a bank and became a millionaire, and Alice Stern's parents were prominent and
well-to-do. Michael Frank didn't start out rich; he was a self-made man. In his
youth Father led the life of a rich man's son. Parties every week, balls, banquets,
beautiful girls, waltzing, dinners, a huge house, etc. After Grandpa died, most of the
money was lost, and after the Great War and inflation there was nothing left at all. Up
until the war there were still quite a few rich relatives. So Father was extremely
well-bred, and he had to laugh yesterday because for the first time in his fifty-five
years, he scraped out the frying pan at the table.
Mother's family wasn't as wealthy, but still fairly well-off, and we've listened
openmouthed to stories of private balls, dinners and engagement parties with 250
We're far from rich now, but I've pinned all my hopes on after the war. I can assure
you, I'm not so set on a bourgeois life as Mother and Margot. I'd like to spend a year
in Paris and London learning the languages and studying art history. Compare that with
Margot, who wants to nurse newborns in Palestine. I still have visions of gorgeous
dresses and fascinating people. As I've told you many times before, I want to see the
world and do all kinds of exciting things, and a little money won't hurt!
This morning Miep told us about her cousin's engagement party, which she went to on
Saturday. The cousin's parents are rich, and the groom's are even richer. Miep made
our mouths water telling us about the food that was served: vegetable soup with
meatballs, cheese, rolls with sliced meat, hors d'oeuvres made with eggs and roast
beef, rolls with cheese, genoise, wine and cigarettes, and you could eat as much as
Miep drank ten schnapps and smoked three cigarettes --
could this be our
temperance advocate? If Miep drank all those, I wonder how many her spouse
managed to toss down? Everyone at the party was a little tipsy, of course. There
were also two officers from the Homicide Squad, who took photographs of the wedding
couple. You can see we're never far from Miep's thoughts, since she promptly noted
their names and addresses in case anything should happen and we needed contacts
with good Dutch people.
Our mouths were watering so much. We, who'd had nothing but two spoonfuls of hot
cereal for breakfast and were absolutely famished; we, who get nothing but
half-cooked spinach (for the vitamins!) and rotten pota- toes day after day; we, who
fill our empty stomachs with nothing but boiled lettuce, raw lettuce, spinach, spinach
and more spinach. Maybe we'll end up being as strong as Popeye, though up to now
I've seen no sign of it!
If Miep had taken us along to the party, there wouldn't have been any rolls left over
for the other guests. If we'd been there, we'd have snatched up everything in sight,
including the furniture. I tell you, we were practically pulling the words right out of
her mouth. We were gathered around her as if we'd never in all our lives heard of"
delicious food or elegant people! And these are the granddaughters of the distinguished
millionaire. The world is a crazy place!
Yours, Anne M. Frank
TUESDAY, MAY 9, 1944
I've finished my story about Ellen, the fairy. I've copied it out on nice notepaper,
decorated it with red ink and sewn the pages together. The whole thing looks quite
pretty, but I don't know if it's enough of a birthday present. Margot and Mother have
both written poems.
Mr. Kugler came upstairs this afternoon with the news that starting Monday, Mrs.
Broks would like to spend two hours in the office every afternoon. Just imagine! The
office staff won't be able to come upstairs, the potatoes can't be delivered, Bep won't
get her dinner, we can't go to the bathroom, we won't be able to move and all sorts
of other inconveniences! We proposed a variety of ways to get rid of her. Mr. van
Daan thought a good laxative in her coffee might do the trick. "No," Mr. Kleiman
answered, "please don't, or we'll never get her off the can.
A roar of laughter. "The can?" Mrs. van D. asked. "What does that mean?" An
explanation was given. "Is it all right to use that word?" she asked in perfect
innocence. "Just imagine," Bep giggled, "there you are shopping at The Bijenkorf and
you ask the way to the can. They wouldn't even know what you were talking about!"
Dussel now sits on the "can," to borrow the expression, every day at twelve-thirty on
the dot. This afternoon I boldly took a piece of pink paper and wrote:
Mr. Dussel's Toilet Timetable
Mornings from 7: 15 to 7:30 A.M.
Afternoons after 1 P.M.
Otherwise, only as needed!
I tacked this to the green bathroom door while he was still inside. I might well have
added' 'Transgressors will be subject to confinement!" Because our bathroom can be
locked from both the inside and the outside.
