The diary of a young gir.., p.25
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       The Diary of a Young Girl, p.25

           Anne Frank
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  Oh, Anne, how terribly shocking! But seriously, I don’t think it’s at all shocking; we’re cooped up here, cut off from the world, anxious and fearful, especially lately. Why should we stay apart when we love each other? Why shouldn’t we kiss each other in times like these? Why should we wait until we’ve reached a suitable age? Why should we ask anybody’s permission?

  I’ve decided to look out for my own interests. He’d never want to hurt me or make me unhappy. Why shouldn’t I do what my heart tells me and makes both of us happy?

  Yet I have a feeling, Kitty, that you can sense my doubt. It must be my honesty rising in revolt against all this sneaking around. Do you think it’s my duty to tell Father what I’m up to? Do you think our secret should be shared with a third person? Much of the beauty would be lost, but would it make me feel better inside? I’ll bring it up with him.

  Oh, yes, I still have so much I want to discuss with him, since I don’t see the point of just cuddling. Sharing our thoughts with each other requires a great deal of trust, but we’ll both be stronger because of it!

  Yours, Anne M. Frank

  PS. We were up at six yesterday morning, because the whole family heard the sounds of a break-in again. It must have been one of our neighbors who was the victim this time. When we checked at seven o’clock, our doors were still shut tight, thank goodness!

  TUESDAY, APRIL 18, 1944

  Dearest Kitty,

  Everything’s fine here. Last night the carpenter came again to put some sheets of iron over the door panels. Father just got through saying he definitely expects large-scale operations in Russia and Italy, as well as in the West, before May 20; the longer the war lasts, the harder it is to imagine being liberated from this place.

  Yesterday Peter and I finally got around to having the talk we’ve been postponing for the last ten days. I told him all about girls, without hesitating to discuss the most intimate matters. I found it rather amusing that he thought the opening in a woman’s body was simply left out of illustrations. He couldn’t imagine that it was actually located between a woman’s legs. The evening ended with a mutual kiss, near the mouth. It’s really a lovely feeling!

  I might take my “favorite quotes notebook” up with me sometime so Peter and I can go into things more deeply. I don’t think lying in each other’s arms day in and day out is very satisfying, and I hope he feels the same.

  After our mild winter we’ve been having a beautiful spring. April is glorious, not too hot and not too cold, with occasional light showers. Our chestnut tree is in leaf, and here and there you can already see a few small blossoms.

  Bep presented us Saturday with four bouquets of flowers: three bouquets of daffodils, and one bouquet of grape hyacinths for me. Mr. Kugler is supplying us with more and more newspapers.

  It’s time to do my algebra, Kitty. Bye.

  Yours, Anne M. Frank

  WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19, 1944

  Dearest Darling,

  (That’s the title of a movie with Dorit Kreysler, Ida Wüst and Harald Paulsen!)

  What could be nicer than sitting before an open window, enjoying nature, listening to the birds sing, feeling the sun on your cheeks and holding a darling boy in your arms? I feel so peaceful and safe with his arm around me, knowing he’s near and yet not having to speak; how can this be bad when it does me so much good? Oh, if only we were never disturbed again, not even by Mouschi.

  Yours, Anne M. Frank

  FRIDAY, APRIL 21, 1944

  My dearest Kitty,

  I stayed in bed yesterday with a sore throat, but since I was already bored the very first afternoon and didn’t have a fever, I got up today. My sore throat has nearly “verschwunden.”23

  Yesterday, as you’ve probably already discovered, was our Führer’s fifty-fifth birthday. Today is the eighteenth birthday of Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth of York. The BBC reported that she hasn’t yet been declared of age, though royal children usually are. We’ve been wondering which prince they’ll marry this beauty off to, but can’t think of a suitable candidate; perhaps her sister, Princess Margaret Rose, can have Crown Prince Baudouin of Belgium!

  Here we’ve been going from one disaster to the next. No sooner have the outside doors been reinforced than van Maaren rears his head again. In all likelihood he’s the one who stole the potato flour, and now he’s trying to pin the blame on Bep. Not surprisingly, the Annex is once again in an uproar. Bep is beside herself with rage. Perhaps Mr. Kugler will finally have this shady character tailed.

