flashlight, Mrs. van Daan's comb, toilet paper, etc.
Jan and Miep were of course greeted with shouts and tears. Jan nailed a pinewood
board over the gap in the door and went off again with Miep to inform the police of
the break-in. Miep had also found a note under the ware- house door from Sleegers,
the night watchman, who had noticed the hole and alerted the police. Jan was also
planning to see Sleegers.
So we had half an hour in which to put the house and ourselves to rights. I've never
seen such a transformation as in those thirty minutes. Margot and I got the beds
ready downstairs, went to the bathroom, brushed our teeth, washed our hands and
combed our hair. Then I straightened up the room a bit and went back upstairs. The
table had already been cleared, so we got some water, made coffee and tea, boiled the
milk and set the table. Father and Peter emptied our improvised potties and rinsed
them with warm water and powdered bleach. The largest one was filled to the brim
and was so heavy they had a hard time lifting it. To make things worse, it was
leaking, so they had to put it in a bucket.
At eleven o'clock Jan was back and joined us at the table, and gradually everyone
began to relax. Jan had the following story to tell:
Mr. Sleegers was asleep, but his wife told Jan that her husband had discovered the
hole in the door while making his rounds. He called in a policeman, and the two of
them searched the building. Mr. Sleegers, in his capacity as night watchman, patrols
the area every night on his bike, accompanied by his two dogs. His wife said he would
come on Tuesday and tell Mr. Kugler the rest. No one at the police station seemed to
know anything about the break-in, but they made a note to come first thing Tuesday
morning to have a look.
On the way back Jan happened to run into Mr. van Hoeven, the man who supplies us
with potatoes, and told him of the break-in. "I know," Mr. van Hoeven calmly replied.
"Last night when my wife and I were walking past your building, I saw a gap in the
door. My wife wanted to walk on, but I peeked inside with a flashlight, and that's
when the burglars must have run off. To be on the safe side, I didn't call the police. I
thought it wouldn't be wise in your case. I don't know anything, but I have my
suspicions." Jan thanked him and went on. Mr. van Hoeven obviously suspects we're
here, because he always delivers the potatoes at lunchtime. A decent man!
It was one o'clock by the time Jan left and we'd done the dishes. All eight of us went
to bed. I woke up at quarter to three and saw that Mr. Dussel was already up. My
face rumpled with sleep, I happened to run into Peter in the bathroom, just after he'd
come downstairs. We agreed to meet in the office. I freshened up a bit and went
"After all this, do you still dare go to the front attic?" he asked. I nodded, grabbed
my pillow, with a cloth wrapped around it, and we went up together. The weather was
gorgeous, and even though the air-raid sirens soon began to wail, we stayed where
we were. Peter put his arm around my shoulder, I put mine around his, and we sat
quietly like this until four o'clock, when Margot came to get us for coffee.
We ate our bread, drank our lemonade and joked (we were finally able to again), and
for the rest everything was back to normal. That evening I thanked Peter because he'd
been the bravest of us all.
None of us have ever been in such danger as we were that night. God was truly
watching over us. Just think-the police were right at the bookcase, the light was on,
and still no one had discovered our hiding place! "Now we're done for!" I'd whispered
at that moment, but once again we were spared. When the invasion comes and the
bombs start falling, it'll be every man for himself, but this time we feared for those
good, innocent Christians who are helping us.
"We've been saved, keep on saving us!" That's all we can say.
This incident has brought about a whole lot of changes. As of now, Dussel will be
doing his work in the bathroom, and Peter will be patrolling the house between
eight-thirty and nine-thirty. Peter isn't allowed to open his window anymore, since
one of the Keg people noticed it was open. We can no longer flush the toilet after
nine-thirty at night. Mr. Sleegers has been hired as night watchman, and tonight a
carpenter from the underground is coming to make a barricade out of our white
Frankfurt bedsteads. Debates are going on left and right in the Annex. Mr. Kugler has
reproached us for our carelessness. Jan also said we should never go downstairs. What
we have to do now is find out whether Sleegers can be trusted, whether the dogs will
bark if they hear someone behind the door, how to make the barricade, all sorts of
We've been strongly reminded of the fact that we're Jews in chains, chained to one
spot, without any rights, but with a thousand obligations. We must put our feelings
aside; we must be brave and strong, bear discomfort with- out complaint, do whatever
is in our power and trust in God. One day this terrible war will be over. The time will
come when we'll be people again and not just Jews!
