‘Thank you, Dad,’, I spoke, looking at the diary with excitement and surprise. This was perhaps the best gift I had received for my birthday. I knew from the time I set my eyes on it that it would be my best friend. I named my friend ‘Kitty’. I tried to tell Kitty all the things that happened at home and school, as I felt she was more patient and listened to me non-judgementally than most of my friends. I felt so safe and comfortable when I was with her.
I don’t feel like talking to anyone but you. And you know why! Grandma died today. Oh! I loved her so much. I can’t stop thinking of her. I thought she would recover from the operation she had last year. But… why does God have to take away the best? I promise to light a candle on my birthday for Grandma.
Saturday, 20 June 1942
Today, Mr Keesing shouted at me again for talking in his class and assigned me an essay to write as homework, ‘The Incorrigible Chatterbox’. This is the second time he has done this to me. How can I make him understand that this is something I can’t get rid of? I explained to him that being talkative was in my genes and I have taken after my mother. Gosh! This is so exasperating. Wait and watch! I am going to write an essay that will shut him up forever.
The next week…
Oh! An essay again. Don’t know what Mr Keesing has against me. But Sanne, my friend promised to help me this time. She is good at poetry you know, and asked me to complete the homework in verse. Let’s see what Mr Keesing has to say tomorrow.
The next day….
(Hugging the diary to herself) Oh, my dearest…. I am super happy today. I think you can guess what happened. You should have seen how loud Keesing laughed after reading my poem. What was it about, did you ask? Well, I had written about a father swan and mother duck. Father duck bites the baby duck to death in exasperation for talking too much. I think Mr Keesing got the sarcasm. I don’t think I will be assigned any more essays. Isn’t that great news?
Wait, I can hear someone at the door. I have to go now Kitty… see ya!
‘Anne, come out quickly! We have to move now,’ said a desperate Edith Frank.
‘Where to now?’ said Anne who had expected this call sooner or later.
‘To the Secret Annexe.’ said Edith as she hugged her daughters Margot and Anne tightly. Otto, Anne’s father had made plans in spring that year to move there to escape Nazi prosecution and Margot being sent to the ‘labour camp’.
‘Come Kitty. Time for us to change our home. We can hardly call the Secret Annexe our home. But I have mother, father and Margot at least. And of course, you my best friend. I am not allowed to carry anything else.’
Silent tears coursed down my cheeks. I tried to hide them from Margot who had come to my room to help me pack. Well, I hated leaving school!
Later, at the Secret Annexe…..
‘Children, we must be quiet over here,’ said Edith. ‘Remember, it’s our hiding place at the moment till we can move out safely. So here are some rules. We can use the washroom for an hour in the morning and evening. And we must be extremely quiet at that too. We can have wholesome meals when we are supplied with suitable groceries, and that’s far and few in between. No reading aloud or looking out of the balcony. We can’t afford to be discovered. We mustn’t inconvenience our friends staying here in any way. Is that clear?’
I nodded absentmindedly. I looked out of the only window in my room to see the fumes billowing at a distance.
I tried to arrange the dreary room to make it look cheerful as much as possible. I hung pictures of my family and friends and hung some lights, not the bright ones though. I had Kitty and I was thankful for that. But I was scared at night, especially when I heard the sounds of the bombing.
Later, in 1944….
‘You will never understand me mother, as you never did. You can’t force your opinions on me,’ I cried. ‘We somehow have nothing nice to say to each other, do we? You aren’t trying to bring any joy; however small it may be into my life. Gosh! It’s so stifling! I wish I could run away from you. I hate you! This place!’
I can never understand my mother. Probably, she feels as exasperated as I. I understand that she has landed in so many unpleasant situations and is nervous and irritable from other worries and difficulties. It is certainly understandable that she snaps at me. I took it much too seriously, was offended, and was rude and aggravating at times. So, it is a matter of unpleasantness rebounding all the time. But it’s passing.
It wasn’t too long before a spark of energy and happiness entered my life, in the Annexe. Peter Van Daan was probably a year or two older than me.
‘You look nice when you smile,’ he said quietly as we did the crossword.’ We bumped into each other quite often in the apology of a home, Secret Annexe, and grew close. I still remember the day he tried to kiss me… My sweet first kiss!
Time passed quickly with him around. We often played or listened to the radio, especially the news. There was also the comfort of having a man around in the Annexe. But Peter landed himself in the funniest situations at times, which made me wonder about the statement I just made. Ha Ha!
Every day, we could hear the bombings getting closer!
‘We must be prepared to die any moment, Anne!’ said Margot one day. For once, I believed her!
Today is Sunday. All of us in the Secret Annexe played Monopoly. Time passes quickly on the days we do something like that. There was a beautiful Mozart concert on the radio from six ‘o’clock to quarter past seven. I enjoyed it very much. I and Peter sat in the front attic for some time. Our fun didn’t last long. At half past nine, when Margot, Mummy, Mrs Van Daan, and I were talking, we heard a bang downstairs. The colour vanished from our faces; we were all quiet although we were afraid. Peter heard two loud bangs on the landing. When the men in the Annexe entered the warehouse, they saw two burglars trying to enter. Without much thought, Mr Van Daan shouted ‘Police’, which was enough to send the men scurrying away. We regained our breath after what seemed like ages!
No, I cannot give up hope. I thought in the darkest moments of my life.
‘Any faint glimmer of sunshine in the gloomy Annexe, any good news indicating the end of the Nazi invasion on the radio made me believe in God even more. I knew that we would welcome positive change someday and Kitty would bear testimony to that moment of liberation, even if I am no more. But I never want to die! I must live to see a better life for myself, my community, and my country. I must go back to school, have a family at the right time and do something for my country. I wish to live at least till the age my parents or the Van Dan’s are now, that’s not a lot to expect, is it?’
August 4, 1944
We were captured yesterday. The Gestapo raided the Secret Annexe. It seems to be a tip given by a Dutch informer. We will be imprisoned for a few weeks, I guess.
I am now here in the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. My father is no longer with us. The worst part, I had to leave Kitty behind in the Annexe. And I can no longer see Peter. But am happy that at least Margot and Mum are with me. We are in crowded barracks. Outside, I can see the sky turn red from the glow of the crematories. There’s food but it’s as bad as it could get.
I manage to live in this ‘spick and span’ hell. I may get out of this. Let’s wait and watch!
The only time I cry silently is when I watch the young Hungarian children, standing naked, waiting to be gassed. Having just turned 15, I made a narrow escape!
In October 1944
We are at the Bergen- Belsen concentration camp. Oh my! This place is horrendous. Worse than Auschwitz! We have small crowded bunks to stay in. No privacy! And the small holes stink all the time as they are the only toilets available for a large crowd like us. I can’t see mother or Margot.
I seem to have contracted a strange disease Typhus. I know I won’t live long. I know about Margot’s death. I wish I could live! At least, I want Kitty to ‘speak my silence’.
This is a fictional account of Anne Frank, with a few adaptations from Diary Of A Young Girl. Though Anne Frank, a Jew born on June 12th 1929, in Frankfurt, had a frightening and despondent childhood and never lived to see her adult life, her grit and determination to overcome the troubles and look at life positively, made her stand out as an immortal figure of hope, happiness and affection.
Her writings in the diary ‘Kitty’ were later published by her father as a memoir of her life. Around a million copies of the book ‘Diary Of A Young Girl’ have been sold in more than 60 languages, thus making Anne’s dream of being famous as a journalist and writer come true after her death!
The part of the story after she was captured is expressed as her mind voice as she did not have anyone to tell her woes!
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