The Diary of a Young Girl: Novel Summary: January 13, 1943 - June 13, 1943
January 13, 1943 - June 13, 1943
On January 13, Anne writes about the war. She reports that more Jews are being dragged from their homes and taken away. Families are being torn apart as men, women and children are separated. Every night she hears the Allied bombers pass overhead, on their way to bomb Germany. She also guesses that every hour, thousands of people are being killed in Russia and Africa. It is a grim picture of war, and she is fully aware of it. She also realizes how fortunate she is. She is luckier than millions of people. She sees starving children out on the streets. She knows that all she can do is calmly wait for the end of the war.
Anne seethes with rage at how misunderstood she feels by her family, who tell her she is an exasperating child. She knows she does her best to please everyone. But she hides her hurt feelings because she does not want others to see her troubles. Her anger is directed in particular at her mother. Anne is frequently told to follow the example of Margot, but she has no desire to be like Margot, who she regards as weak-willed and passive.
The days pass. She listens to anti-aircraft fire at night and crawls into her father's bed for comfort. Peter is bitten by a rat as he collects some old newspapers from the loft. Dussel receives a dentist's foot-operated drill; Anne's dislike of him continues, and she complains that he ignores the rules of the house. Anne hears Hitler speaking on the radio and expresses her disgust.
They have another scare one night when they think that a burglar has broken into the building, but the incident passes and they are not discovered. Anne works on her shorthand. She hears a German official on the radio saying that all Jews in the occupied territories must be removed before July 1.
Anne realizes that her mother knows her daughter does not love her, and Anne feels sorry for her. But she refuses to pretend to have feelings for her mother that she does not have. She reports that the quality of the food they eat is deteriorating. Lunch is either spinach or cooked lettuce with potatoes that have a rotten, sweetish taste. She resents Dussel because he stores food such as bread, cheese and jam in his cupboard. Mr. van Daan thinks the war will be over by the end of the year, but Anne is not so sure. Not knowing what the future holds means that each day is filled with tension.
When her fourteenth birthday comes, Anne is very happy at all the presents she receives, which include a poem written by her father.
Anne's conflicts with her mother, and with Dussel, continue, forming one of the main themes of the diary. When The Diary of a Young Girl was first published, in 1947, Otto Frank, Anne's father, ensured that much of Anne's fierce criticism of her mother, as well as of other residents of the annex, was not included in the book. After Otto's death in 1980, the Anne Frank Foundation decided to publish a new, expanded edition of the diary, which more faithfully represented what Anne wrote.
These six months show a girl poised between childhood and young womanhood. The child is frightened and crawls into her father's bed for comfort, and waits at night for one of her parents to come and hear her say her prayers. But the young woman who is emerging is quite different, much stronger and very independent. She has an unswerving devotion to the truth, as the last paragraph of her entry on April 2 shows, which does not read like the words of an immature young girl. She is determined to express the truth to her parents about how she feels, and she thinks that it is their responsibility to learn how to deal with it.