My dearest Kitty,
For a long time now I didn't know why I was bothering to do any schoolwork. The
end of the war still seemed so far away, so unreal, like a fairy tale. If the war isn't
over by September, I won't go back to school, since I don't want to be two years
Peter filled my days, nothing but Peter, dreams and thoughts until Saturday night,
when I felt so utterly miserable; oh, it was awful. I held back my tears when I was
with Peter, laughed uproariously with the van Daans as we drank lemon punch and was
cheerful and excited, but the minute I was alone I knew I was going to cry my eyes
out. I slid to the floor in my nightgown and began by saying my prayers, very
fervently. Then I drew my knees to my chest, lay my head on my arms and cried, all
huddled up on the bare floor. A loud sob brought me back down to earth, and I choked
back my tears, since I didn't want anyone next door to hear me. Then I tried to pull
myself together, saying over and over, "I must, I must, I must. . . " Stiff from sitting
in such an unusual position, I fell back against the side of the bed and kept up my
struggle until just before ten-thirty, when I climbed back into bed. It was over!
And now it's really over. I finally realized that I must do my schoolwork to keep from
being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that's what I want! I
know I can write. A few of my stories are good, my descriptions of the Secret Annex
are humorous, much of my diary is vivid and alive, but. . . it remains to be seen
whether I really have talent.
"Eva's Dream" is my best fairy tale, and the odd thing is that I don't have the faintest
idea where it came from. Parts of "Cady's Life" are also good, but as a whole it's
nothing special. I'm my best and harshest critic. I know what's good and what isn't.
Unless you write yourself, you can't know how wonderful it is; I always used to
bemoan the fact that I couldn't draw, but now I'm overjoyed that at least I can write.
And if I don't have the talent to write books or newspaper articles, I can always write
for myself. But I want to achieve more than that. I can't imagine having to live like
Mother, Mrs. van Daan and all the women who go about their work and are then
forgotten. I need to have something besides a husband and children to devote myself
to! I don't want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring
enjoyment to all people, even those I've never met. I want to go on living even after
my death! And that's why I'm so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which
I can use to develop myself and to express all that's inside me!
When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sor- row disappears, my spirits are
revived! But, and that's a big question, will I ever be able to write something great,
will I ever become a journalist or a writer?
I hope so, oh, I hope so very much, because writing allows me to record everything,
all my thoughts, ideals and fantasies.
I haven't worked on "Cady's Life" for ages. In my mind I've worked out exactly what
happens next, but the story doesn't seem to be coming along very well. I might never
finish it, and it'll wind up in the wastepaper basket or the stove. That's a horrible
thought, but then I say to myself, "At the age of fourteen and with so little
experience, you can't write about philosophy."
So onward and upward, with renewed spirits. It'll all work out, because I'm determined
Yours, Anne M. Frank
THURSDAY, APRIL 6, 1944
You asked me what my hobbies and interests are and I'd like to answer, but I'd better
warn you, I have lots of them, so don't be surprised.
First of all: writing, but I don't really think of that as a hobby.
Number two: genealogical charts. I'm looking in every newspaper, book and document I
can find for the family trees of the French, German, Spanish, English, Austrian,
Russian, Norwegian and Dutch royal famthes. I've made great progress with many of
them, because for ! a long time I've been taking notes while reading biogra- I, phies
or history books. I even copy out many of the passages on history.
So my third hobby is history, and Father's already bought me numerous books. I can
hardly wait for the day when I'll be able to go to the public library and ferret out Iii
the information I need.
Number four is Greek and Roman mythology. I have various books on this subject too.
I can name the nine Muses and the seven loves of Zeus. I have the wives of
Hercules, etc., etc., down pat.
My other hobbies are movie stars and family photographs. I'm crazy about reading and
books. I adore the history of the arts, especially when it concerns writers, poets and
painters; musicians may come later. I loathe algebra, geometry and arithmetic. I enjoy
all my other school subjects, but history's my favorite!
