep gives Anne a precious gift – a picture postcard of the Dutch Royal Family.
This is the first and only time Anne expresses a wish that her family could part ways with the rest of the Annex – in a way, this is a wish to return to her prewar way of life. Meanwhile, Bep shows how intimately she understands Anne; she's quite fond of celebrities, especially the Royal Family.