  The appraiser from Beethovenstraat was here this morning. He offered us 400 guilders for our chest; in our opinion, the other estimates are also too low.

  I want to ask the magazine The Prince if they’ll take one of my fairy tales, under a pseudonym, of course. But up to now all my fairy tales have been too long, so I don’t think I have much of a chance.

  Until the next time, darling.

  Yours, Anne M. Frank

  TUESDAY, APRIL 25, 1944

  Dearest Kitty,

  For the last ten days Dussel hasn’t been on speaking terms with Mr. van Daan, and all because of the new security measures since the break-in. One of these was that he’s no longer allowed to go downstairs in the evenings. Peter and Mr. van Daan make the last round every night at nine-thirty, and after that no one may go downstairs. We can’t flush the toilet anymore after eight at night or after eight in the morning. The windows may be opened only in the morning when the lights go on in Mr. Kugler’s office, and they can no longer be propped open with a stick at night. This last measure is the reason for Dussel’s sulking. He claims that Mr. van Daan bawled him out, but he has only himself to blame. He says he’d rather live without food than without air, and that they simply must figure out a way to keep the windows open.

  “I’ll have to speak to Mr. Kugler about this,” he said to me.

  I replied that we never discussed matters of this sort with Mr. Kugler, only within the group.

  “Everything’s always happening behind my back. I’ll have to talk to your father about that.”

  He’s also not allowed to sit in Mr. Kugler’s office anymore on Saturday afternoons or Sundays, because the manager of Keg’s might hear him if he happens to be next door. Dussel promptly went and sat there anyway. Mr. van Daan was furious, and Father went downstairs to talk to Dussel, who came up with some flimsy excuse, but even Father didn’t fall for it this time. Now Father’s keeping his dealings with Dussel to a minimum because Dussel insulted him. Not one of us knows what he said, but it must have been pretty awful.

  And to think that that miserable man has his birthday next week. How can you celebrate your birthday when you’ve got the sulks, how can you accept gifts from people you won’t even talk to?

  Mr. Voskuijl is going downhill rapidly. For more than ten days he’s had a temperature of almost a hundred and four. The doctor said his condition is hopeless; they think the cancer has spread to his lungs. The poor man, we’d so like to help him, but only God can help him now!

  I’ve written an amusing story called “Blurry the Explorer,” which was a big hit with my three listeners.

  I still have a bad cold and have passed it on to Margot, as well as Mother and Father. If only Peter doesn’t get it. He insisted on a kiss, and called me his El Dorado. You can’t call a person that, silly boy! But he’s sweet anyway!

  Yours, Anne M. Frank

  THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 1944

  Dearest Kitty,

  Mrs. van D. was in a bad mood this morning. All she did was complain, first about her cold, not being able to get cough drops and the agony of having to blow her nose all the time. Next she grumbled that the sun wasn’t shining, the invasion hadn’t started, we weren’t allowed to look out the windows, etc., etc. We couldn’t help but laugh at her, and it couldn’t have been that bad, since she soon joined in.

  Our recipe for potato kugel, modified due to lack of onions:

  Put peeled potatoes through a food mill and add a little dry
government-issue flour and salt. Grease a mold or ovenproof dish with paraffin or stearin and bake for 2½ hours. Serve with rotten strawberry compote. (Onions not available. Nor oil for mold or dough!)

  At the moment I’m reading Emperor Charles V, written by a professor at the University of Göttingen; he’s spent forty years working on this book. It took me five days to read fifty pages. I can’t do any more than that. Since the book has 598 pages, you can figure out just how long it’s going to take me. And that’s not even counting the second volume. But … very interesting!

