The Diary of a Young Girl: Novel Summary: April 14, 1944- August 1, 1944
April 14, 1944- August 1, 1944
On April 16, Anne reports on the first kiss she received from Peter-a clumsy peck, half on her cheek and half on her ear. It made her too happy for words. The next day she wonders if her parents would approve, and she is pretty sure that Margot would never kiss a boy unless there was some talk about engagement and marriage.
It is a glorious spring, and a few days pass in which Anne seems happy. She even decides to approach a magazine, The Prince, to see if they will accept her story for publication. She plans to submit it under a pseudonym, although she thinks it may be too long to suit the magazine.
On April 25, she discusses yet another quarrel in the annex, this time between Mr. van Daan and Dussel. They have not been on speaking terms for ten days. Dussel resents the change in security arrangements that mean he can no longer open the window at night.
Several days later Anne writes her thoughts about Peter. For the first time they kissed on the lips. She knows that he needs tenderness, and says that he has never had a friend before, either boy or girl. But she still wonders whether it is the right thing for her to get deeply involved with him. However, she immediately answers her own question in the affirmative. She finally tells her father about her romance, asking whether he thinks it is wrong. He says it is not wrong, but that she should be careful. She should not go upstairs too often or encourage him too much. She must set the limits and not take things too seriously. But Anne does not want to see Peter less often, because she wants to show him that she trusts him.
A few days late, Anne records that her father is upset with her because she has not stopped going upstairs to visit Peter. Anne decides to write her father a letter in which she says she is an independent person who does not need to account to him for her actions. She is accountable only to herself. She tells him to leave her alone. On May 6, she reports that according to Margot, her father is very upset by the letter, and the next day they have an emotional discussion about the matter. Otto says that her letter is the most hurtful letter he has ever received; Anne is very remorseful. She confesses to her diary that writing that letter was the worst thing she has ever done. She realizes how cruel it was and she is ashamed of herself. Her father has forgiven her, however, and she resolves to improve herself.
Over the following week Anne thinks of what she would like her life to be like after the war (she wants to study in London and Paris); she finishes another story; listens to the Dutch queen addressing the country from her exile; and notes the books she is reading. She reaffirms her wish to become a journalist, and to publish a novel called The Secret Annex, based on the material in her diary.
On May 19, she reports that although she still loves Peter, she has distanced herself a little from him and keeps her inner self hidden.
On May 22, she notes that all the talk is about the coming Allied invasion of Europe. Everyone is hoping it will be soon, but of course no one knows the exact day. She reports on what she has heard about a rise in anti-Semitism in Holland. There is some sentiment that after the war, German Jews who immigrated to Holland and have since been sent to Poland should not be allowed to return. Anne wonders what they are fighting the war for, if it is not for justice and freedom. She also cannot understand how the Dutch, a nation of good and honest people, can sit in judgment on the Jews, who are the most oppressed people in the world. But she still loves Holland.
On May 25, Anne records the ominous news that a Dutch man named Mr. van Hoeven has been arrested for hiding two Jews in his house. Van Hoeven kept the Franks supplied with potatoes, and losing him is a blow to them, as well as a reminder of the dangerous position they themselves are in. The next day Anne writes that she is more miserable than she has been in months; there is so much tension and despair in the annex.
On June 5, she reminds her reader that there are still quarrels in the annex. This time it is between Dussel and the Franks over the division of butter. The food supply continues to be poor, with few potatoes and vegetables. The following day, June 6, 1944, the invasion of Europe finally begins. It is D-Day. Anne and the others listen to the news on the radio, and hope that the war will be over by the end of the year. Anne feels that friends are on the way, and that she may even be able to return to school by September or October. Three days later, she reports on the early successes of the Allies in France.
Her fifteenth birthday comes, and she records the presents she received. She also reports on the progress of the invasion and reproaches those among the Dutch who have a low opinion of the British, wondering what would have happened to the Dutch and their neighbors had the British signed a peace treaty with the Germans, as they once had an opportunity to do.
Anne then turns her thoughts to Peter. He has disappointed her in some ways, she writes, including his negative attitude to religion, which she values. She also thinks that he hides his innermost self from her. Later in the same entry (June 13) she turns her attention to the beauty of nature, which she appreciates as much as she can from inside the annex, and to the role of women in the world.
On June 27, Anne reports on the success of the Allied invasion, three weeks after D-Day. Then in early July, she writes that Peter has joked about becoming a criminal or a speculator, and she feels it is because of his own weakness. She feels that he is beginning to lean on her, and this is not what she wants. She still loves him, but she regrets that he has no goal in life, and it hurts her to see him feeling so lonely.
On July 8, Anne reports an enjoyable day preparing strawberries. A friend has delivered twenty-four crates of them for the office staff and the eight people in hiding.
A week later she writes down her thoughts about a book she has been reading entitled, "What Do You Think of the Modern Young Girl?" She uses the opportunity for an analysis of her relationship with her father. She admits that she has never shared her ideals with him and has deliberately alienated herself from him. She also confesses her disappointment in her relationship with Peter. She knows it was she who drew him towards her, and she also guesses that he is happy with the time they spend together, but she feels that he is not really a kindred spirit.
On July 21, she writes about the attempted assassination of Hitler. This is good news, she says, because it shows that the German people are fed up with the war and want to get rid of their leader.
On Tuesday, August 1, 1944, Anne makes what was to be her last entry in her diary. She writes of the two different sides of her personality, the cheerful, flippant, superficial side, and a deeper side which is "purer, deeper and finer." She calls this her better side, but adds that no one knows about it. She doesn't let it show because she is afraid they will think her ridiculous and not take her seriously. She would like to show more of the quiet, serious Anne but finds it difficult because she is so misunderstood.
On August 4, 1944, three days after she wrote her final entry in her diary, the Franks, the van Daans and Dussel were arrested by the police.
In one of her final entries (July 15, 1944), Anne wrote what has become the most quoted sentence in the entire diary. Writing of her ideals, she says she still clings to them, even though they seem impractical, "because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart." Commentators sometimes complain that this quotation is misleading if it is taken out of context, and they also ask the pertinent question of whether, had Anne survived the concentrations camps, she would still have expressed such a view.
In the last five months of her diary, Anne shows great maturation in her writing style and in the depth of her thinking about herself and human affairs in general. It seems highly likely that, had she lived, she would have fulfilled her ambition to become a journalist and perhaps also a novelist.