Who has inflicted this on us? Who has set us apart from all the rest? Who has put us
through such suffering? It's God who has made us the way we are, but it's also God
who will lift us up again. In the eyes of the world, we're doomed, but if, after all this
suffering, there are still Jews left, the Jewish people will be held up as an example.
Who knows, maybe our religion will teach the world and all the people in it about
goodness, and that's the reason, the only reason, we have to suffer. We can never be
just Dutch, or just English, or whatever, we will always be Jews as well. And we'll
have to keep on being Jews, but then, we'll want to be.
Be brave! Let's remember our duty and perform it without complaint. There will be a
way out. God has never deserted our people. Through the ages Jews have had to
suffer, but through the ages they've gone on living, and the centuries of suffering have
only made them stronger. The weak shall fall and the strong shall survive and not be
That night I really thought I was going to die. I waited for the police and I was ready
for death, like a soldier on a battlefield. I'd gladly have given my life for my country.
But now, now that I've been spared, my first wish after the war is to become a Dutch
citizen. I love the Dutch, I love this country, I love the language, and I want to work
here. And even if I have to write to the Queen herself, I won't give up until I've
reached my goal!
I'm becoming more and more independent of my parents. Young as I am, I face life
with more courage and have a better and truer sense of justice than Mother. I know
what I want, I have a goal, I have opinions, a religion and love. If only I can be
myself, I'll be satisfied. I know that I'm a woman, a woman with inner strength and a
great deal of courage!
If God lets me live, I'll achieve more than Mother ever did, I'll make my voice heard,
I'll go out into the world and work for mankind!
I now know that courage and happiness are needed first!
Yours, Anne M. Frank
FRIDAY, APRIL 14, 1944
Everyone here is still very tense. Pim has nearly reached the bothng point; Mrs. van
D. is lying in bed with a cold, grumbling; Mr. van D. is growing pale without his
cigarettes; Dussel, who's having to give up many of his comforts, is carping at
everyone; etc., etc. We seem to have run out of luck lately. The toilet's leaking, and
the faucet's stuck. Thanks to our many connections, we'll soon be able to get these
I'm occasionally sentimental, as you know, but from time to time I have reason to be:
when Peter and I are sitting close together on a hard wooden crate among the junk
and dust, our arms around each other's shoulders, Peter toying with a lock of my hair;
when the birds outside are trilling their songs, when the trees are in bud, when the
sun beckons and the sky is so blue--oh, that's when I wish for so much!
All I see around me are dissatisfied and grumpy faces, all I hear are sighs and stifled
complaints. You'd think our lives had taken a sudden turn for the worse. Honestly,
things are only as bad as you make them. Here in the Annex no one even bothers to
set a good example. We each have to figure out how to get the better of our own
Every day you hear, "If only it were all over!"
Work, love, courage and hope,
Make me good and help me cope!
I really believe, Kit, that I'm a little nutty today, and I don't know why. My writing's
all mixed up, I'm jump- ing from one thing to another, and sometimes I seriously
doubt whether anyone will ever be interested in this drivel. They'll probably call it
"The Musings of an Ugly Duckling." My diaries certainly won't be of much use to Mr.
Bolkestein or Mr. Gerbrandy.* [* Gerrit Bolkestein was the Minister of Education and
Pieter Gerbrandy was the Prime Minister of the Dutch government in exile in London.
See Anne's letter of March 29, 1944.]
Yours, Anne M. Frank
SATURDAY, APRIL 15, 1944
"There's just one bad thing after another. When will it all end?" You can sure say that
again. Guess what's happened now? Peter forgot to unbolt the front door. As a result,
Mr. Kugler and the warehouse employees couldn't get in. He went to Keg's, smashed
in our office kitchen window and got in that way. The windows in the Annex were
open, and the Keg people saw that too. What must they be thinking? And van Maaren?
Mr. Kugler's furious. We accuse him of not doing anything to reinforce the doors, and
then we do a stupid thing like this! Peter's extremely upset. At the table, Mother said
she felt more sorry for Peter than for anyone else, and he nearly began to cry. We're
equally to blame, since we usually ask him every day if he's unbolted the door, and so
does Mr. van Daan. Maybe I can go comfort him later on. I want to help him so
Here are the latest news bulletins about life in the Secret Annex over the last few
A week ago Saturday, Boche suddenly got sick. He sat quite still and started drooling.
