Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl Quotes about Hiding & Bombing

Instructor: Margaret Stone

Margaret has taught both college and high school English and has a master's degree in English.

Anne Frank's ''The Diary of a Young Girl'' provides an eyewitness account of the terror experienced by Jews during World War II. In her diary, Anne Frank describes life in hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. Not only do Anne Frank and the others at the Secret Annex fear being found, but they are also terrified of the frequent bombings.

Preparing to Hide

When Anne Frank receives a diary for her birthday in June 1942, Nazis have already occupied Amsterdam. Anne and her family are Jewish, and the threat of being captured by the Nazis increases every day. Otto Frank, Anne's father, begins to prepare his family to go into hiding.

Otto Frank works for a company that makes a thickening agent used in food canning, and he intends to move his family into a hidden area in the company's building. When he reveals the plan to Anne, he attempts to prepare her for the sense of isolation she will likely experience when the family moves to the Secret Annex.

'You know that for more than a year we've been bringing clothes, food and furniture to other people. We don't want our belongings to be seized by the Germans. Nor do we want to fall into their clutches ourselves. So we'll leave of our own accord and not wait to be hauled away,' Otto tells Anne. He encourages her to enjoy her 'carefree life' while she can.

Life in Hiding

After the Frank family and the other residents settle into the Secret Annex, it soon becomes clear that boredom will be an issue. Otto Frank orders correspondence courses for his daughters, and others read and study when there are no chores to be done. Otto's plan seems to have worked because Anne writes, 'You no doubt want to hear what I think of being in hiding. Well, all I can say is that I don't really know yet. I don't think I'll ever feel at home in this house, but that doesn't mean I hate it. It's more like being on vacation in some strange pension.'

Many of the company employees are involved in helping the Franks hide, but most do not know the family is hiding above them as they work. This situation requires the residents to be quiet during working hours, but occasionally a variance in the office routine requires extra diligence. Anne writes, 'The plumber was at work downstairs on Wednesday, moving the water pipes and drains from the office bathroom to the hallway so the pipes won't freeze during a cold winter. The plumber's visit was far from pleasant. Not only were we not allowed to run water during the day, but the bathroom was also off-limits.'

As the war rages on, food and other items are rationed. Though the residents have stored great quantities of food, Anne describes what she terms 'food cycles.' She writes, 'A 'food cycle' is a period in which we have only one particular dish or type of vegetable to eat. For a long time we ate nothing but endive. Endive with sand, endive without sand, endive with mashed potatoes, endive-and-mashed potato casserole. Then it was spinach, followed by kohlrabi, salsify, cucumbers, tomatoes, sauerkraut, etc., etc.'

After twenty-one months in hiding, though, the food is not the worst issue for the residents of the Secret Annex. 'To tell you the truth, the food wouldn't matter so much to me if life here were more pleasant in other ways. But that's just it: this tedious existence is starting to make us all disagreeable,' Anne writes.

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