Yours, Anne M. Frank
TUESDAY, APRIL 11, 1944
My dearest Kitty,
My head's in a whirl, I really don't know where to begin. Thursday (the last time I
wrote you) everything
was as usual. Friday afternoon (Good Friday) we played
Monopoly; Saturday afternoon too. The days passed very quickly. Around two o'clock
on Saturday, heavy firing ii began-machine guns, according to the men. For the rest,
everything was quiet.
Sunday afternoon Peter came to see me at four-thirty, at my invitation. At
five-fifteen we went to the Ii front attic, where we stayed until six. There was a
beautil ful Mozart concert on the radio from six to seven-fifteen; I especially enjoyed
the Kleine Nachtmusik. I can hardly bear to listen in the kitchen, since beautiful music
stirs me to the very depths of my soul. Sunday evening Peter couldn't take his balli,
because the washtub was down in the office kitchen, filled with laundry. The two of
us went to the front attic together, and in order to be able to sit comfortably, I took
along the only cushion I could find in my room. We seated ourselves on a packing
crate. Since both the crate and the cushion were very narrow, we were sitting quite
close, leaning against two other crates; Mouschi kept us company, so we weren't
without a chaperon. Suddenly, at a quarter to nine, Mr. van Daan whistled and asked if
we had Mr. Dussel's cushion. We jumped up and went downstairs willi the cushion, the
cat and Mr. van Daan. This cushion was the source of much misery. Dussel was angry
because I'd taken the one he uses as a pillow, and he was afraid it might be covered
with fleas; he had the entire house in an uproar because of this one cushion. In
revenge, Peter and I stuck two hard brushes in his bed, but had to take them out
again when Dussel unexpectedly decided to go sit in his room. We had a really good
laugh at this little intermezzo.
But our fun was short-lived. At nine-thirty Peter knocked gently on the door and
asked Father to come upstairs and help him with a difficult English sentence.
"That sounds fishy," I said to Margot. "It's obviously a pretext. You can tell by the
way the men are talking that there's been a break-in!" I was right. The warehouse
was being broken into at that very moment. Father, Mr. van Daan and Peter were
downstairs in a flash. Margot, Mother, Mrs. van D. and I waited. Four frightened
women need to talk, so that's what we did until we heard a bang downstairs. After
that all was quiet. The clock struck quarter to ten. The color had drained from our
faces, but we remained calm, even though we were afraid. Where were the men? What
was that bang? Were they fighting with the burglars? We were too scared to think; all
we could do was wait.
Ten o'clock, footsteps on the stairs. Father, pale and nervous, came inside, followed
by Mr. van Daan. "Lights out, tiptoe upstairs, we're expecting the police!" There
wasn't time to be scared. The lights were switched off, I grabbed a jacket, and we sat
"What happened? Tell us quickly!"
There was no one to tell us; the men had gone back downstairs. The four of them
didn't come back up until ten past ten. Two of them kept watch at Peter's open
window. The door to the landing was locked, the book- case shut. We draped a
sweater over our night-light, and then they told us what had happened:
Peter was on the landing when he heard two loud bangs. He went downstairs and saw
that a large panel was missing from the left half of the warehouse door. He dashed
upstairs, alerted the "Home Guard," and the four of them went downstairs. When they
entered the warehouse, the burglars were going about their business. Without thinking,
Mr. van Daan yelled "Police!" Hur- ried footsteps outside; the burglars had fled. The
board was put back in the door so the police wouldn't notice the gap, but then a swift
kick from outside sent it flying to the floor. The men were amazed at the burglars'
audacity. Both Peter and Mr. van Daan felt a murderous rage come over them. Mr. van
Daan slammed an ax against the floor, and all was quiet again. Once more the panel
was re- placed, and once more the attempt was foiled. Outside, a man and a woman
shone a glaring flashlight through the opening, lighting up the entire warehouse. "What
the . . ." mumbled one of the men, but now their roles had been reversed. Instead of
policemen, they were now burglars. All four of them raced upstairs. Dussel and Mr.
van Daan snatched up Dussel's books, Peter opened the doors and windows in the
kitchen and private office, hurled the phone to the ground, and the four of them finally
ended up behind the bookcase.