Miep immediately picked him up, rolled him in a towel, tucked him in her shopping bag
and brought him to the dog-and-cat clinic. Boche had some kind of intestinal problem,
so the vet gave him medicine. Peter gave it to him a few times, but Boche soon made
himself scarce. I'll bet he was out courting his sweetheart. But now his nose is
swollen and he meows whenever you pick him up-he was probably trying to steal
food and somebody smacked him. Mouschi lost her voice for a few days. Just when
we decided she had to be taken to the vet too, she started getting better.
We now leave the attic window open a crack every night. Peter and I often sit up
there in the evening.
Thanks to rubber cement and oil paint, our toilet ; could quickly be repaired. The
broken faucet has been replaced.
Luckily, Mr. Kleiman is feeling better. He's going to see a specialist soon. We can
only hope he won't need an operation.
This month we received eight Tation books. Unfortunately, for the next two weeks
beans have been substituted for oatmeal or groats. Our latest delicacy is piccalilli. If
you're out of luck, all you get is a jar full of cucumber and mustard sauce.
Vegetables are hard to come by. There's only lettuce, lettuce and more lettuce. Our
meals consist entirely of potatoes and imitation gravy.
The Russians are in possession of more than half the Crimea. The British aren't
advancing beyond Cassino. We'll have to count on the Western Wall. There have been
a lot of unbelievably heavy air raids. The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in
The Hague was bombed. All Dutch people will be issued new ration registration cards.
Enough for today.
Yours, Anne M. Frank
SUNDAY, APRIL 16, 1944
My dearest Kitty,
Remember yesterday's date, since it was a red-letter day for me. Isn't it an important
day for every girl when she gets her first kiss? Well then, it's no less important to
me. The time Bram kissed me on my right cheek or Mr. Woudstra on my right hand
doesn't count. How did I suddenly come by this kiss? I'll tell you.
Last night at eight I was sitting with Peter on his divan and it wasn't long before he
put an arm around me. (Since it was Saturday, he wasn't wearing his overalls.)"Why
don t we move over a little," I said, "so won t keep bumping my head against the
He moved so far over he was practically in the corner. I slipped my arm under his
and across his back, and he put his arm around my shoulder, so that I was nearly
engulfed by him. We've sat like this on other occasions, but never so close as we
were last night. He held me firmly against him, my left side against his chest; my
heart had already begun to beat faster, but there was more to come. He wasn't
satisfied until my head lay on his shoulder, with his on top of mine. I sat up again
after about five minutes, but before long he took my head in his hands and put it back
next to his. Oh, it was so wonderful. I could hardly talk, my pleasure was too intense;
he caressed my cheek and arm, a bit clumsily, and played with my hair. Most of the
time our heads were touching.
I can't tell you, Kitty, the feeling that ran through me. I was too happy for words, and
I think he was too.
At nine-thirty we stood up. Peter put on his tennis shoes so he wouldn't make much
noise on his nightly round of the building, and I was standing next to him. How I
suddenly made the right movement, I don't know, but before we went downstairs, he
gave me a. kiss, through my hair, half on my left cheek and half on my ear. I tore
downstairs without looking back, and I long so much for today.
Sunday morning, just before eleven.
Yours, Anne M. Frank
MONDAY, APRIL 17, 1944
Do you think Father and Mother would approve of a girl my age sitting on a divan and
kissing a seventeen-and- a-half-year-old boy? I doubt they would, but I have to
trust my own judgment in this matter. It's so peaceful and safe, lying in his arms and
dreaming, it's so thrilling to feel his cheek against mine, it's so wonderful to know
there's someone waiting for me. But, and there is a but, will Peter want to leave it at
that? I haven't forgotten his promise, but. . . he is a boy!
I know I'm starting at a very young age. Not even fifteen and already so independent
-- that's a little hard for other people to understand. I'm pretty sure Margot would
never kiss a boy unless there was some talk of an engagement or marriage. Neither
Peter nor I has any such plans. I'm also sure that Mother never touched a man before
she met Father. What would my girlfriends or Jacque say if they knew I'd lain in
Peter's arms with my heart against his chest, my head on his shoulder and his head
and face against mine!
