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From the Diary of Anne Frank Summary | The Diary of a Young Girl Summary
The Diary of a Young Girl is the diary kept by Anne Frank, a Jewish girl, for the two years during which she was in hiding because of the Nazi persecution of the Jews in Europe. Between June 1942 and August 1944, from Anne’s thirteenth birthday until shortly after her fifteenth birthday, she recorded her feelings, emotions, thoughts, as well as the events around her, in the diary which she got as a birthday present.
Anne’s diary entries began on June 12, 1942, her thirteenth birthday, when her parents gifted her with a diary. She was excited about her gift as she had always wanted someone, or something, in which she could confide all of her secret thoughts. She gave a brief description of her personal history, mentioning her birth in Frankfurt, Germany, her family, their emigration to Holland after Hitler’s rise to power and his persecution of the Jews in Germany, the Nazi occupation of Holland and other European countries. In a matter-of-fact way, she also described the various, severe restrictions imposed on the Jews. In the midst of all those hardships, Anne’s descriptions were a record of her girlhood experiences, writing about daily events, her friendships with other girls, her crushes on boys, and her academic performance at school. Despite having had an active social life, Anne felt misunderstood by everyone she knew.
The Franks moved to the Netherlands in the years leading up to World War II to escape persecution in Germany. When Margot, Anne’s sister was called to appear before the authorities, Anne and her family went into hiding in a small section of her father’s office building. The entrance to this ‘Secret Annex’ was hidden behind a swinging bookcase. The employees from Otto Frank’s firm helped to keep them hidden, and supplied them with food, medicine and information about the outside world at a risk to their own lives.
For two years, the Frank family lived in this Secret Annex. Mr and Mrs van Daan and their son Peter (who is a few years older than Anne) were also there in hiding with them. Later, Mr Dussel, an elderly dentist moves in, and Anne had to share her bedroom with him.
Much of Anne’s diary recorded the daily routine of the occupants of the attic. Anne described in detail, the characters of Anne’s father, mother, and sister, as well as the three van Daans and Mr Dussel, who shared the attic with them.
Luckily, the Franks had a lot of reading material and a radio and Anne increased her knowledge of politics and literature. She put a lot of energy into studying and writing. The residents of the annex paid close attention to every development of the war by listening to the radio. Bits of news that caught Anne’s attention made their way into her diary, providing a vivid historical context for her personal thoughts.
Anne’s difficult situation is made more complicated by her own adolescence. Her maturing process, coupled with the misery of her cramped quarters and her constant fear of discovery and capture, is clearly seen in the pages of the diary. She wrote of her conflicts with her mother and sister, the support she received from her father, the love that developed between her and Peter van Daan, the constant bickering of the inhabitants of the attic, and the deprivations that she endured while in hiding. At the same time, Anne grew further and further away from the other members of the Annex.
She often wrote about her feelings of isolation and loneliness. She had a tumultuous relationship with the adults in the annex, particularly her mother, whom she considered lacking in love and affection. She adored her father. She was frequently scolded and criticised by Mr and Mrs van Daan and Mr Dussel. Though Anne thought that her sister, Margot was smart, pretty, and agreeable, she did not feel close to her and does not write much about her. A real change is seen in her when she eventually developed a close friendship with Peter van Daan. She found him sensitive and caring, and they talked about everything, including sex. Mr Frank did not approve, however, and Anne’s infatuation became less intense. Eventually their relationship changed tracks. Anne and Peter’s passion turned into a friendship and a source of comfort for them both.
Anne matured considerably through the course of her diary entries, moving from detailed accounts of basic activities to deeper, more profound thoughts about humanity and her own personal nature.
She found it difficult to understand why the Jews were being singled out and persecuted. Anne also confronted her own identity. Another big change for Anne happened when the war seemed to have ended. She got to know that personal accounts such as her diary would be in demand once the war ended. She returned to her earlier optimism and began editing her diary with vigour and excitement. During the two years recorded in her diary, Anne dealt with confinement and deprivation, as well as the complicated and difficult issues of growing up in the brutal circumstances of the Holocaust.
Her diary described a struggle to define herself within this climate of oppression. Anne’s diary ends without comment on 1 August 1944 as the Frank family is betrayed to the Nazis and arrested on 4 August 1944.
