Most of the opening entries give a brief history of Anne’s life. She tells that she was born in Frankfurt, Germany, where she lived until the family moved to Holland to escape from Hitler and the Nazis, who had overtaken Germany. One of the early entries, dated June 20, 1942, explains how the conditions for Jewish people are worsening. With remarkable detachment and a seeming lack of emotion, she jots down the various restrictions put on Jews, including the following:
i) Jews must wear a yellow star to identify them from others. ii) Jews must hand in their bicycles, which will be given to soldiers and policemen. iii) Jews must not travel by train and are forbidden to drive. iv) Jews must shop only in Jewish shops and only from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. v) Jews must stay indoors after 8:00 p.m.
vi) Jews must not visit the theatre, the cinema, or sporting events. vii) Jews must not visit Christians.
viii) Jews must go to Jewish schools.
In spite of their feelings of uncertainty and fear, Anne and her family try to make the most of their restricted existence. The spunky teenager says that things are bearable, even though she was forced to leave her Dutch school in 1941, when Hitler occupied Holland. Anne also tells about her grief...