Thank goodness summer vacation is almost here; one more week and our torment will be over. Something unexpected happened yesterday morning. As I was passing the bicycle racks, I heard my name being called. I turned around and there was the nice boy I'd met the evening before at my friend Wilma's. He's Wilma's second cousin. I used to think Wilma was nice, which she is, but all she ever talks about is boys, and that gets to be a bore. He came toward me, somewhat shyly, and introduced himself as Hello Silberberg. I was a little surprised and wasn't sure what he wanted, but it didn't take me long to find out.
He asked if I would allow him to accompany me to school. And so we walked together. Hello is sixteen and good at telling all kinds of funny stories. He was waiting for me again this morning, and I expect he will be from now on. I was with friends all day Thursday, we had company on Friday, and that's how it went until today. Hello and I have gotten to know each other very well this past week, and he's told me a lot about his life.
He comes from Gelsenkirchen and is living with his grandparents. His parents are in Belgium, but there's no way he can get there. Hello used to have a girlfriend named Ursula. I know her too. She's perfectly sweet and perfectly boring. Ever since he met me, Hello has realized that he's been falling asleep at Ursul's side. So I'm kind of a pep tonic. You never know what you're good for! Jacque spent Saturday night here. Sunday afternoon she was at Hanneli's, and I was bored stiff. Hello was supposed to come over that evening, but he called around six. I answered the phone, and he said, "This is Helmuth Silberberg.
May I please speak to Anne? This is Anne. How are you? Is it all right if I come by and pick you up in about ten minutes "Yes, that's fine. I was so nervous I leaned out the window to watch for him. He finally showed up. Miracle of miracles, I didn't rush down the stairs, but waited quietly until he rang the bell. I went down to open the door, and he got right to the point. She says I should be going to the Lowenbachs', but you probably know that I'm not going out with Ursul anymore.
What happened? Did you two have a fight? I told Ursul that we weren't suited to each other and so it was better for us not to go together anymore, but that she was welcome at my house and I hoped I would be welcome at hers. Actually, I thought Ursul was hanging around with another boy, and I treated her as if she were. But that wasn't true. And then my uncle said I should apologize to her, but of course I didn't feel like it, and that's why I broke up with her.
But that was just one of the reasons. Sometimes old people have really old-fashioned ideas, but that doesn't mean I have to go along with them. I need my grandparents, but in a certain sense they need me too. From now on I'll be free on Wednesday evenings. You see, my grandparents made me sign up for a wood-carving class, but actually I go to a club organized by the Zionists.
My grandparents don't want me to go, because they're anti-Zionists. I'm not a fanatic Zionist, but it interests me. Anyway, it's been such a mess lately that I'm planning to quit. So next Wednesday will be my last meeting. That means I can see you Wednesday evening, Saturday afternoon, Saturday evening, Sunday afternoon and maybe even more. Monday evening Hello came over to meet Father and Mother.
I had bought a cake and some candy, and we had tea and cookies, the works, but neither Hello nor I felt like sitting stiffly on our chairs. So we went out for a walk, and he didn't deliver me to my door until ten past eight. Father was furious. He said it was very wrong of me not to get home on time. I had to promise to be home by ten to eight in the future. I've been asked to Hello's on Saturday.
Wilma told me that one night when Hello was at her house, she asked him, "Who do you like best, Ursul or Anne?
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In everything he says or does, I can see that Hello is in love with me, and it's kind of nice for a change. Margot would say that Hello is eminently suitable. I think so too, but he's more than that. Mother is also full of praise: "A good-looking boy. Nice and polite. Except with my girlfriends. He thinks they're very childish, and he's right about that. Jacque still teases me about him, but I'm not in love with him. Not really. It's all right for me to have boys as friends. Nobody minds. Mother is always asking me who I'm going to marry when I grow up, but I bet she'll never guess it's Peter, because I talked her out of that idea myself, without batting an eyelash.
I love Peter as I've never loved anyone, and I tell myself he's only going around with all those other girls to hide his feelings for me. Maybe he thinks Hello and I are in love with each other, which we're not. He's just a friend, or as Mother puts it, a beau. My report card wasn't too bad. My parents are pleased, but they're not like other parents when it comes to grades. They never worry about report cards, good or bad.
As long as I'm healthy and happy and don't talk back too much, they're satisfied. If these three things are all right, everything else will take care of itself. I'm just the opposite. I don't want to be a poor student. I was accepted to the Jewish Lyceum on a conditional basis. I was supposed to stay in the seventh grade at the Montessori School, but when Jewish children were required to go to Jewish schools, Mr.
Elte finally agreed, after a great deal of persuasion, to accept Lies Goslar and me. Lies also passed this year, though she has to repeat her geometry exam. Poor Lies. It isn't easy for her to study at home; her baby sister, a spoiled little two-year-old, plays in her room all day. If Gabi doesn't get her way, she starts screaming, and if Lies doesn't look after her, Mrs. Goslar starts screaming. So Lies has a hard time doing her homework, and as long as that's the case, the tutoring she's been getting won't help much.
The Goslar household is really a sight. Goslar's parents live next door, but eat with the family. The there's a hired girl, the baby, the always absentminded and absent Mr. Goslar and the always nervous and irrita Ie Mrs. Goslar, who's expecting another baby. Lies, who's all thumbs, gets lost in the mayhem. My sister Margot has also gotten her report card. Brilliant, as usual. If we had such a thing as "cum laude," she would have passed with honors, she's so smart. Father has been home a lot lately.
There's nothing for him to do at the office; it must be awful to feel you're not needed. Kleiman has taken over Opekta, and Mr. A few days ago, as we were taking a stroll around our neighborhood square, Father began to talk about going into hiding. He said it would be very hard for us to live cut off from the rest of the world. I asked him why he was bringing this up now. 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.
We'll take care of everything, just enjoy your carefree life while you can. Oh, may these somber words not come true for as long as possible. The doorbell's ringing, Hello's here, time to stop. So much has happened it's as if the whole world had suddenly turned upside down. But as you can see, Kitty, I'm still alive, and that's the main thing, Father says. I'm alive all right, but don't ask where or how. You probably don't understand a word I'm saying today, so I'll begin by telling you what happened Sunday afternoon.
At three o'clock Hello had left but was supposed to come back later , the doorbell rang.
I didn't hear it, since I was out on the balcony, lazily reading in the sun. A little while later Margot appeared in the kitchen doorway looking very agitated. I was stunned. A call-up: everyone knows what that means. Visions of concentration camps and lonely cells raced through my head.
How could we let Father go to such a fate? The van Daans are going with us. There will be seven of us altogether.
We couldn't speak. The thought of Father off visiting someone in the Jewish Hospital and completely unaware of what was happening, the long wait for Mother, the heat, the suspense — all this reduced us to silence.
Suddenly the doorbell rang again. But it wasn't necessary, since we heard Mother and Mr. Every time the bell rang, either Margot or I had to tiptoe downstairs to see if it was Father, and we didn't let anyone else in. Margot and I were sent from the room, as Mr. When she and I were sitting in our bedroom, Margot told me that the call-up was not for Father, but for her.
At this second shock, I began to cry. Margot is sixteen — apparently they want to send girls her age away on their own. But thank goodness she won't be going; Mother had said so herself, which must be what Father had meant when he talked to me about our going into hiding. In the city? In the country? In a house? In a shack? When, where, how. These were questions I wasn't allowed to ask, but they still kept running through my mind.
Margot and I started packing our most important belongings into a schoolbag. The first thing I stuck in was this diary, and then curlers, handkerchiefs, schoolbooks, a comb and some old letters. Preoccupied by the thought of going into hiding, I stuck the craziest things in the bag, but I'm not sorry. Memories mean more to me than dresses. Father finally came hQme around five o'clock, and we called Mr. Kleiman to ask if he could come by that evening. Miep arrived and promised to return later that night, taking with her a bag full of shoes, dresses, jackets, underwear and stockings.
After that it was quiet in our apartment; none of us felt like eating. It was still hot, and everything was very strange. We had rented our big upstairs room to a Mr. Goldschmidt, a divorced man in his thirties, who apparently had nothing to do that evening, since despite all our polite hints he hung around until ten o'clock. Miep and Jan Gies came at eleven. Miep, who's worked for Father's company since , has become a close friend, and so has her husband Jan. Once again, shoes, stockings, books and underwear disappeared into Miep's bag and Jan's deep pockets.
At eleven-thirty they too disappeared. I was exhausted, and even though I knew it'd be my last night in my own bed, I fell asleep right away and didn't wake up until Mother called me at five-thirty the next morning. Fortunately, it wasn't as hot as Sunday; a warm rain fell throughout the day. The four of us were wrapped in so many layers of clothes it looked as if we were going off to spend the night in a refrigerator, and all that just so we could take more clothes with us.
No Jew in our situation would dare leave the house with a suitcase full of clothes. I was wearing two undershirts, three pairs of underpants, a dress, and over that a skirt, a jacket, a raincoat, two pairs of stockings, heavy shoes, a cap, a scarf and lots more. I was suffocating even before we left the house, but no one bothered to ask me how I felt.
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Margot stuffed her schoolbag with schoolbooks, went to get her bicycle and, with Miep leading the way, rode off into the great unknown. At any rate, that's how I thought of it, since I still didn't know where our hiding place was. At seven-thirty we too closed the door behind us; Moortje, my cat, was the only living creature I said good-bye to. According to a note we left for Mr. Goldschmidt, she was to be taken to the neighbors, who would give her a good home. The stripped beds, the breakfast things on the table, the pound of meat for the cat in the kitchen — all of these created the impression that we'd left in a hurry.
But we weren't interested in impressions. We just wanted to get out of there, to get away and reach our destination in safety. Nothing else mattered. More tomorrow. The people on their way to work at that early hour gave us sympathetic looks; you could tell by their faces that they were sorry they couldn't offer us some kind of transportation; the conspicuous yellow star spoke for itself. Only when we were walking down the street did Father and Mother reveal, little by little, what the plan was. For months we'd been moving as much of our furniture and apparel out of the apartment as we could.
It was agreed that we'd go into hiding on July Because of Margot's call-up notice, the plan had to be moved up ten days, which meant we'd have to make do with less orderly rooms. The hiding place was located in Father's office building. That's a little hard for outsiders to understand, so I'll explain. Father didn't have a lot of people working in his office, just Mr.
Kugler, Mr. Kleiman, Miep and a twenty— three— year— old typist named Bep Voskuijl, all of whom were informed of our coming. Voskuijl, Bep's father, works in the warehouse, along with two assistants, none of whom were told anything. Here's a description of the building. The large warehouse on the ground floor is used as a workroom and storeroom and is divided into several different sections, such as the stockroom and the milling room, where cinnamon, cloves and a pepper substitute are ground. Next to the warehouse doors is another outside' door, a separate entrance to the office. Just inside the office door is a second door, and beyond that a stairway.
At the top of the stairs is another door, with a frosted window on which the word "Office" is written in black letters. This is the big front office — very large, very light and very full. Bep, Miep and Mr. Kleiman work there during the day. After passing through an alcove containing a safe, a wardrobe and a big supply cupboard, you come to the small, dark, stuffy back office. This used to be shared by Mr. Kugler and Mr. Kugler is its only occupant. Kugler's office can also be reached from the hallway, but only through a glass door that can be opened from the inside but not easily from the outside.
If you leave Mr. Kugler's office and proceed through the long, narrow hallway past the coal bin and go up four steps, you find yourself in the private office, the showpiece of the entire building. Elegant mahogany furniture, a linoleum floor covered with throw rugs, a radio, a fancy lamp, everything first class. Next door is a spacious kitchen with a hot-water heater and two gas burners, and beside that a bathroom.
That's the second floor. A wooden staircase leads from the downstairs hallway to the third floor. At the top of the stairs is a landing, with doors on either side. The door on the left takes you up to the spice storage area, attic and loft in the front part of the house. A typically Dutch, very steep, ankle-twisting flight of stairs also runs from the front part of the house to another door opening onto the street.
The door to the right of the landing leads to the "Secret Annex" at the back ofthe house. No one would ever suspect there were so many rooms behind that plain gray door. There's just one small step in front of the door, and then you're inside. Straight ahead of you is a steep flight of stairs. Next door is a smaller room, the edroom and study of the two young ladies of the family, ro the right of the stairs is a windowless washroom, with a link.
The door in the corner leads to the toilet and another one to Margot's and my room. If you go up the itairs and open the door at the top, you're surprised to see such a large, light and spacious room in an old canalside house like this. It contains a stove thanks to the fact hat it used to be Mr. Kugler's laboratory and a sink.
This will be the kitchen and bedroom of Mr. A tiny side room is to be Peter van Daan's bedroom. Then, just as in the front part of the building, there's an attic and a loft. So there you are. Now I've introduced you to the whole of our lovely Annex! But first, let me continue my story, because, as you know, I wasn't finished. After we arrived at Prinsengracht, Miep quickly led us through the long hallway and up the wooden staircase to the next floor and into the Annex. She shut the door behind us, leaving us alone. Margot had arrived much earlier on her bike and was waiting for us.
Our living room and all the other rooms were so full of stuff that I can't find the words to describe it. All the cardboard boxes that had been sent to the office in the last few months were piled on the floors and beds. The small room was filled from floor to cethng with linens. If we wanted to sleep in properly made beds that night, we had to get going and straighten up the mess.
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Mother and Margot were unable to move a muscle. They lay down on their bare mattresses, tired, miserable and I don't know what else. But Father and I, the two cleaner- uppers in the family, started in right away. All day long we unpacked boxes, filled cupboards, hammered nails and straightened up the mess, until we fell exhausted into our clean beds at night. We hadn't eaten a hot meal all day, but we didn't care! Mother and Margot were too tired and keyed up to eat, and Father and I were too busy. Tuesday morning we started where we left off the night before.
Bep and Miep went grocery shopping with our ration coupons, Father worked on our blackout screens, we scrubbed the kitchen floor, and were once again busy from sunup to sundown. Until Wednesday, I didn't have a chance to think about the enormous change in my life. Then for the first time since our arrival in the Secret Annex, I found a moment to tell you all about it and to realize what had happened to me and what was yet to happen.
Not me, I liked it from the start; it sounds so reassuring, especially at night. 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.
Kind of an odd way to look at life in hiding, but that's how things are. The Annex is an ideal place to hide in. It may be damp and lopsided, but there's probably not a more comfortable hiding place in all of Amsterdam. No, in all of Holland. Up to now our bedroom, with its blank walls, was very bare. Thanks to Father — who brought my entire postcard and movie-star collection here beforehand — and to a brush and a pot of glue, I was able to plaster the walls with pictures. It looks much more cheerful. When the van Daans arrive, we'll be able to build cupboards and other odds and ends out of the wood piled in the attic.
Margot and Mother have recovered somewhat. Yesterday Mother felt well enough to cook split-pea soup for the first time, but then she was downstairstalking and forgot all about it. The beans were scorched black, and no amount of scraping could get them out of the pan. Last night the four of us went down to the private office and listened to England on the radio. I was so scared someone might hear it that I literally begged Father to take me back upstairs.
Mother understood my anxiety and went with me. Whatever we do, we're very afraid the neighbors might hear or see us. We started off immediately the first day sewing curtains. Actually, you can hardly call them that, since they're nothing but scraps of fabric, varying greatly in shape, quality and pattern, which Father and I stitched crookedly together with unskilled fingers.
These works of art were tacked to the windows, where they'll stay until we come out of hiding. The building on our right is a branch of the Keg Company, a firm from Zaandam, and on the left is a furniture workshop. Though the people who work there are not on the premises after hours, any sound we make might travel through the walls.
We've forbidden Margot to cough at night, even though she has a bad cold, and are giving her large doses of codeine. I'm looking forward to the arrival of the van Daans, which is set for Tuesday. It will be much more fun and also not as quiet. You see, it's the silence that makes me so nervous during the evenings and nights, and I'd give anything to have one of our helpers sleep here.
It's really not that bad here, since we can do our own cooking and can listen to the radio in Daddy's office. Kleiman and Miep, and Bep Voskuijl too, have helped us so much. We've already canned loads of rhubarb, strawberries and cherries, so for the time being I doubt we'll be bored.
We also have a supply of reading material, and we're going to buy lots of games. Of course, we can't ever look out the window or go outside. And we have to be quiet so the people downstairs can't hear us. Yesterday we had our hands full. We had to pit two crates of cherries for Mr. Kugler to can. We're going to use the empty crates to make bookshelves. Someone's calling me. That, of course, is a fairly dismal prospect. I worked hard today and they praised me, only to start picking on me again five minutes later.
You can easily see the difference between the way they deal with Margot and the way they deal with me. For example, Margot broke the vacuum cleaner, and because of that we've been without light for the rest of the day. Mother said, "Well, Margot, it's easy to see you're not used to working; otherwise, you'd have known better than to yank the plug out by the cord. But this afternoon, when I wanted to rewrite something on Mother's shopping list because her handwriting is so hard to read, she wouldn't let me.
She bawled me out again, and the whole family wound up getting involved. I don't fit in with them, and I've felt that clearly in the last few weeks. They're so sentimental together, but I'd rather be sentimental on my own. They're always saying how nice it is with the four of us, and that we get along so well, without giving a moment's thought to the fact that I don't feel that way.
Daddy's the only one who understands me, now and again, though he usually sides with Mother and Margot. Another thing I can't stand is having them talk about me in front of outsiders, telling them how I cried or how sensibly I'm behaving. It's horrible. And sometimes they talk about Moortje and I can't take that at all. Moortje is my weak spot. I miss her every minute of the day, and no one knows how often I think of her; whenever I do, my eyes fill with tears. Moortje is so sweet, and I love her so much that I keep dreaming she'll come back to us.
I have plenty of dreams, but the reality is that we'll have to stay here until the war is over. We can't ever go outside, and the only visitors we can have are Miep, her husband Jan, Bep Voskuijl, Mr. Voskuijl, Mr. Kleiman and Mrs. Kleiman, though she hasn't come because she thinks it's too dangerous. He understands me perfectly, and I wish we could have a heart-to-heart talk sometime without my bursting instantly into tears.
But apparently that has to do with my age. I'd like to spend all my time writing, but that would probably get boring. Up to now I've only confided my thoughts to my diary. I still haven't gotten around to writing amusing sketches that I could read aloud at a later date. In the future I'm going to devote less time to sentimentality and more time to reality. The van Daans arrived on July We thought they were coming on the fourteenth, but from the thirteenth to sixteenth the Germans were sending out call-up notices right and left and causing a lot of unrest, so they decided it would be safer to leave a day too early than a day too late.
Peter van Daan arrived at nine-thirty in the morning while we were still at breakfast. Peter's going on sixteen, a shy, awkward boy whose company won't amount to much. Much to our amusement, Mrs. Instead of a chamber pot, Mr. From the first, we ate our meals together, and after three days it felt as if the seven of us had become one big family. Naturally, the van Daans had much to tell about the week we'd been away from civilization.
We were especially interested in what had happened to our apartment and to Mr. Goldschmidt phoned and asked if I could come over. I went straightaway and found a very distraught Mr.
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He showed me a note that the Frank family had left behind. As instructed, he was planning to bring the cat to the neighbors, which I agreed was a good idea. Suddenly I saw a notepad on Mrs. Frank's desk, with an address in Maastricht written on it. Even though I knew Mrs. Frank had left it on purpose, I pretended to be surprised and horrified and begged Mr. Goldschmidt to burn this incriminating piece of paper. I swore up and down that I knew nothing about your disappearance, but that the note had given me an idea. Goldschmidt,' I said, 'I bet I know what this address refers to.
About six months ago a high-ranking officer came to the office. It seems he and Mr. Frank grew up together. He promised to help Mr. Frank if it was ever necessary. As I recall, he was stationed in Maastricht. I think this officer has kept his word and is somehow planning to help them cross over to Belgium and then to Switzerland. There's no harm in telling this to any friends of the Franks who come asking about them. Of course, you don't need to mention the part about Maastricht.
This is the story most of your friends have been told, because I heard it later from several other people. For example, one family living on our square claimed they sawall four of us riding by on our bikes early in the morning, and another woman was absolutely positive we'd been loaded into some kind of military vehicle in the middle of the night. Because so many houses are being searched for hidden bicycles, Mr.
Kugler thought it would be better to have a bookcase built in front of the entrance to our hiding place. It swings out on its hinges and opens like a door. Voskuijl did the carpentry work. Voskuijl has been told that the seven of us are in hiding, and he's been most helpful. Now whenever we want to go downstairs we have to duck and then jump.
After the first three days we were all walking around with bumps on our foreheads from banging our heads against the low doorway. Then Peter cushioned it by nailing a towel stuffed with wood shavings to the doorframe. Let's see if it helps! I'm not doing much schoolwork.
I've given myself a vacation until September. Father wants to start tutoring me then, but we have to buy all the books first. There's little change in our lives here. Peter's hair was washed today, but that's nothing special. Mama always treats me like a baby, which I can't stand. For the rest, things are going better. I don't think Peter's gotten any nicer. He's an obnoxious boy who lies around on his bed all day, only rousing himself to do a little carpentry work before returning to his nap.
What a dope! Mama gave me another one of her dreadful sermons this morning. We take the opposite view of everything. Daddy's a sweetheart; he may get mad at me, but it never lasts longer than five minutes. It's a beautiful day outside, nice and hot, and in spite of everything, we make the most of the weather by lounging on the folding bed in the attic.
I've said nothina, but have been enjoyina it while it lasts. I've never seen anything like it, since Mother and Father wouldn't dream of shouting at each other like that. The argument was based on something so trivial it didn't seem worth wasting a single word on it. Oh well, to each his own. Of course, it's very difficult for Peter, who gets caught in the middle, but no one takes Peter seriously anymore, since he's hypersensitive and lazy.
Yesterday he was beside himself with worry because his tongue was blue instead of pink. This rare phenomenon disappeared as quickly as it came. Today he's walking around with a heavy scarf on because he's got a stiff neck. His Highness has been complaining of lumbago too.
Aches and pains in his heart, kidneys and lungs are also par for the course. He's an absolute hypochondriac! That's the right word, isn't it? Mother and Mrs. There are enough reasons for the friction. To give you one small example, Mrs. She's assuming that Mother's can be used for both families. She'll be in for a nasty surprise when she discovers that Mother has followed her lead.
Furthermore, Mrs. She's still trying to find out what we've done with our plates! As long as we're in hiding, the plates will remain out of her reach. Since I'm always having accidents, it's just as well! Yesterday I broke one of Mrs. That was my last one. If you were to hear their bungled attempts, you'd laugh your head off.
We've given up pointing out their errors, since correcting them doesn't help anyway. Whenever I quote Mother or Mrs. Last week there was a brief interruption in our monotonous routine. This was provided by Peter — and a book about women. I should explain that Margot and Peter are allowed to read nearly all the books Mr.
Kleiman lends us. But the adults preferred to keep this special book to themselves. This immediately piqued Peter's curiosity. What forbidden fruit did it contain? He snuck off with it when his mother was downstairs talking, and took himself and his booty to the loft.
For two days all was well. He threw a fit, took the book away and assumed that would be the end of the business. However, he'd neglected to take his son's curiosity into account. Peter, not in the least fazed by his father's swift action, began thinking up ways to read the rest of this vastly interesting book.
In the meantime, Mrs. Mother didn't think this particular book was suitable for Margot, but she saw no harm in letting her read most other books. You see, Mrs. To begin with, Margot's a girl, and girls are always more mature than boys. Second, she's already read many serious books and doesn't go looking for those which are no longer forbidden. Third, Margot's much more sensible and intellectually advanced, as a result of her four years at an excellent school.
Meanwhile, Peter had thought of a suitable time when no one would be interested in either him or the book. At seven— thirty in the evening, when the entire family was listening to the radio in the private office, he took his treasure and stole off to the loft again. He should have been back by eight-thirty, but he was so engrossed in the book that he forgot the time and was just coming down the stairs when his father entered the room. The scene that followed was not surprising: after a slap, a whack and a tug-of-war, the book lay on the table and Peter was in the loft.
This is how matters stood when it was time for the family to eat. Peter stayed upstairs. No one gave him a moment's thought; he'd have to go to bed without his dinner. We continued eating, chatting merrily away, when suddenly we heard a piercing whistle. We lay down our forks and stared at each other, the shock clearly visible on our pale faces.
Then we heard Peter's voice through the chimney: "I won t come down! After much struggling and kicking, Peter wound up in his room with the door shut, and we went on eating. What if Peter were to catch cold? We wouldn't be able to call a doctor. Peter didn't apologize, and returned to the loft. At seven Peter went to the attic again, but was persuaded to come downstairs when Father spoke a few friendly words to him.
After three days of sullen looks and stubborn silence, everything was back to normal. A lamp has been mounted above my divan bed so that in the future, when I hear the guns going off, I'll be able to pull a cord and switch on the light. I can't use it at the moment because we're keeping our window open a little, day and night.
The male members of the van Daan contingent have built a very handy wood-stained food safe, with real screens. Up to now this glorious cupboard has been located in Peter's room, but in the interests of fresh air it's been moved to the attic. Where it once stood, there's now a shelf. I advised Peter to put his table underneath the shelf, add a nice rug and hang his own cupboard where the table now stands. That might make his little cubbyhole more comfy, though I certainly wouldn't like to sleep there. I'm continually being scolded for my incessant chatter when I'm upstairs.
I simply let the words bounce right off me! Madame now has a new trick up her sleeve: trying to get out of washing the pots and pans. If there's a bit of food left at the bottom of the pan, she leaves it to spoil instead of transferring it to a glass dish. Then in the afternoon when Margot is stuck with cleaning all the pots and pans, Madame exclaims, "Oh, poor Margot, you have so much work to do! Kleiman brings me a couple of books written for girls my age. I'm enthusiastic about the loop ter Heul series. I've enjoyed all of Cissy van Marxveldt's books very much. I've read The Zaniest Summer four times, and the ludicrous situations still make me laugh.
Father and I are currently working on our family tree, and he tells me something about each person as we go along. I've begun my schoolwork. I'm working hard at French, cramming five irregular verbs into my head every day. But I've forgotten much too much of what I learned in school. Peter has taken up his English with great reluctance. A few schoolbooks have just arrived, and I brought a large supply of notebooks, pencils, erasers and labels from home. Pirn that's our pet name for Father wants me to help him with his Dutch lessons.
I'm perfectly willing to tutor him in exchange for his assistance with French and other subjects. But he makes the most unbelievable mistakes! I sometimes listen to the Dutch broadcasts from Fondon. Prince Bernhard recently announced that Princess juliana is expecting a baby in January, which I think is wonderful.
No one here understands why I take such an interest in the Royal Family. A few nights ago I was the topic of discussion, and we all decided I was an ignoramus. As a result, I threw myself into my schoolwork the next day, since I have little desire to still be a freshman when I'm fourteen or fifteen. The fact that I'm hardly allowed to read anything was also discussed. At the moment, Mother's reading Gentlemen, Wives and Servants, and of course I'm not allowed to read it though Margot is! First I have to be more intellectually developed, like my genius of a sister.
Then we discussed my ignorance of philosophy, psychology and physiology I immediately looked up these big words in the dictionary! It's true, I don't know anything about these subjects. But maybe I'll be smarter next year! I've come to the shocking conclusion that I have only one long-sleeved dress and three cardigans to wear in the winter. Father's given me permission to knit a white wool sweater: the yarn isn't very pretty, but it'll be warm, and that's what counts.
Some of our clothing was left with friends, but unfortunately we won't be able to get to it until after the war. Provided it's still there, of course. I'd just finished writing something about Mrs. Thump, I slammed the book shut. There's something happening every day, but I'm too tired and lazy to write it all down. Dreher, who's sick, poor and deaf as a post. At his side, like a useless appendage, is his wife, twenty- seven years younger and equally poor, whose arms and legs are loaded with real and fake bracelets and rings left over from more prosperous days.
This Mr. Dreher has already been a great nuisance to Father, and I've always admired the saintly patience with which he handled this pathetic old man on the phone. When we were still living at home, Mother used to advise him to put a gramophone in front of the receiver, one that would repeat every three minutes, "Yes, Mr. Dreher" and "No, Mr. Dreher," since the old man never understood a word of Father's lengthy replies anyway. Today Mr. Dreher phoned the office and asked Mr. Kugler to come and see him. Kugler wasn't in the mood and said he would send Miep, but Miep canceled the appointment.
Dreher called the office three times, but since Miep was reportedly out the entire afternoon, she had to imitate Bep's voice. Downstairs in the office as well as upstairs in the Annex, there was great hilarity. Now each time the phone rings, Bep says' 'That's Mrs. Can't you just picture it? This has got to be the greatest office in the whole wide world. The bosses and the office girls have such fun together!
Some evenings I go to the van Daans for a little chat. We eat "mothball cookies" molasses cookies that were stored in a closet that was mothproofed and have a good time. Recently the conversation was about Peter. I said that he often pats me on the cheek, which I don't like. They asked me in a typically grown-up way whether I could ever learn to love Peter like a brother, since he loves me like a sister. I added that Peter's a bit stiff, perhaps because he's shy. Boys who aren't used to being around girls are like that.
I must say that the Annex Committee the men's section is very creative. Listen to the scheme they've come up with to get a message to Mr. Broks, an Opekta Co. They're going to type a letter to a store owner in southern Zealand who is, indirectly, one of Opekta' s customers and ask him to fill out a form and send it back in the enclosed self-addressed envelope. Father will write the address on the envelope himself. Once the letter is returned from Zealand, the form can be removed and a handwritten message confirming that Father is alive can be inserted in the envelope.
This way Mr. Broks can read the letter without suspecting a ruse. They chose the province of Zealand because it's close to Belgium a letter can easily be smuggled across the border and because no one is allowed to travel there without a special permit. An ordinary salesman like Mr. Broks would never be granted a permit. Yesterday Father put on another act. Groggy with sleep, he stumbled off to bed. His feet were cold, so I lent him my bed socks. Five minutes later he flung them to the floor. It's San Francisco in the mids.
The times are loose, the mood is wild.
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Minnie, absorbing the seething adult sexuality around her, is curious about sex, and eggs Monroe on to take her virginity. Which he promptly does, with only token resistance. Here is where many viewers will put on the brakes. Monroe is in his 30s, involved with Minnie's mother, and Minnie is still a minor. But as the title suggests, this is a story told from Minnie's point of view. You could look at Minnie's pursuit of Monroe as a way of getting back at her mother, but Heller doesn't muddy up the waters with psychological explanations.
It's enough to Minnie that Monroe is hot, he has a cool mustache, her hormones are raging, and Monroe doesn't turn her down when she comes on to him. Did "Wolf of Wall Street" endorse misogyny or was it a portrayal of a world where misogyny ran rampant? Did " Zero Dark Thirty " endorse torture? Or was it a story told from within the community that did not question torture's use? When 's "Observe and Report" came out, a controversy ensued about one scene where Seth Rogen's character has sex with Anna Faris , who is so wasted she is clearly unable to consent.
The scene is disturbing, but it ends with a huge laugh, and therein was the problem. Did "Observe and Report" endorse date rape then? Some feel art needs to be inspirational or educational: Films have a responsibility to show the consequences of bad behavior. A film is dangerous if it does not point an arrow at bad behavior telegraphing "Don't do this. The purpose of the old ABC Afterschool Specials was to warn kids about the dangers that were out there. But are all films to be judged with the same set of rules?
Context matters. Does it endorse a year-old man sleeping with a year-old? Shouldn't she or he be made to "pay" for it in order to show the wrong-ness of the situation? But that opening scene, showing Minnie strolling through the sunshine, smiling to herself, loving the world, sets the mood and tells us the film's attitude towards the story that is about to unfold. In a less complex film, Monroe would be portrayed as a skeevy creep with no redeeming qualities.
The relationship is, of course, hugely imbalanced, manipulative on both sides, and emotionally explosive. Monroe's behavior is, indeed, gross. Heller and cinematographer Brandon Trost create a gauzy golden-ish look, calling to mind faded photo albums, the mustard-yellows and pale-denim-blues of that era. The period is suggested, rather than fetishized.