  The things a schoolgirl has to do in the course of a single day! Take me, for example. First, I translated a passage on Nelson’s last battle from Dutch into English. Then, I read more about the Northern War (1700–21) involving Peter the Great, Charles XII, Augustus the Strong, Stanislaus Leczinsky, Mazeppa, von Görz, Brandenburg, Western Pomerania, Eastern Pomerania and Denmark, plus the usual dates. Next, I wound up in Brazil, where I read about Bahia tobacco, the abundance of coffee, the one and a half million inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro, Pernambuco and Sao Paulo and, last but not least, the Amazon River. Then about Negroes, mulattoes, mestizos, whites, the illiteracy rate—over 50 percent—and malaria. Since I had some time left, I glanced through a genealogical chart: John the Old, William Louis, Ernest Casimir I, Henry Casimir I, right up to little Margriet Franciska (born in 1943 in Ottawa).

  Twelve o’clock: I resumed my studies in the attic, reading about deans, priests, ministers, popes and … whew, it was one o’clock!

  At two the poor child (ho hum) was back at work. Old World and New World monkeys were next. Kitty, tell me quickly, how many toes does a hippopotamus have?

  Then came the Bible, Noah’s Ark, Shem, Ham and Japheth. After that, Charles V. Then, with Peter, Thackeray’s book about the colonel, in English. A French test, and then a comparison between the Mississippi and the Missouri!

  Enough for today. Adieu!

  Yours, Anne M. Frank

  FRIDAY, APRIL 28, 1944

  Dearest Kitty,

  I’ve never forgotten my dream of Peter Schiff (see the beginning of January). Even now I can still feel his cheek against mine, and that wonderful glow that made up for all the rest. Once in a while I’d had the same feeling with this Peter, but never so intensely … until last night. We were sitting on the divan, as usual, in each other’s arms. Suddenly the everyday Anne slipped away and the second Anne took her place. The second Anne, who’s never overconfident or amusing, but wants only to love and be gentle.

  I sat pressed against him and felt a wave of emotion come over me. Tears rushed to my eyes; those from the left fell on his overalls, while those from the right trickled down my nose and into the air and landed beside the first. Did he notice? He made no movement to show that he had. Did he feel the same way I did? He hardly said a word. Did he realize he had two Annes at his side? My questions went unanswered.

  At eight-thirty I stood up and went to the window, where we always say good-bye. I was still trembling, I was still Anne number two. He came over to me, and I threw my arms around his neck and kissed him on his left cheek. I was about to kiss the other cheek when my mouth met his, and we pressed our lips together. In a daze, we embraced, over and over again, never to stop, oh!

  Peter needs tenderness. For the first time in his life he’s discovered a girl; for the first time he’s seen that even the biggest pests also have an inner self and a heart, and are transformed as soon as they’re alone with you. For the first time in his life he’s given himself and his friendship to another person. He’s never had a friend before, boy or girl. Now we’ve found each other. I, for that matter, didn’t know him either, had never had someone I could confide in, and it’s led to this …

  The same question keeps nagging me: “Is it right?” Is it right for me to yield so soon, for me to be so passionate, to be filled with as much passion and desire as Peter? Can I, a girl, allow myself to go that far?

  There’s only one possible answer: “I’m longing so much … and have for such a long time. I’m so lonely and now I’ve found comfort!”

  In the mornings we act normally, in the afternoons too, except now and then. But in the evenings the suppressed longing of the entire day, the happiness and the bliss of all the times before come rushing to the surface, and all we can think about is each other. Every night, after our last kiss, I feel like running away and never looking him in the eyes again. Away, far away into the darkness and alone!

  And what awaits me at the bottom of those fourteen stairs? Bright lights, questions and laughter. I have to act normally and hope they don’t notice anything.

  My heart is still too tender to be able to recover so quickly from a shock like the one I had last night. The gentle Anne makes infrequent appearances, and she’s not about to let herself be shoved out the door so soon after she’s arrived. Peter’s reached a part of me that no one has ever reached before, except in my dream! He’s taken hold of me and turned me inside out. Doesn’t everyone need a little quiet time to put themselves to rights again? Oh, Peter, what have you done to me? What do you want from me?

  Where will this lead? Oh, now I understand Bep. Now, now that I’m going through it myself, I understand her doubts; if I were older and he wanted to marry me, what would my answer be? Anne, be honest! You wouldn’t be able to marry him. But it’s so hard to let go. Peter still has too little character, too little willpower, too little courage and strength. He’s still a child, emotionally no older than I am; all he wants is happiness and peace of mind. Am I really only fourteen? Am I really just a silly schoolgirl? Am I really so inexperienced in everything? I have more experience than most; I’ve experienced something almost no one my age ever has.

