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
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
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!
MONDAY, DECEMBER 27, 1943
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.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 29, 1943
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. *
[*Anne's grandmother was terminally ill.]
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 bd'"dI" any 0 y s one an only.
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
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 30, 1943
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!
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?
SUNDAY, JANUARY 2, 1944
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
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
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.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 6, 1944
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
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
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 friendiship, 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!
THURSDAY, JANUARY 6, 1944
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
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested