The Diary Of A Young Girl


Key Quotes

1. Our thoughts are subject to as little change as we are. They’re like a merry-go-round, turning from the Jews to food, from food to politics. By the way, speaking of Jews, I saw two yesterday when I was peeking through the curtains. I felt as though I were gazing at one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It gave me such a funny feeling, as if I’d denounced them to the authorities and was now spying on their misfortune.

Anne writes this on December 13, 1942, after experiencing a rare moment of solitude next to a window. Only because it was dusk was Anne allowed to peer through a small chink in the office curtains to catch a glimpse of the world passing by. The first part of the quotation clearly conveys the stifling atmosphere of the annex, where the residents are always together and are unable to discuss anything but the horrible reality of their situation. As awful as it is, however, Anne frequently expresses gratitude for the fact that she and her family are safe in the annex. In this passage, she describes the feeling of safety as “a funny feeling” and alludes to her own sense of guilt for being safe while other Jews are exposed. She feels as if she is “spying on their misfortune.” Although Anne often feels understandably stifled and depressed—having to spend her adolescence trapped inside, unable to breathe fresh air or run around—she never forgets that compared to the Jews who have no hiding place, she is fortunate.

2. Miep often says she envies us because we have such peace and quiet here. That may be true, but she’s obviously not thinking about our fear.

I simply can’t imagine the world will ever be normal again for us. I do talk about “after the war,” but it’s as if I were talking about a castle in the air, something that can never come true.

I see the eight of us in the Annex as if we were a patch of blue sky surrounded by menacing black clouds. The perfectly round spot on which we’re standing is still...

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