  I’m afraid of myself, afraid my longing is making me yield too soon. How can it ever go right with other boys later on? Oh, it’s so hard, the eternal struggle between heart and mind. There’s a time and a place for both, but how can I be sure that I’ve chosen the right time?

  Yours, Anne M. Frank

  TUESDAY, MAY 2, 1944

  Dearest Kitty,

  Saturday night I asked Peter whether he thinks I should tell Father about us. After we’d discussed it, he said he thought I should. I was glad; it shows he’s sensible, and sensitive. As soon as I came downstairs, I went with Father to get some water. While we were on the stairs, I said, “Father, I’m sure you’ve gathered that when Peter and I are together, we don’t exactly sit at opposite ends of the room. Do you think that’s wrong?”

  Father paused before answering: “No, I don’t think it’s wrong. But Anne, when you’re living so close together, as we do, you have to be careful.” He said some other words to that effect, and then we went upstairs.

  Sunday morning he called me to him and said, “Anne, I’ve been thinking about what you said.” (Oh, oh, I knew what was coming!) “Here in the Annex it’s not such a good idea. I thought you were just friends. Is Peter in love with you?”

  “Of course not,” I answered.

  “Well, you know I understand both of you. But you must be the one to show restraint; don’t go upstairs so often, don’t encourage him more than you can help. In matters like these, it’s always the man who takes the active role, and it’s up to the woman to set the limits. Outside, where you’re free, things are quite different. You see other boys and girls, you can go outdoors, take part in sports and all kinds of activities. But here, if you’re together too much and want to get away, you can’t. You see each other every hour of the day—all the time, in fact. Be careful, Anne, and don’t take it too seriously!”

  “I don’t, Father, but Peter’s a decent boy, a nice boy!”

  “Yes, but he doesn’t have much strength of character. He can easily be influenced to do good, but also to do bad. I hope for his sake that he stays good, because he’s basically a good person.”

  We talked some more and agreed that Father would speak to him too.

  Sunday afternoon when we were in the front attic, Peter as
ked, “Have you talked to your Father yet, Anne?”

  “Yes,” I replied, “I’ll tell you all about it. He doesn’t think it’s wrong, but he says that here, where we’re in such close quarters, it could lead to conflicts.”

  “We’ve already agreed not to quarrel, and I plan to keep my promise.”

  “Me too, Peter. But Father didn’t think we were serious, he thought we were just friends. Do you think we still can be?”

  “Yes, I do. How about you?”

  “Me too. I also told Father that I trust you. I do trust you, Peter, just as much as I do Father. And I think you’re worthy of my trust. You are, aren’t you?”

  “I hope so.” (He was very shy, and blushing.)

  “I believe in you, Peter,” I continued. “I believe you have a good character and that you’ll get ahead in this world.”

  After that we talked about other things. Later I said, “If we ever get out of here, I know you won’t give me another thought.”

  He got all fired up. “That’s not true, Anne. Oh no, I won’t let you even think that about me!”

  Just then somebody called us.

  Father did talk to him, he told me Monday. “Your Father thought our friendship might turn into love,” he said. “But I told him we’d keep ourselves under control.”

  Father wants me to stop going upstairs so often, but I don’t want to. Not just because I like being with Peter, but because I’ve said I trust him. I do trust him, and I want to prove it to him, but I’ll never be able to if I stay downstairs out of distrust.

  No, I’m going!

  In the meantime, the Dussel drama has been resolved. Saturday evening at dinner he apologized in beautiful Dutch. Mr. van Daan was immediately reconciled. Dussel must have spent all day practicing his speech.

  Sunday, his birthday, passed without incident. We gave him a bottle of good wine from 1919, the van Daans (who can now give their gift after all) presented him with a jar of piccalilli and a package of razor blades, and Mr. Kugler gave him a jar of lemon syrup (to make lemonade), Miep a book, Little Martin, and Bep a plant. He treated everyone to an egg.

 
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