On this date, Anne wrote “…I have nothing but dismal and depressing news to report.”
Anne Frank was an intelligent and gifted writer. Her wry and insightful observations about herself and her annex-mates are frequently entertaining to read, in spite of their tragic setting. Her diary entry for October 9, 1942 was different. It was not written in her usual style. Normally, Anne tried to keep her spirits up by infusing her words with wit and humor, but none was evident on this day. The bitter reality of her situation had intruded, making its way into the annex along with disturbing news from Miep and Bep, two of the Franks’ outside helpers. Anne began her reflections that day with an observation about how difficult things had become.
The news that bothered Anne so much concerned the massive deportations of Jews from Amsterdam, many of whom were friends and acquaintances of her family. She knew about the wretched conditions in the concentration camp at Westerbork and feared for the people who were sent there. Even worse, British radio had reported that people sent to the east were being gassed. Undoubtedly, this information raised the feelings of fear and helplessness in the annex to new heights. The helpers shared in these emotions, too. For example, Bep was worried about her boyfriend who had been sent to Germany as a laborer. Meip had told of her own her distress when she was unable to help a frightened old woman during a roundup, even though it happened just outside her home. Meip was a person of extraordinary courage, but there was nothing she could have done in this situation.
Anne’s writing on this day was relentlessly grim, but fitting in tone to the topics she addressed. She concluded, “Fine specimens of humanity, those Germans, and to think, I’m actually one of them!” No, that’s not true, Hitler took away our nationality long ago. And besides, there are no greater enemies on earth than the Germans and the Jews.” Of course, Anne didn’t want to be anyone’s enemy. Her bitter words revealed the truth of her identity. She was simply a frightened girl forced into hiding by the hatred of others.
You may learn more about the fate of Jews living in Amsterdam at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum site.
April 19, 2015 at 4:00 PM
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