Mr. van Daan's latest joke:
After a Bible lesson about Adam and Eve, a thirteen-year-old boy asked his father,
"Tell me, Father, how did I get born?"
"Well," the father replied, "the stork plucked you out of the ocean, set you down in
Mother's bed and bit her in the leg, hard. It bled so much she had to stay in bed for
Not fully satisfied, the boy went to his mother. "Tell me, Mother," he asked, "how did
you get born and how did I get born?"
His mother told him the very same story. Finally, hoping to hear the fine points, he
went to his grandfather. "Tell me, Grandfather," he said, "how did you get born and
how did your daughter get born?" And for the third time he was told exactly the same
That night he wrote in his diary: "After careful inquiry, I must conclude that there has
been no sexual intercourse in our family for the last three generations!"
I still have work to do; it's already three o'clock.
Yours, Anne M. Frank
PS. Since I think I've mentioned the new cleaning lady, I just want to note that she's
married, sixty years old and hard of hearing! Very convenient, in view of all the noise
that eight people in hiding are capable of mak- ing.
Oh, Kit, it's such lovely weather. If only I could go outside!
WEDNESDAY, MAY 10, 1944
We were sitting in the attic yesterday afternoon working on our French when suddenly
I heard the splatter of water behind me. I asked Peter what it might be. Without
pausing to reply, he dashed up to the loft-the scene of the disaster -- and shoved
Mouschi, who was squatting beside her soggy litter box, back to the right place. This
was followed by shouts and squeals, and then Mouschi, who by that time had finished
peeing, took off downstairs. In search of something similar to her box, Mouschi had
found herself a pile of wood shavings, right over a crack in the floor. The puddle
immediately trickled down to the attic and, as luck would have it, landed in and next
to the potato barrel. The cethng was dripping, and since the attic floor has also got its
share of cracks, little yellow drops were leaking through the ceiling and onto the
dining table, between a pile of stockings and books.
I was doubled up with laughter, it was such a funny sight. There was Mouschi
crouched under a chair, Peter armed with water, powdered bleach and a cloth, and Mr.
van Daan trying to calm everyone down. The room was soon set to rights, but it's a
well-known fact that cat puddles stink to high heaven. The potatoes proved that all
too well, as did the wood shavings, which Father collected in a bucket and brought
downstairs to burn.
Poor Mouschi! How were you to know it's impossible to get peat for your box?
THURSDAY, MAY 11, 1944
A new sketch to make you laugh:
Peter's hair had to be cut, and as usual his mother was to be the hairdresser. At
seven twenty-five Peter vanished into his room, and reappeared at the stroke of
seven-thirty, stripped down to his blue swimming trunks and a pair of tennis shoes.
"Are you coming?" he asked his mother.
"Yes, I'll be up in a minute, but I can't find the scissors!"
Peter helped her look, rummaging around in her cosmetics drawer. "Don't make such a
mess, Peter," she grumbled.
I didn't catch Peter's reply, but it must have been insolent, because she cuffed him on
the arm. He cuffed her back, she punched him with all her might, and Peter pulled his
arm away with a look of mock horror on his face. "Come on, old girl!"
Mrs. van D. stayed put. Peter grabbed her by the wrists and pulled her all around the
room. She laughed, cried, scolded and kicked, but nothing helped. Peter led his
prisoner as far as the attic stairs, where he was obliged to let go of her. Mrs. van D.
came back to the room and collapsed into a chair with a loud sigh.
"Die Enifu"hruna der Mutter,". I joked. [* The Abduction of Mother, a possible
reference to Mozart's opera The Abduction from the Seraglio.]
"Yes, but he hurt me."
I went to have a look and cooled her hot, red wrists with water. Peter, still by the
stairs and growing impa- tient again, strode into the room with his belt in his hand,
like a lion tamer. Mrs. van D. didn't move, but stayed by her writing desk, looking for
a handkerchief. "You've got to apologize first."