Anne Franks’s diary is filled with conflicting emotions, ranging from depression and despair to cheerfulness and pleasure. Anne constantly tried to see the good side of things and to have hope in spite of the misery and fear she faced on a daily basis. She even tells of some humorous incidents that occurred within the annex. When the air raids and bombings came closer to the office building, however, it was harder for her to be positive. But she tried her best to rally her courage and find a zest for living. When she fell in love with Peter, she gained a new lease of life and a strong desire to survive. Anne’s father, Otto Frank, the sole survivor of the members of the Secret Annex, recovered.
Anne’s diary from Miep and fulfilled Anne’s wishes by publishing the diary. Anne’s diary is one of the few accounts that described the unimaginable horror of the Holocaust from a young person’s perspective.
From the Diary of Anne Frank Chapter Wise Summary | The Diary of a Young Girl Chapter Wise Summary
From the Diary of Anne Frank Summary Sunday, June 12, 1942—Wednesday, June 24, 1942
The entries dating from 14 June to 5 July were written in Anne’s home in Amsterdam, Holland, where she spent her last few weeks of freedom. Anne, a fun-loving girl who enjoyed life, had just turned thirteen. Among the many things that she received, a diary with a red-check cover was her favourite. She believed that ‘paper has more patience than people ’ and so decided to make entries in her diary and hoped it would become her best friend and called it ‘Kitty. ’
From the Diary of Anne Frank Summary Wednesday, July 1, 1942—Friday, July 10, 1942
This section brings out the contrast between Anne’s innocence and the seriousness of her family’s situation. As a typical teenager, Anne focused on friends, grades and her relationships with boys.
She also talked about the issue of discrimination. Anne’s father thought it best to go into hiding soon, earlier than planned. Anne was greatly dismayed by her father’s plans. Her parents prepared a secret hiding place for such an eventuality. Anne called their hiding place the ‘Secret Annex ’.
From the Diary of Anne Frank Summary Saturday, July 11, 1942—Monday, September 21, 1942
Anne wrote of her everyday struggle in her life in hiding. Though the rest of the family were happy to be together, Anne felt like a misfit. The arrival of the van Daans brought new sources of conflict. Anne witnessed a terrible quarrel between Mr and Mrs van Daan over a trivial thing. She also did not think very highly of young Peter van Daan, who struck her as being lazy and boring.
Though the Franks and the van Daans lived in constant fear of capture, they had many simpler, more immediate problems. They often tried to find ways to escape boredom. Because they were in such close quarters, the residents were often annoyed with one another’s quirks and habits.
From the Diary of Anne Frank Summary Friday, September 25, 1942—Friday, October 9, 1942
Pim, Anne’s father, had written a letter to Mr Broks, which he decided to insert in an envelope that came from southern Zealand, so that it looked like they were abroad. Mrs van Daan liked to criticise Anne and ‘compare her to Margot constantly.’ Anne wrote of her lack of privacy and the unsanitary conditions they sometimes had to endure. She was also frightened by the news she had heard from the outside, that their Jewish friends are being hauled away in dozens to the German concentration camps.
From the Diary of Anne Frank Summary Wednesday, October 14, 1942—Friday, November 20, 1942
Anne spent her time reading. Anne had abandoned most of their nice things too but there was no use grumbling about it now. Otto Frank had measles and they couldn’t call a doctor, and if he coughed, they feared he might give them away. During this time, they planned to light the stove for the first time and cook a meal. German’s inability to capture Stalingrad from the Russians was perceived as good news by them. The family had decided that they should try to rescue one more Jew as they were getting reports of the dreadful things being done to the Jews. Mr Dussel was pleased with the offer of hiding from them but he insisted on waiting for a couple of days.
Mr Dussel talked about the atrocities committed outside, including the murders of women and children and it shocked Anna to the core.
From the Diary of Anne Frank Summary Thursday, March 4, 1943—Tuesday, June 13, 1943
The black market was doing a booming business. If the family had enough money, they could have bought more food. Everybody was sick of eating beans. Anne reflected on how the Germans treated Jews worse than animals. Anne’s mother wanted to say prayers with Anne but she refused as she said her prayers with her father which upset her mother. Martial law had been declared in Holland as the Dutch were being punished for the workers’ strikes. Anne was horrified by the drastic decline of her own quality of life.
From the Diary of Anne Frank Summary Tuesday, June 15, 1943—Tuesday, August 3, 1943
One of the protectors, Mr Voskuijl, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and did not have long to live. Everyone in the country was trying to get hold of a small radio so that they could access the British news. Anne tried to be helpful and good to everyone in the annex. Anne mentioned again how very important books were to her as being shut in the annex, there were no other amusements but reading, studying and listening to the radio. The Allies had landed in Sicily which was another step closer to defeating of the Germans. Air raids happened not just by night but also by day.
From the Diary of Anne Frank Summary Wednesday, August 4, 1943—Thursday, November 11, 1943
Sometimes the guns went off during the night. On this occasion too, Anne crept into her father’s bed. Anne called her father the most modest person at the table. On Wednesday, 8 September, Italy surrendered unconditionally. The stockroom manager, Mr van Maaren, was becoming suspicious of the Secret Annex. The strained relations between the members of the group continued and there was trouble brewing with the van Daans. Mr Frank was furious because they are cheating on the others by holding back meat and other things. Anne painted a very vivid account of her fears and nightmares, and remarked that although she talked about the concept of ‘after the war, ’ she could not imagine the world ever being normal again for them.
From the Diary of Anne Frank Summary Wednesday, November 17, 1943—Saturday, January 22, 1944
There was an outbreak of diphtheria at Bep’s house and she could not make it to the annex for six weeks. Anne was filled with guilt at not being able to help her best friend Lies who was enduring tremendous suffering due the war. Anne came down with flu and being sick in the annex was dreadful as she had to put her face under the blanket every time she coughed to prevent it from getting heard. She longed for a free life but she and her family were trapped in the annex. Anne mourned the loss of her Grandma. To Anne, Lies was symbolic of the suffering of Jews in general and while praying for Lies’s safety, Anne was actually praying for the safety of the Jews. She was coming to the realisation that in the discussions and arguments that happened in the annex the Franks were not always right and the van Daans were not always wrong.
The Diary of a Young Girl Summary Monday, January 24, 1944—Monday, February 28, 1944
Anne ‘s maturity was slowly increasing with each passing day. She managed to have a conversation with Peter about sex. Many Jewish families were going into hiding. Resistance groups, such as Free Netherlands, forged identity cards, provided financial support to those in hiding. Anne appreciated the efforts of these generous and unselfish people who risked their own lives to help others. Anne applauded their Dutch helpers who risked their own lives to save the Franks, van Daans, and Mr Dussel. Politics was a big topic of discussion in the house. The probability of an invasion of Europe by the Allies was increasing. Anne wrote fatalistically about reaching a stage where she did not care much whether she lived or died. Anne wrote about a change taking place.
It was about Peter who, according to her, was not looking at her in the usual way. She felt glad that she sensed a feeling of fellowship with Peter. Anne was plagued with doubts about whether Peter liked her or was he being just polite.
The Diary of a Young Girl Summary Wednesday, March 1, 1944—Friday, March 31, 1944
There was another burglary in the office which alarmed the inmates of the annex as they thought that the burglar might report them. She finally admitted to herself that her feelings for Peter were near to being in love but wondered if she would ever be able to tell him that. The police had arrested a man who had been supplying the group with potatoes, butter and jam. The people who sold them illegal food coupons were caught, so they had just the five ration books they bought on the black market – no coupons, no fats and oils. Everyone around them were falling ill, Bep was down with a bad cold, Miep hadn’t gotten over her flu, and Mr Kleiman’s stomach bled so much that he lost consciousness. Anne heard a suggestion on the news made by Mr Bolkestein, the Cabinet Minister, speaking on the Dutch broadcast from London, that after the war, people would be quite interested in reading diaries of how people lived in the war. She now thought about the idea of getting her diary published. She got excited about the idea of publishing her journal and started describing the kind of war events she thought readers might be interested to know how they lived. There was a mood of optimism as the Russians had reached the Polish border and Romania. Every night they expected a declaration from Stalin. The Germans had now invaded Hungary. There were still a million Jews living there and they were doomed.