END OF PART ONE
In all probability the man and woman with the flashlight had alerted the police. It was
Sunday night, Easter Sunday. The next day, Easter Monday, the office was going to
be closed, which meant we wouldn't be able to move around until Tuesday morning.
Think of it, having to sit in such terror for a day and two nights! We thought of
nothing, but simply sat there in pitch darkness -- in her fear, Mrs. van D. had
switched off the lamp. We whispered, and every time we heard a creak, someone said,
It was ten-thirty, then eleven. Not a sound. Father and Mr. van Daan took turns
coming upstairs to us. Then, at eleven-fifteen, a noise below. Up above you could
hear the whole family breathing. For the rest, no one moved a muscle. Footsteps in
the house, the private office, the kitchen, then. . . on the staircase. All sounds of
breathing stopped, eight hearts pounded. Foot- steps on the stairs, then a rattling at
the bookcase. This moment is indescribable.
"Now we're done for," I said, and I had visions of all fifteen of us being dragged away
by the Gestapo that very night.
More rattling at the bookcase, twice. Then we heard a can fall, and the footsteps
receded. We were out of danger, so far! A shiver went though everyone's body, I
heard several sets of teeth chattering, no one said a word. We stayed like this until
There were no more sounds in the house, but a light was shining on our landing, right
in front of the bookcase. Was that because the police thought it looked so suspicious
or because they simply forgot? Was anyone going to come back and turn it off? We
found our tongues again.
There were no longer any people inside the building, but perhaps someone was
standing guard outside. We then did three things: tried to guess what was going on,
trembled with fear and went to the bathroom. Since the buckets were in the attic, all
we had was Peter's metal wastepaper basket. Mr. van Daan went first, then Father,
but Mother was too embarrassed. Father brought the waste- basket to the next room,
where Margot, Mrs. van Daan and I gratefully made use of it. Mother finally gave in.
There was a great demand for paper, and luckily I had some in my pocket.
The wastebasket stank, everything went on in a whisper, and we were exhausted. It
"Lie down on the floor and go to sleep!" Margot and I were each given a pillow and a
blanket. Margot lay down near the food cupboard, and I made my bed between the
table legs. The smell wasn't quite so bad when you were lying on the floor, but Mrs.
van Daan quietly went and got some powdered bleach and draped a dish towel over
the potty as a further precaution.
Talk, whispers, fear, stench, farting and people continually going to the bathroom; try
sleeping through that! By two-thirty, however, I was so tired I dozed off and didn't
hear a thing until three-thirty. I woke up when Mrs. van D. lay her head on my feet.
"For heaven's sake, give me something to put on!" I said. I was handed some clothes,
but don't ask what: a pair of wool slacks over my pajamas, a red sweater and a black
skirt, white understockings and tattered kneesocks.
Mrs. van D. sat back down on the chair, and Mr. van D. lay down with his head on
my feet. From three- thirty onward I was engrossed in thought, and still shiver- ing
so much that Mr. van Daan couldn't sleep. I was preparing myself for the return of
the police. We'd tell them we were in hiding; if they were good people, we'd be safe,
and if they were Nazi sympathizers, we could try to bribe them!
"We should hide the radio!" moaned Mrs. van D.
"Sure, in the stove," answered Mr. van D. "If they find us, they might as well find the
"Then they'll also find Anne's diary," added Father.
"So burn it," suggested the most terrified of the group.
This and the police rattling on the bookcase were the moments when I was most
afraid. Oh, not my diary; if my diary goes, I go too! Thank goodness Father didn't say
There's no point in recounting all the conversations; so much was said. I comforted
Mrs. van Daan, who was very frightened. We talked about escaping, being interrogated
by the Gestapo, phoning Mr. Kleiman and being courageous.
"We must behave like soldiers, Mrs. van Daan. If our time has come, well then, it'll be
for Queen and Country, for freedom, truth and justice, as they're always telling us on
the radio. The only bad thing is that we'll drag the others down with us!"
After an hour Mr. van Daan switched places with his wife again, and Father came and
sat beside me. The men smoked one cigarette after another, an occasional sigh was
heard, somebody made another trip to the potty, and then everything began allover
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested