Diary of a Young Girl
July 1, 1942–July 10, 1942
Anne tells her diary that she has been seeing more of Hello. Hello’s parents are in Belgium, but there is no way for him to travel there, so he is living in Amsterdam with his grandparents. On Sunday afternoon, Hello tells Anne that his grandmother did not approve of his association with such a young girl. He also says that he prefers Anne to his old girlfriend Ursul. Hello tells Anne that he will be free Wednesday evenings as well as parts of Saturdays and Sundays, since he used to go to meetings for a Zionist organization but decided not to attend them anymore. On Monday, he meets Anne’s parents, then he and Anne go for a walk and do not return until after eight in the evening. Anne’s father is furious, and she promises to return before eight in the future. Anne confesses that she is really in love with a boy named Peter, even though he is dating other girls, and that Hello is just a friend or a beau.
Anne receives decent grades on her report card but adds that her parents do not care about grades as much as some of her friends’ parents do. Anne’s father explains that they will likely have to go into hiding soon, which is why they have been asking friends to store their belongings. He tells her that they will “leave of [their] own accord” instead of waiting for the Germans to take them and that Anne does not have to worry about it right away. She is greatly dismayed by her father’s plans. Three days later, on Sunday afternoon, Anne’s sister, Margot, tells her that their father had received a call-up notice from the SS, the elite Nazi guard. Later, alone in their room, Margot tells Anne that it was really herself, not Mr. Frank, who had been called up. The girls quickly start packing their things. The next day, they pile on as many layers of clothes as they can, since they cannot risk carrying suitcases. Margot leaves the house first, carrying a schoolbag full of books, and Anne follows later that evening.
Eventually, the entire family arrives at their hiding place in Otto Frank’s office building at 263 Prinsengracht. A secret annex was hidden upstairs from the office, behind a big gray door. Four people who work in the office are informed of the Franks’ arrival. Margot is waiting for the rest of the family in the annex, which is stocked with dozens of cardboard boxes that had been sent over time. Anne and her father start unpacking the boxes as her mother and sister sleep. Anne writes that she did not have time until Wednesday to consider the “enormous change in [her] life,” and that she finally had time to tell her diary about it and think about “what had happened to [her] and what was yet to happen.”
This section illustrates the poignant contrast between Anne’s innocence and the gravity of her family’s situation. Having lived a fairly sheltered life thus far in Amsterdam, Anne is naturally focused on normal concerns such as grades and her relationships with boys. Anne writes in detail about her experiences with Hello, which appear to be the most important aspect of her life. Like a typical teenager, Anne focuses on the little nuances of her relationships, experiencing emotional ups and downs based on the type of attention she receives from boys and her friends. However, the events that force the Franks into hiding trivialize every subject that Anne has written about so far. The new gravity of her situation forces Anne to grow up quickly and understand issues that are much bigger than her small social world.
Anne’s writing style changes with the transition to her new life in the annex. When the family is forced into hiding, Anne’s writing becomes more terse. As the family makes preparations to leave their home, Anne writes, “After that it was quiet in our apartment; none of us felt like eating. It was still hot, and everything was very strange.” Anne seems to find comfort in making such concise observations. She makes sure to document each moment of the frightening night when the Franks realize they must hide. When her family is feeling tense and fearful, Anne turns to her diary for comfort so that she does not have to depend on the already worried adults. This shows Anne’s considerable independence for her young age. She knows that a serious upheaval is occurring in her family’s life, but she does not panic or cry to her drained parents. Anne instead relies on her journal to support her and drowns out her fears with numerous peripheral details, such as the intricate layout of the annex and the family’s moment-by-moment actions. She likewise seems to take comfort in busying herself with practical tasks, as she and Mr. Frank unpack the family’s boxes while the others sleep.
Anne has always been aware of prejudice against Jews and of the dangers created by the war. At the same time, she has not felt a sense of immediate danger, so her concerns are focused on mundane issues of daily life. When her family is forced to hide, Anne is confronted with a new reality and finds that she must reconsider the world and her relationship with it. She is particularly horrified that it is Margot, not Mr. Frank, who is called up by the SS. She realizes that the Nazi police do not give any special treatment to children or adults and that all Jews are equally at risk. Anne begins to learn that she can no longer live in the innocent social world of a young teenager and must suddenly confront the adult world and the harshness and dangers of the war.