Courage & Tolerance Quotes in Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In this lesson, we will examine some of the inspirational quotes that appear in Anne Frank's ''Diary of a Young Girl'' that focus on Anne's resolve to give a life of courage and tolerance.


Anne Frank is still in her early teens during the time that she writes Diary of a Young Girl to tell of her experiences hiding from the Gestapo. Despite her young age, she articulates a degree of courage (ability to face fears) and tolerance (ability to accept the opinions of others) that not many adults could summon. Whether it is based on naivety or insight, Anne Frank bravely faced the unthinkable, leaving behind evidence of her bravery. Let's look at some of the quotes about courage and tolerance from this novel.

Anne Fakes Courage Until She Develops It

Imagine yourself at 13 years old. How would you handle an air raid that you couldn't see, but could hear all around you. At the beginning of the novel, Anne knew she wanted to have courage, but she didn't really have it, yet. In the meantime, she pretends. Anne writes, ''We just had a third air raid. I decided to grit my teeth and practice being courageous.'' Everything about Anne's experience is frightening. Even the thought of going downstairs is scary. She feels much safer in their hiding place, but because of Peter, Anne pushes herself. Anne says, ''I mustered the courage to walk through the silent house by myself and reached the warehouse.''

Remember also that Anne is a young teen who is also experiencing feelings towards the opposite sex unlike anything she has ever felt before. As Peter is the only boy around, he soon becomes the object of her affection. Anne's emotional vulnerabilities take the forefront as she learns to be courageous with her feelings. Anne expresses her feelings about Peter in her dairy, ''Peter didn't join me in the attic, but went up to the loft to do some carpentry work. At every rasp and bang, another chunk of my courage broke off and I was even more unhappy.''

Peter feels the same way about Anne which marks the beginning of a new relationship. Although Anne is still not happy about being shut away at the annex, she realizes that even in the worst of times, she can find things to be grateful for. These types of encouraging thoughts lead to some inspirational quotes in Anne's diary, such as ''A person who's happy will make others happy; a person who has courage and faith will never die in misery!''

Anne Shows Strength and Independence Beyond Her Years

When the police come to the building after burglars who have broken into the office, Anne demonstrates that she is learning to be brave. Rather than being comforted by the adults, it is Anne who offers Mrs. van Daan support. The group discussed how they might handle being arrested. Anne recalls, ''We talked about escaping, being interrogated by the Gestapo, phoning Mr. Kleiman and being courageous.''

Anne realizes that she is growing up and becoming an independent woman. Anne claims, ''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 make my voice heard…I now know that courage and happiness are needed first!'' Although still showing signs of rebellion against her mother, Anne is become self-assured. She creates little rhymes, such as ''Work, love, courage and hope, Make me good and help me cope!'' to inspire herself to keep going.

As much as she enjoys her relationship with Peter, Anne realizes that Peter is not the type of may she wants to marry. According to Anne, ''Peter still has too little character, too little willpower, too little courage and strength.''

Anne Develops a Belief-System Based on Faith, Courage, and Tolerance

Reports are beginning to surface about anti-Semitism becoming wide spread. About this bigotry, Anne writes, ''This fact has affected us all very, very deeply. The reason for the hatred is understandable, maybe even human, but that doesn't make it right.'' Anne is hopeful that things will return to normal after Hitler is dealt with. She says, ''I have only one hope: that this anti-Semitism is just a passing thing, that the Dutch will show their true colors, that they'll never waver from what they know in their hearts to be just, for this is unjust!''

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