Notes on The Diary of Anne Frank Themes

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The Diary of Anne Frank Topic Tracking: Holocaust

Saturday, 20 June, 1942

Holocaust 1: As German Jews, Anne and her family are very affected by the anti-Jewish laws brought on by the Nazis, which restrict them from everyday activities, including owning businesses. These laws were especially harsh after 1940. They also must wear yellow stars with the word "Jew" at all times. The Nazis did these things in order to brand and dehumanize the Jews, and to set them apart from society.

Sunday, 5 July, 1942

Holocaust 2: Since Jews are not allowed by Nazi law to own businesses, Mr. Frank must transfer ownership to his non-Jewish associates. He anticipates the severity of the persecution and has been planning for them to go into hiding, moving their belongings for a year.

Wednesday, 8 July, 1942

Holocaust 3: The Nazis sent call-up notices for people to appear for deportation to concentration camps. Margot and Daddy both receive one, and this is what prompts them to go into hiding early, to escape deportation. While they are all fleeing, they must do so inconspicuously, so that they are not caught evading the call-up and are not suspected of going into hiding. Margot rides her bike there, which is especially risky, since Jews are not allowed to ride bikes.

Saturday, 11 July, 1942

Holocaust 4: They must be completely quiet in hiding, otherwise someone will report that there are people being hidden, and they will be discovered and either killed immediately by Nazi police or taken to concentration camps. Anne is frightened because she is not used to such darkness and silence at night.

Friday, 25 September, 1942

Holocaust 5: It is important that no one finds out that the Franks are hiding in Amsterdam. For this reason, Daddy replies to business letters to people in his handwriting via another country.

Thursday, 1 October, 1942

Holocaust 6: Anne is very afraid of being discovered. The loud noise at the door startles her. Anne is easily frightened because she is so afraid of being discovered.

Saturday, 3 October, 1942

Holocaust 7: Though they are in hiding, they hear news of what is happening to Jews outside, including the terrible conditions at the concentration camp of Westerbork, in Drente, Holland. Most of their friends are deported to concentration camps, and people do not help the Jews because they fear for their own lives. Anne is so upset with the behavior of the Germans that she renounces her German nationality, and later in the book, she mentions several times that she wishes to become Dutch after the war.

Tuesday, 20 October, 1942

Holocaust 8: Anne has a great fear of being discovered, especially when something goes slightly wrong, such as the door getting jammed. The tension inherent in their situation affects her greatly.

Thursday, 19 November, 1942

Holocaust 9: Anne feels intensely guilty that she is safe in hiding when so many of her friends have been deported and may already be dead. She is very aware of both her Jewish background and her good luck to still be alive.

Sunday, 13 December, 1942

Holocaust 10: Anne feels guilty again, seeing the sad state of the Jews outside the Secret Annexe. She feels remorse for not being able to help the people who were not lucky enough to find hiding place.

Wednesday, 13 January, 1943

Holocaust 11: Anne feels lucky, yet guilty and powerless again when she sees people being dragged off, probably to concentration camps:

"I could go on for hours about all the suffering the war has brought, but then I would only make myself more dejected. There is nothing we can do but wait as calmly as we can till the misery comes to an end. Jews and Christians wait, the whole earth waits; and there are many who wait for death." Wednesday, 13 January, 1943, pg. 48

Thursday, 25 March, 1943

Holocaust 12: Everyone gets very nervous when there is a threat to the security of their hiding place. Their situation is very tense, as they could be discovered at any moment.

Saturday, 27 March, 1943

Holocaust 13: Anne feels more guilt and has nightmares about people being sent to their deaths.

Saturday, 1 May, 1943

Holocaust 14: Though Anne feels lucky, knowing that they are much better off in hiding than those Jews in concentration camps, she feels intense guilt. She also realizes that there is no escape from their hiding place.

Monday, 19 July, 1943

Holocaust 15: Anne is very affected when she hears about the inhuman horrors of the war.

Monday, 8 November, 1943

Holocaust 16: Anne is aware of the constant threat of despair and death:

"I see the eight of us with our 'Secret Annexe' as if we were a little piece of blue heaven, surrounded by heavy black rain clouds. The round, clearly defined spot where we stand is still safe, but the clouds gather more closely about us and the circle which separates us from the approaching danger closes more and more tightly. Now we are so surrounded by danger and darkness that we bump against each other, as we search desperately for a means of escape. We all look down below, where people are fighting each other, we look above, where it is quiet and beautiful, and meanwhile we are cut off by the great dark mass, which will not let us go upwards, but which stands before us as an impenetrable wall; it tries to crush us, but cannot do so yet. I can only cry and implore: 'Oh, if only the black circle could recede and open the way for us!'" Monday, 8 November, 1943, pg. 103

Saturday, 27 November, 1943

Holocaust 17: Anne feels guilty about her luck in having a hiding place when others are dying in concentration camps. This guilt manifests itself in a waking dream about her friend Lies, who is probably suffering in a concentration camp. She feels lucky, guilty, and powerless.

Wednesday, 10 May, 1944

Holocaust 18: The outside world does know about the situation in the concentration camps, as they hear in the news broadcasts.

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