جمعه بیست و چهارم دسامبر 1943کتاب: آن فرانک: خاطرات یک دختر جوان / فصل 39
جمعه بیست و چهارم دسامبر 1943
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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 1943
As I’ve written you many times before, moods have a tendency to affect us quite a bit here, and in my case it’s been getting worse lately. “Himmelhoch jauchzend, zu Tode betru’bt”* [* A famous line from Goethe: “On top of the world, or in the depths of despair.”] certainly applies to me. I’m “on top of the world” when I think of how fortunate we are and compare myself to other Jewish children, and “in the depths of despair” when, for example, Mrs. Kleiman comes by and talks about Jopie’s hockey club, canoe trips, school plays and afternoon teas with friends.
I don’t think I’m jealous of Jopie, but I long to have a really good time for once and to laugh so hard it hurts.
We’re stuck in this house like lepers, especially during winter and the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Actually, I shouldn’t even be writing this, since it makes me seem so ungrateful, but I can’t keep everything to myself, so I’ll repeat what I said at the beginning: “Paper is more patient than people.”
Whenever someone comes in from outside, with the wind in their clothes and the cold on their cheeks, I feel like burying my head under the blankets to keep from thinking, “When will we be allowed to breathe fresh air again?” I can’t do that-on the contrary, I have to hold my head up high and put a bold face on things, but the thoughts keep coming anyway. Not just once, but over and over.
Believe me, if you’ve been shut up for a year and a half, it can get to be too much for you sometimes. But feelings can’t be ignored, no matter how unjust or ungrateful they seem. I long to ride a bike, dance, whistle, look at the world, feel young and know that I’m free, and yet I can’t let it show. just imagine what would happen if all eight of us were to feel sorry for ourselves or walk around with the discontent clearly visible on our faces. Where would that get us? I sometimes wonder if anyone will ever understand what I mean, if anyone will ever overlook my ingratitude and not worry about whether or not I’m Jewish and merely see me as a teenager badly in need of some good plain fun. I don’t know, and I wouldn’t be able to talk about it with anyone, since I’m sure I’d start to cry. Crying can bring relief, as long as you don’t cry alone. Despite all my theories and efforts, I miss-every day and every hour of the day-having a mother who understands me. That’s why with everything I do and write, I imagine the kind of mom I’d like to be to my children later on. The kind of mom who doesn’t take everything people say too seriously, but who does take me seriously. I find it difficult to describe what I mean, but the word’ ‘mom” says it all. Do you know what I’ve come up with? In order to give me the feeling of calling my mother something that sounds like “Mom,” I often call her” Momsy.” Sometimes I shorten it to “Moms”; an imperfect “Mom.” I wish I could honor her by removing the “s.” It’s a good thing she doesn’t realize this, since it would only make her unhappy.
Well, that’s enough of that. My writing has raised me somewhat from “the depths of despair.”
It’s the day after Christmas, and I can’t help thinking about Pim and the story he told me this time last year. I didn’t understand the meaning of his words then as well as I do now. If only he’d bring it up again, I might be able to show him I understood what he meant!
I think Pim told me because he, who knows the “intimate secrets” of so many others, needed to express his own feelings for once; Pim never talks about himself, and I don’t think Margot has any inkling of what he’s been through. Poor Pim, he can’t fool me into thinking he’s forgotten that girl. He never will. It’s made him very accommodating, since he’s not blind to Mother’s faults. I hope I’m going to be a little like him, without having to go through what he has!
MONDAY, DECEMBER 27, 1943
Friday evening, for the first time in my life, I received a Christmas present. Mr. Kleiman, Mr. Kugler and the girls had prepared a wonderful surprise for us. Miep made a delicious Christmas cake with “Peace 1944” written on top, and Bep provided a batch of cookies that was up to prewar standards.
There was a jar of yogurt for Peter, Margot and me, and a bottle of beer for each of the adults. And once again everything was wrapped so nicely, with pretty pictures glued to the packages. For the rest, the holidays passed by quickly for us.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 29, 1943
I was very sad again last night. Grandma and Hanneli came to me once more. Grandma, oh, my sweet Grandma. How little we understood what she suffered, how kind she always was and what an interest she took in everything that concerned us. And to think that all that time she was carefully guarding her terrible secret. * [*Anne’s grandmother was terminally ill.]
Grandma was always so loyal and good. She would never have let any of us down. Whatever happened, no matter how much I misbehaved, Grandma always stuck up for me. Grandma, did you love me, or did you not understand me either? I don’t know. How lonely Grandma must have been, in spite of us. You can be lonely even when you’re loved by many people, since you’re still not bd’“dI” any 0 y s one an only.
And Hanneli? Is she still alive? What’s she doing? Dear God, watch over her and bring her back to us. Hanneli, you’re a reminder of what my fate might have been. I keep seeing myself in your place. So why am I often miserable about what goes on here? Shouldn’t I be happy, contented and glad, except when I’m thinking of Hanneli and those suffering along with her? I’m selfish and cowardly. Why do I always think and dream the most awful things and want to scream in terror? Because, in spite of everything, I still don’t have enough faith in God. He’s given me so much, which I don’t deserve, and yet each day I make so many mistakes!
Thinking about the suffering of those you hold dear can reduce you to tears; in fact, you could spend the whole day crying. The most you can do is pray for God to perform a miracle and save at least some of them. And I hope I’m doing enough of that!
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