The Diary of a Young Girl: Novel Summary: July 9, 1942-October 9, 1942
July 9, 1942-October 9, 1942
Everything now changes for Anne and her family, and she describes all the details in her diary entries for July 8 and July 9. The entire family has gone into hiding, along with Otto Frank's business partner, Mr. van Daan and his wife and son Peter. The move is precipitated when Anne's sister, Margot, receives a call up from the Germans to report for work at a camp in Holland. Faced with the loss of Margot, the family decides to put their pre-existing plan into operation. They hurriedly pack everything they can manage. Miep and Jan Gies, a Dutch couple, assist them.� At seven-thirty next morning they leave their house, leaving breakfast things on the table to give the impression they have left in a hurry. They walk through the streets in the rain as Anne's mother and father reveal their plan. It turns out that the family is to go into hiding in Otto Frank's office building, in what Anne refers to as the secret annex at the back of the house. Along with the van Daan family, they are to live in the top two floors of the building. The first floor is an office and the front part of the second floor is a storeroom. The hideaways are to occupy the back of the second floor as well as the third floor, which along with the attic is unused.
Otto and Edith Frank have a room to themselves on the second floor, and Anne is to share a small room with Margot; the van Daans are on the third floor in a large room with a stove that also serves as a general living room and dining room for all seven hideaways. Peter van Daan has his own tiny room off to the side.
The families spend their first day getting all their belongings sorted out. They have plenty of supplies, and their helpers, especially Miep Gies, a young woman who works in Otto's office, bring them what they need from day to day.� They are also helped by two other employees of the company, Mr. Kugler and Bep Voskuijl.
On July 11, Anne writes in her diary that she is not distressed by the sudden move. She feels like she is on an unusual kind of vacation, and she realizes that as hiding places go, the place they have is as suitable and comfortable as anything they could find in Amsterdam. She makes her bedroom look more cheery by sticking up her collection of postcards and movie-star pictures. They all� have to be very quiet most of the time, fearing that anyone in the neighboring buildings might hear them.
On Sunday, July 12, she records the first of many thoughts she has about the conflicts within her family. She complains that her mother criticizes her a lot and shows favoritism to Margot. Anne feels like she does not belong with them. She is fond of her father, however, because she feels he� understands her.
Her next entry is on August 14. She describes how the van Daans arrived at the annex a week after the Franks. Mr. van Daan told them how he had helped to spread the story that the Franks had left suddenly, planning to escape to Belgium and then to Switzerland. It seems that people believe the story.
Anne does not take to Peter van Daan, who is three years older than she is. She regards him as shy and of little interest. She again complains about her mother, saying that Mrs. Frank treats her as a baby, and she is also at loggerheads with Mr. van Daan.
These conflicts worsen by the beginning of September. Mr. and Mrs. van Daan quarrel frequently, and Mrs. Frank and Mrs. van Daan do not get along well either. Peter gets into trouble with his father for reading a book about women that his parents did not think was suitable for him.
Anne records more conflict in her entry for September 21. She is finding Mrs. van Daan unbearable because she always scolds her for chattering too much. But in spite of all the tensions, Anne keeps busy. She reads books that the helpers bring, and she has begun her schoolwork, working hard at learning French.
By late September, Anne writes of her complete estrangement from her mother. She complains that her mother does not understand her, unlike her father who not only understands her but is also nice to her all the time. Nor does she get along with her sister very well, and her relationship with Mr. and Mrs. van Daan has also deteriorated. They criticize her a lot, telling her that she should talk less and mind her own business, and she gives spirited replies. They� have very different ideas of child-rearing than the Franks do.
Anne is angry at the treatment she receives, feeling that the van Daans criticize everything about her, her personality, her behavior, her manners. She finds this rude and thinks it is only a matter of time before she explodes with pent-up rage. Anne also finds it surprising that adults quarrel so easily and about such petty matters.�
By the beginning of October, Anne writes that she actively dislikes her mother, although she admits that she does not know why these feelings arise in her.
On Friday, October 9, Anne reports grimly on events in the outside world. Their many Jewish friends are being deported in cattle cars to Westerbork, a labor camp in Holland, where conditions are appalling, with little food and unsanitary conditions. Anne has heard that when the Jews are sent to camps in Germany, they are murdered, and she believes this to be true. She feels terrible about this news, which she learns from Miep. Another thing that worries her is that the Germans are punishing saboteurs by taking innocent people hostage. If the Nazis cannot find the saboteur they will take five hostages and shoot them. Anne expresses her contempt for the Germans.
The Franks and the van Daans were like thousand of other Jews in Holland who went into hiding rather than risk being sent to German-run labor camps. In early July, 350 Jews were being called up daily in Amsterdam. Anyone who refused was sent to a prison camp. Jews could not flee the country, since the surrounding countries were also German-occupied, so there was no choice but to go into hiding if they wanted to avoid the camps.��
The Franks managed to find a hiding place that was more comfortable than those endured by many other Jews, some of whom would spend years hiding in someone's cold attic or basement. But conditions in the annex were hardly ideal. The rooms were small and airless, since the� windows could not be opened in the summer, for fear of discovery. The toilet could not be flushed during business hours because it could be heard downstairs, where the office workers were. And no one was allowed to go outside, even for a moment. At night, however, they were able to go downstairs into the office, where they could listen to the radio.
These entries record Anne's first three months in the annex. They give a good picture of Anne's personality. She is outspoken, talkative, not a submissive girl at all, and she has decided opinions about most things. Like any young teenager, she resents being treated like a child and feels that she should be taken more seriously. Her conflict with her mother is perhaps not unusual
in a girl her age who is starting to defines� herself as an individual. The conflict is of course much sharper because of the nature of her situation. Since she cannot leave the annex, she cannot get away from the family atmosphere. There is no safety valve for her, like going to the ice cream parlor with her friends, where she could let off steam. Instead, she begins to use her diary as her safety valve. In her diary she can express all her innermost thoughts that she cannot say out loud to anyone. Her diary is the only thing available to her for this kind of self-expression, and it will become of vital importance for her happiness over the next two years.