"All right, I hereby offer my apologies, but only because if I don't, we'll be here till
Mrs. van D. had to laugh in spite of herself. She got up and went toward the door,
where she felt obliged to give us an explanation. (By us I mean Father, Mother and
me; we were busy doing the dishes.) "He wasn't like this at home," she said. "I'd
have belted him so hard he'd have gone flying down the stairs [!]. He's never been so
insolent. This isn't the first time he's deserved a good hiding. That's what you get
with a modern upbringing, modern children. I'd never have grabbed my mother like
that. Did you treat your mother that way, Mr. Frank?" She was very upset, pacing
back and forth, saying whatever came into her head, and she still hadn't gone upstairs.
Finally, at long last, she made her exit.
Less than five minutes later she stormed back down the stairs, with her cheeks all
puffed out, and flung her apron on a chair. When I asked if she was through, she
replied that she was going downstairs. She tore down the stairs like a tornado,
probably straight into the arms of her Putti.
She didn't come up again until eight, this time with her husband. Peter was dragged
from the attic, given a merciless scolding and showered with abuse: ill-mannered brat,
no-good bum, bad example, Anne this, Margot that, I couldn't hear the rest.
Everything seems to have calmed down again today!
Yours, Anne M. Frank
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P.S. Tuesday and Wednesday evening our beloved Queen addressed the country. She's
taking a vacation so she'll be in good health for her return to the Netherlands.
She used words like "soon, when I'm back in Holland," "a swift liberation," "heroism"
and "heavy burdens."
This was followed by a speech by Prime Minister Gerbrandy. He has such a squeaky
little child's voice that Mother instinctively said, "Oooh." A clergyman, who must have
borrowed his voice from Mr. Edel, concluded by asking God to take care of the Jews,
all those in concentration camps and prisons and everyone working in Germany.
THURSDAY, MAY 11, 1944
Since I've left my entire "junk box" -- including my fountain pen -- upstairs and
I'm not allowed to disturb the grown-ups during their nap time (until two-thirty),
you'll have to make do with a letter in pencil.
I'm terribly busy at the moment, and strange as it may sound, I don't have enough
time to get through my pile of work. Shall I tell you briefly what I've got to do? Well
then, before tomorrow I have to finish reading the first volume of a biography of
Galileo Galilei, since it has to be returned to the library. I started reading it yesterday
and have gotten up to page 220 out of 320 pages, so I'll manage it. Next week I have
to read Palestine at the Cross- roads and the second volume of Galilei. Besides that,
I finished the first volume of a biography of Emperor Charles V yesterday, and I still
have to work out the many genealogical charts I've collected and the notes I've taken.
Next I have three pages of foreign words from my various books, all of which have to
be written down, memorized and read aloud. Number four: my movie stars are in a
terrible disarray and are dying to be straightened out, but since it'll take several days
to do that and Professor Anne is, as she's already said, up to her ears in work, they'll
have to put up with the chaos a while longer. Then there're Theseus, Oedipus, Peleus,
Orpheus, Jason and Hercules all waiting to be untangled, since their various deeds are
running crisscross through my mind like mul- ticolored threads in a dress. Myron and
Phidias are also urgently in need of attention, or else I'll forget entirely how they fit
into the picture. The same applies, for example, to the Seven Years' War and the Nine
Years' War. Now I'm getting everything all mixed up. Well, what can you do with a
memory like mine! Just imagine how forgetful I'll be when I'm eighty!
Oh, one more thing. The Bible. How long is it going to take before I come to the
story of the bathing Susanna? And what do they mean by Sodom and Gomorrah? Oh,
there's still so much to find out and learn. And in the meantime, I've left Charlotte of
the Palatine in the lurch.
You can see, can't you, Kitty, that I'm full to bursting?
And now something else. You've known for a long time that my greatest wish is to be
a journalist, and later on, a famous writer. We'll have to wait and see if these grand
illusions (or delusions!) will ever come true, but up to now I've had no lack of topics.
In any case, after the war I'd like to publish a book called The Secret Annex. It
remains to be seen whether I'll succeed, but my diary can serve as the basis.
I also need to finish "Cady's Life." I've thought up the rest of the plot. After being
cured in the sanatorium, Cady goes back home and continues writing to Hans. It's
1941, and it doesn't take her long to discover Hans's Nazi sympathies, and since Cady
is deeply concerned with the plight of the Jews and of her friend Marianne, they begin
drifting apart. They meet and get back together, but break up when Hans takes up
with another girl. Cady is shattered, and because she wants to have a good job, she
studies nursing. After graduation she accepts a position, at the urging of her father's
friends, as a nurse in a TB sanatorium in Switzerland. During her first vacation she
goes to Lake Como, where she runs into Hans. He tells her that two years earlier
he'd married Cady's successor, but that his wife took her life in a fit of depression.
Now that he's seen his little Cady again, he realizes how much he loves her, and once
more asks for her hand in marriage. Cady refuses, even though, in spite of herself,
she loves him as much as ever. But her pride holds her back. Hans goes away, and
years later Cady learns that he's wound up in England, where he's struggling with ill
When she's twenty-seven, Cady marries a well-to-do man from the country, named
Simon. She grows to love him, but not as much as Hans. She has two daughters and a
son, Lthan, Judith and Nico. She and Simon are happy together, but Hans is always in
the back of her mind until one night she dreams of him and says farewell.
. . .
It's not sentimental nonsense: it's based on the story of Father's life.
Yours, Anne M. Frank
SATURDAY, MAY 13, 1944
My dearest Kitty,
Yesterday was Father's birthday, Father and Mother's nineteenth wedding anniversary,
a day without the cleaning lady. . . and the sun was shining as it's never shone before
in 1944. Our chestnut tree is in full bloom. It's covered with leaves and is even more
beautiful than last year.
Father received a biography of Linnaeus from Mr. Kleiman, a book on nature from Mr.
Kugler, The Canals of Amsterdam from Dussel, a huge box from the van Daans
(wrapped so beautifully it might have been done by a professional), containing three
eggs, a bottle of beer, a jar of yogurt and a green tie. It made our jar of molasses
seem rather paltry. My roses smelled wonderful compared to Miep and Bep's red
carnations. He was thoroughly spoiled. Fifty petits fours arrived from Siemons'
Bakery, delicious! Father also treated us to spice cake, the men to beer and the ladies
to yogurt. Everything was scrumptious!
Yours, Anne M. Frank
TUESDAY, MAY 16, 1944
My dearest Kitty, just for a change (since we haven't had one of these in so long) I'll
recount a little discussion between Mr. and Mrs. van D. last night:
Mrs. van D.: "The Germans have had plenty of time to fortify the Atlantic Wall, and
they'll certainly do everything within their power to hold back the British. It's amazing
how strong the Germans are!"
Mr. van D.: "Oh, yes, amazing.
Mrs. van D.: "It is!"
Mr. van D.: "They are so strong they're bound to win the war in the end, is that what
Mrs. van D.: "They might. I'm not convinced that they won't."
Mr. van D.: "I won't even answer that."
Mrs. van D.: "You always wind up answering. You let yourself get carried away, every
Mr. van D.: "No, I don't. I always keep my answers to the bare minimum."
Mrs. van D.: "But you always do have an answer and you always have to be right!
Your predictions hardly ever come true, you know!"
Mr. van D.: "So far they have."
Mrs. van D.: "No they haven't. You said the invasion was going to start last year, the
Finns were supposed to have been out of the war by now, the Italian campaign ought
to have been over by last winter, and the Russians should already have captured
Lemberg. Oh no, I don't set much store by your predictions."
Mr. van D. (leaping to his feet): "Why don't you shut your trap for a change? I'll
show you who's right; someday you'll get tired of needling me. I can't stand your
bellyaching a minute longer. just wait, one day I'll make you eat your words!" (End of
Actually, I couldn't help giggling. Mother couldn't either, and even Peter was biting his
lips to keep from laughing. Oh, those stupid grown-ups. They need to learn a few
things first before they start making so many remarks about the younger generation!
Since Friday we've been keeping the windows open again at night.
Yours, Anne M. Frank
What Our Annex Family Is Interested In
(A Systematic Survey of Courses and Readina Matter)
Mr. van Daan. No courses; looks up many things in Knaur's Encyclopedia and Lexicon;
likes to read detective stories, medical books and love stories, exciting or trivial.
Mrs. van Daan. A correspondence course in English; likes to read biographical novels
and occasionally other kinds of novels.
Mr. Frank. Is learning English (Dickens!) and a bit of Latin; never reads novels, but
likes serious, rather dry descriptions of people and places.
Mrs. Frank. A correspondence course in English; reads everything except detective
Mr. Dussel. Is learning English, Spanish and Dutch with no noticeable results; reads
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