Notes on Objects & Places from The Diary of Anne Frank

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The Diary of Anne Frank Objects/Places

Kitty: Kitty is the name that Anne gives to her diary. She writes to Kitty as if she were a friend, addressing each letter 'Dear Kitty.' She wants to share her thoughts completely with someone who is a real friend, and since she does not have one of these, she shares them with Kitty. Her entries get more and more frequent as her time in the Secret Annexe goes on.

Secret Annex: The Secret Annex is the place where the Franks, the Van Daans, and Mr. Dussel hide. It is the back of a warehouse building that is owned by associates of Otto Frank. The door to the Annexe is hidden by a swinging bookshelf. There are three floors. There is a kitchen and bathroom, several bedrooms, and sitting rooms.

Winston Churchill: Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of England at the time of World War II. The occupants of the Secret Annex listen to his speeches on the radio.

Adolf Hitler: Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) was the Chancellor and Fuhrher of Germany. He was the leader of the Nazi party. He believed that the Germans were a superior race, and blamed Jews for the problems that plagued Germany, such as poverty and unemployment. He and his Nazi party came to power in the winter of 1933, and banned all other parties but the Nazi party. He arranged for propaganda against the Jews and enacted many laws against them. An extremely charismatic man, he was also able to organize and mobilize a campaign of genocide against the Jews, which he referred to as 'The Final Solution.'

Benito Mussolini: Benito Mussolini was the Fascist dictator of Italy. The people in the Secret Annexe are happy to hear when the Fascist party is banned from Italy.

Moortje: Moortje is Anne’s cat. They leave the cat behind when they flee to their hiding place.

Mouschie: Mouschie is the Van Daan’s cat. Peter is very affectionate with the cat.

Bookshelf: A large bookshelf hides and blocks the stairway to the Secret Annex.

Bouche: Bouche is Peter Van Daan’s cat. He disappears while they are in hiding.

Ration Cards: During wartime, ration cards are used to allocate a certain amount of food per person. The people who are hiding the families have four illegally bought ration cards, which they use to provide the families with food.

Zionist Movement: The Zionist movement had as its goal the creation of the Jewish State of Israel in Palestine. This was finally realized in 1948. It now exists to support modern Israel.

S.S.: The S.S. was a Nazi unit used first as Hitler’s bodyguard, then used for security, policing, and extermination. They often served as guards in concentration camps. S.S. officers deliver the call-up notices for Margot and Daddy.

Concentration Camp: Hitler organized concentration camps to facilitate the mass murder of Jews, Catholics, gypsies, blacks, the handicapped, and homosexuals. People were deported to the camps in cattle cars, and upon arrival, usually separated from their families, tattooed with a serial number, deloused, and completely shaven. Often they were forced into hard labor. Disease was rampant, and many starved to death. Most were shot, gassed, or cremated alive. An estimated ten million people were killed, including six million Jews and at least one million young children. Some of the major camps were Auschwitz-Birkenau (Poland), Bergen-Belsen (Germany), Sobibor (Poland), Treblinka (Poland), Theresienstadt (Czechoslovakia), Dachau (Germany), Westerbork (Holland), Maidanek (Poland), and Mauthausen (Austria).

Westerbork: Westerbork was a concentration camp in Drente, Holland. Anne hears that many of their friends have been deported there, and about how horrible the conditions are.

Gestapo: The Gestapo is the Nazi secret police organization.

Sabbath Candles: It is part of the Jewish tradition that on Friday evenings two candles are lit, and blessings are chanted to welcome the Sabbath.

Het Achterhuis: Het Achterhuis literally means 'house behind.' It is the name Anne uses for the Secret Annexe, and the title that Anne wants to give her journal if it is published after the war.

call-up: Margot and Daddy receive call-ups, which prompts the Franks’ early flight to their hiding place. The call-ups are notices for deportation to a concentration camp.

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