Oh, Anne, how terribly shocking! But seriously, I don't think it's at all shocking; we're
cooped up here, cut off from the world, anxious and fearful, especially lately. Why
should we stay apart when we love each other? Why shouldn't we kiss each other in
times like these? Why should we wait until we've reached a suitable age? Why should
we ask anybody's permission?
I've decided to look out for my own interests. He'd never want to hurt me or make
me unhappy. Why shouldn't I do what my heart tells me and makes both of us happy?
Yet I have a feeling, Kitty, that you can sense my doubt. It must be my honesty
rising in revolt against all this sneaking around. Do you think it's my duty to tell
Father what I'm up to? Do you think our secret should be shared with a third person?
Much of the beauty would be lost, but would it make me feel better inside? I'll bring
it up with him.
Oh, yes, I still have so much I want to discuss with him, since I don't see the point
of just cuddling. Sharing our thoughts with each other requires a great deal of trust,
but we'll both be stronger because of it!
Yours, Anne M. Frank
P.S. We were up at six yesterday morning, because the whole family heard the sounds
of a break-in again. It must have been one of our neighbors who was the victim this
time. When we checked at seven o'clock, our doors were still shut tight, thank
TUESDAY, APRIL 18,1944
Everything's fine here. Last night the carpenter came again to put some sheets of iron
over the door panels. Father just got through saying he definitely expects large-scale
operations in Russia and Italy, as well as in the West, before May 20; the longer the
war lasts, the harder it is to imagine being liberated from this place.
Yesterday Peter and I finally got around to having the talk we've been postponing for
the last ten days. I told him all about girls, without hesitating to discuss the most
intimate matters. I found it rather amusing that he thought the opening in a woman's
body was simply left out of illustrations. He couldn't imagine that it was actually
located between a woman's legs. The evening ended with a mutual kiss, near the
mouth. It's really a lovely feeling!
I might take my "favorite quotes notebook" up with me sometime so Peter and I can
go more deeply into matters. I don't think lying in each other's arms day in and day
out is very satisfying, and I hope he feels the same.
After our mild winter we've been having a beautiful spring. April is glorious, not too
hot and not too cold, with occasional light showers. Our chestnut tree is in leaf, and
here and there you can already see a few small blossoms.
Bep presented us Saturday with four bouquets of flowers: three bouquets of daffodils,
and one bouquet of grape hyacinths for me. Mr. Kugler is supplying us with more and
It's time to do my algebra, Kitty. Bye.
Yours, Anne M. Frank
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19, 1944
(That's the title of a movie with Dorit Kreysler, Ida Wust and Harald Paulsen!)
What could be nicer than sitting before an open window, enjoying nature, listening to
the birds sing, feeling the sun on your cheeks and holding a darling boy in your arms?
I feel so peaceful and safe with his arm around me, knowing he's near and yet not
having to speak; how can this be bad when it does me so much good? Oh, if only we
were never disturbed again, not even by Mouschi.
Yours, Anne M. Frank
FRIDAY, APRIL 21,1944
My dearest Kitty,
I stayed in bed yesterday with a sore throat, but since I was already bored the very
first afternoon and didn't have a fever, I got up today. My sore throat has nearly
"verschwunden"* [* disappeared].
Yesterday, as you've probably already discovered, was our Fiihrer's fifty-fifth
birthday. Today is the eighteenth birthday of Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth of
York. The BBC reported that she hasn't yet been declared of age, though royal
children usually are. We've been wondering which prince they'll marry this beauty off
to, but can't think of a suitable candidate; perhaps her sister, Princess Margaret Rose,
can have Crown Prince Baudouin of Belgium!
Here we've been going from one disaster to the next. No sooner have the outside
doors been reinforced than van Maaren rears his head again. In all likelihood he's the
one who stole the potato flour, and now he's trying to pin the blame on Bep. Not
surprisingly, the Annex is once again in an uproar. Bep is beside herself with rage.
Perhaps Mr. Kugler will finally have this shady character tailed.
The appraiser from Beethovenstraat was here this morning. He offered us 400 guilders
for our chest; in our opinion, the other estimates are also too low.
I want to ask the magazine The Prince if they'll take one of my fairy tales, under a
pseudonym, of course. But up to now all my fairy tales have been too long, so I don't
think I have much of a chance.
Until the next time, darling.
Yours, Anne M. Frank
TUESDAY, APRIL 25, 1944
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested