Anne Frank: A Reflection
Otto Frank; Anne's father, perceived that Hitler was planning to exterminate the Jew populace, and felt he should protect his family and bring them into hiding before it was to late. He prepared a "Secret Annexe" to which his family and a few others my take refuge. Anne was deeply distressed about when her family would have to leave their home to go into hiding. But Anne's father comforted her, "Don't you worry about it, we shall arrange everything. Make the most of your carefree young life while you can."(Sunday morning, 5 July, 1942 p.12). It seems as if at this moment Frank Otto wanted Anne to enjoy her last days of freedom, before they may never get it back.
When the day came to pack their belongings and go into hiding, Anne packed with her education in mind, "The first thing I put in was my diary , then hair curlers, handkerchiefs, schoolbooks, a comb, old letters, I put in the craziest things with the idea that we were going into hiding. But i'm not sorry, memories mean more to mean than dresses."(Wed, 8 July, 1942 p.14). If you were going into hiding what possessions would you bring?
Anne Frank, was a witty and intelligent girl. She always felt ridiculed by adults who would not accept her opinions and ideals as intelligent, that youngsters could not possibly have an opinion worth listening too. Despite her being picked on by the adults in the "Secret Annexe" she studied day after day to stay educated,"Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction."(Thursday, 6 July, 1944 p.256). Anne always seemed to feel lonely, that the only way she could reflect on her feelings would be to create a diary, her diary would listen. Not only was her diary a way for her to spill all of her deepest thoughts to something, the diary was her friend. She even named her diary Kitty to express the connection she wanted, "I want this diary itself to be my friend, and I shall call my friend Kitty."(Sat, June 20th,1942).
Poor Anne was preached to day after day by Mrs. Van Daan. "eat more vegetables", "your spoiled Anne"..."I wouldn't put up with it if Anne were my daughter."(Sunday, 27 Sept., 1942 p.31). Luckily Anne's mother and father would come to her rescue. Anne's father, irritated with Mrs. Van Daans accusations replied, "I think Anne is extremely well brought up; she has learned one thing anyway, and that is to make no reply to your long sermons. As to the vegetables, look at your own plate."(Sunday, 27 Sept., 1942 p.31). No wonder Anne needed a diary to express herself, diaries don't preach! Mrs. Van Daan pushed Anne's buttons further when she would flirt with her father. Stroking her face and hair as well as lifting her skirt, Anne couldn't help but make a remark, "Mummy doesn't behave like that with Mr. Van Daan, I've said that to Mrs. Van Daan's face."(Thursday, 1 October, 1942 p.37).
In Anne's entry on; Friday, 9 October, 1942, she describes the horrific acts of the Gestapo(secret police). She says how Westerbork, the prison camp seems dreadful and the living conditions unbearable. Ironically, Westerbork was where Anne was taken when her family became discovered on August 4th, 1944. The Germans were ruthless; she heard talk of gassing, shootings, bombings and the branding of Jews. Anne was pained at the fact that she was lucky to be in hiding, while her friends and fellow Jews were being slaughtered everyday.
Despite the constant fear of the "what if?" they were discovered. Anne tried to remain optimistic. And being fourteen she seemed to be enjoying the growing process. Comically, Anne was excited about the idea of having her first period, as if once she had it she would seem more grown up. She reads a book about a girl going through the same phase as her, "...it says Eva has a monthly period. Oh, I'm so longing to have it too, it seems so important."(Thursday, 29 October, 1942). I couldn't help but laugh with delight at Anne's optimism.
Anne would feel terrible at the fact that no one seemed to take her seriously. She longed for her parents to reflect on her interests. "I wonder if anyone can ever succeed in making their children absolutely content."(Saturday, 7 November, 1942 p.45). Anne longed to find someone, a physical being, able to connect with. Peter; the Van Daan's boy suddenly came into Anne's consciousness. She started to dream of him and the loving friendship that they might share. As a young girl, Anne longed for the acceptance of Peter and wrote several distressing entries on the subject. But, soon the full of life Anne, brings Kitty back to joy with a positive suggestion, "Go outside, to the fields, enjoy nature and the sunshine, go out and try to recapture happiness in yourself and in God. Think of all the beauty that is still left in the world and be happy!"(Tuesday, 7 March, 1944 p.171). Peter soon became Anne's intimate friend, she even received her first kiss, which she expressed being a very important day in her life,"Is there anything more beautiful in the world than to sit before an open window and enjoy nature, to listen to the birds singing, feel the sun on your cheeks and have a darling boy in your arms?"(Wednesday, 19 April, 1944 p.214). But Anne wouldn't visit Peter just to "cuddle or kiss" she figured they would benefit more from talking.
I feel God had a plan for Anne, she was given the excellent talent of writing as well as an intelligence beyond her years,"You can't and mustn't regard me as fourteen, for all these troubles have made me older..."(Friday, 5 May, 1944 p.225). Anne struggled with the idea of whether her writing was gifted enough to impact society. She hated the idea of just becoming a housewife like her mother and Mrs. Van Daan. "I want to go on living even after my death"(Tuesday, 4 April, 1944 p.197). Ironically she does, Anne has inspired people to love life and to learn from it. She also had an impact in changing the ideals of how we should treat people in this world. She expresses the idea that there is "bad eggs" in every religion, that one person could destroy the image of ones group. She does not understand how Jews could be mistreated in such horrific ways, just for believing in a God.
Reading Anne's diary I grew attached to her. When Anne felt lonely and frightened, I longed to hold her, to stroke her face and tell her everything would be alright. Anne seemed so hard on herself at times and in her last entry she describes herself in such a conflicted way. When I think about complaining, Anne comes into my mind and I remove the complaint immediately. It took me a long time to finish her diary, for I had to stop reading when I remembered the end the story. How cruel Hitler was, to destroy the life of such a wonderful little girl. Anne I can't wait to meet you in heaven some day, I have a feeling we will be great friends!