The Diary of a Young Girl Summary Saturday, April 1, 1944—Friday; April 28, 1944
Anne gave a detailed description of the food situation as it had become a matter of great difficulty. She decided to work hard at her school work again so that she could become a journalist. Anne realised that she wanted more from life than being just a homemaker. Writing was also an escape for Anne. One day Anne understood by the way the men were talking that there had been a break-in. The men told the women to switch off the lights as they expected the police to arrive any moment. They cried with relief when they saw Jan and Miep who had shown up to fix the broken plank. From they on, they couldn’t open any windows or flush the toilet after 9:30 pm.
Anne was more scared of death. She decided that after the war she would become a Dutch citizen because she loved Holland and the Dutch. The British hadn’t advanced beyond Cassino and there had been a lot of unbelievably heavy air raids. Anne received her first kiss from Peter. The longer the war lasted, the harder it was for the residents of the annex to imagine being liberated from this place. Anne was not clear about her feelings for Peter and feared that she was giving herself to him too soon.
The Diary of a Young Girl Summary Tuesday, May 2, 1944—Wednesday, May 31, 1944
Anne and Peter discussed and decided that she should talk to her father about them. Anne found this attitude of Peter sensible. When she discussed her relationship with Peter with her father, he cautioned Anne to be careful since they were living in such close quarters. The prices were rising and the cost of everything was shooting up. Everyone from the errand boys to policemen were trading in the black market. Life was very dangerous for girls of fifteen, sixteen, seventeen and older who were disappearing every day. Anne wanted to publish a book called ‘The Secret Annex ’ and was sure that her diary would help in writing the book. She was writing a work of fiction ‘Cady’s Life’ that she claimed was based on her father’s life. Many Dutch people were beginning to express anti-Jewish sentiments. Mr van Hoeven, who supplied vegetables, was arrested for hiding two Jews in his house.
This was a heavy blow for them as the poor Jews were once again in danger. His arrest was a great ‘ loss to the inmates of the annex as they would have to go hungry. Anne mentioned about how much responsibility and tensions their protectors Miep and Mr Kugler carried for keeping them safe and bringing provisions for them. Mr Anne wondered if it would have been better to die rather than suffer so much.
The Diary of a Young Girl Summary Friday, June 2, 1944—Tuesday, August 1, 1944
The United States Army had captured Rome. No one was buying dollars or gold. Rations were dwindling and the group in the annex was running out of money. BBC announced at twelve that it was D-Day! The invasion had begun. The news of the Allied invasion of Europe revived the optimism of the group. The gifts and food items that Anne received as presents on her fifteenth birthday, was a blessing in disguise as for a couple of months she was eating rotten lettuce and endives. The Allied forces had captured many French towns. Anne was finally getting optimistic.
At last, things were going well. An assassination attempt had been made on Hitler’s life by a German general. Unfortunately, Hitler managed to get away with just a few scratches and bums. Anne reflected on the fact that her personality was a ‘bundle of contradictions.’ She wanted to show her quiet and serious side to everyone.
The Diary of a Young Girl Summary Afterward
On the morning of 4 August 1944, sometime between ten and ten-thirty, a car pulled up at 263 Prinsengracht. Several figures emerged; an SS sergeant, Karl Josef Silberbauer, in full uniform, and at least three Dutch members of the Security Police, armed but in civilian clothes. Someone must have tipped them off.
They arrested the eight people hiding in the annex, as well as two of their helpers, Victor Kugler and Johannes Kleiman— though not Miep Gies and Elisabeth (Bep) Voskuijl—and took all the valuables and cash they could find in the annex.
After the arrest, Kugler and Kleiman were taken to a prison in Amsterdam. On 11 September, 1944, they were transferred, without benefit of a trial, to a camp in Amersfoort (Holland). Kleiman, because of his poor health, was released on 18 September 1944. He remained in Amsterdam until his death in 1959.
Kugler managed to escape his imprisonment on 28 March 1945, when he and his fellow prisoners were being sent to Germany as forced labourers. He immigrated to Canada in 1955 and died in Toronto in 1989.
Elisabeth (Bep) Voskuijl Wijk died in Amsterdam in 1983. Miep Santrouschitz Gies is still living in Amsterdam; her husband Jan died in 1993.
Upon their arrest, the eight residents of the annex were first brought to a prison in Amsterdam and then transferred to Westerbork, the transit camp for Jews in the north of Holland. They were deported on 3 September 1944, in the last transport to leave Westerbork, and arrived three days later in Auschwitz (Poland).