I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support.
Anne Frank begins her diary with the hope that she will be able to reveal everything to it, since she feels that she has never truly been able to confide in anyone. She tells the story of how she acquired the diary on Friday, June 12, her thirteenth birthday. Anne wakes up at six in the morning and waits until seven to open her presents. One of the presents is the new diary. Afterward, Anne’s friend Hanneli picks her up for school. Anne goes to gym with the other students, although she is not able to participate because her shoulders and hips dislocate too easily. She returns home at five in the afternoon. She describes several of her friends—Hanneli, Sanne, and Jacqueline—whom she has met at the Jewish Lyceum, the local school for Jewish children.
Anne writes about her birthday party on Sunday and continues to describe her classmates. She believes that “paper is more patient than people” and feels that she does not have any true friends and confidants. She has a loving family and many people she could call friends or admirers, but she cannot confide in any of them.
Anne then provides a brief overview of her childhood. She was born in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1929. Her family moved to Holland in 1933 because they were Jewish and her father found a job at a Dutch chemical company. Anne went to a Montessori nursery school and then went on to the Jewish Lyceum.
Anne says that her family’s lives are somewhat anxious, especially since they have relatives still living in Germany. Her two uncles fled to North America, and her grandmother came to Holland to live with Anne’s family. After 1940, the Nazis occupied Holland and instituted restrictive laws forcing Jews to wear yellow stars to identify themselves. The Germans forced the Jews to turn in their bicycles and shop only during certain hours. Jews were also restricted from riding streetcars, going outside at night, visiting Christian homes, and attending most schools. Anne’s grandmother died in 1942, in the midst of this difficult time.
Anne starts addressing her diary as “Kitty” and writes that she and her friends have started a Ping-Pong club. After playing Ping-Pong, the girls go to the nearest ice cream shop that permits Jews, and they let admirers buy them ice cream. Anne complains that she knows boys will become enamored with her right away when she lets them bicycle home with her, so she tries to ignore them. Anne tells Kitty that her entire class is “quaking in their boots” and waiting to hear who will be promoted to the next grade. She is not worried about any subject except math, because in math class she was punished for talking too much. Anne adds that after she wrote a few funny essays on her punishment, the teacher began joking along with her.
Anne notes that it is hot and realizes what a luxury it is to ride in a streetcar, since Jews cannot use them anymore. The ferryman lets them ride the ferry, and Anne says that it is not the fault of the Dutch that the Jews are being persecuted. She tells her diary that a boy, Hello Silberberg, approached her and that they have started to see each other more often.