Anne Frank

The cheerful schoolgirl

Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt am Main in 1929 to Jewish parents. After the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, Anne’s parents flee to the Netherlands with Anne and her sister Margot, who is three years older. Until 1940, Anne lives a relatively sheltered and carefree childhood, in the comfort of her family. She attends elementary school and then the Jewish Lyceum.

After Hitler's forces conquer and occupy the Netherlands, Anne starts to be confronted daily with the merciless discrimination and persecution of Jews by the new occupation. The anti-Jewish laws restrict the rights of Jews significantly and attempt to separate them from the rest of Dutch society (2%). For example, since Jews are forbidden to ride the streetcar and, Anne's bicycle is stolen, the thirteen-year-old girl must walk the long way to the Lyceum every day.

Despite everything, Anne does not allow this to take away her courage and enjoyment of life. At the time Anne begins writing her diary, her family is “still doing well” and life with the restrictions on Jewish citizens “went on” (2%). Anne longs for a true friendship, but otherwise has everything a teenager could want: 

I have loving parents and a sixteen-year-old sister, and there are about thirty people I can call friends. I have a throng of admirers who can’t keep their adoring eyes off me (…). I have a family, loving aunts and a good home. (1-2%)

Anne is very sociable and popular. Together with four other girls, she has formed a club that meets regularly to play table tennis (2%). In addition, several boys from her class are interested in her (2%), and shortly before going into hiding, even a sixteen-year-old acquaintance finds her interesting (4%).

At school, Anne is not quite as good as her brilliant sister Margot, but she is very ambitious: “I don't want to be a poor student.” (5%). Thanks to her imaginative and cheeky nature, she gets along very well with her teachers (3%).

Longing for trust and friendship

Anne feels a need for someone to confide in and true friendship since she continuously hides her true nature. Even when she is carrying on with her normal school routine and is surrounded by friends and admirers, Anne longs for a real friend - a friend who not only knows her outer side, but to whom she can reveal her true nature: “All I think about when I’m with friends is having a good time. I can’t bring myself to talk about anything but ordinary everyday things.” (2%). This is exactly why Anne started writing her diary. She names it Kitty and hopes that it can replace an intimate friendship for her (2%).

In July 1942, when Anne and her family are forced to go into hiding in a secret annex in Amsterdam, her world is instantly turned upside down : “So much has happened it’s as if the whole world had suddenly turned upside down.” (5%), she remarks in her diary. Moving into the secluded world of hiding intensifies her desire for trust and intimacy. While in school she was distracted by “friends and having a good time” (21%), being locked up in the secret annex, which offers her protection, allows her a lot of time to think about herself, her family, and her roommates.

The rebel

Being the youngest resi...

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