جمعه بیست و سوم جولای 1943کتاب: آن فرانک: خاطرات یک دختر جوان / فصل 28
جمعه بیست و سوم جولای 1943
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FRIDAY, JULY 23, 1943
Bep is currently able to get hold of notebooks, especially journals and ledgers, useful for my bookkeeping sister! Other kinds are for sale as well, but don’t ask what they’re like or how long they’ll last. At the moment \ they’re all labeled “No Coupons Needed!” Like everything else you can purchase without ration stamps, they’re i totally worthless. They consist of twelve sheets of gray I paper with narrow lines that slant across the page.
Margot is thinking about taking a course in calligraphy; I’ve advised her to go ahead and do it. Mother won’t let me because of my eyes, but I think that’s silly. Whether I do I that or something else, it all comes down to the same I thing. Since you’ve never been through a war, Kitty, and since you know very little about life in hiding, in spite of my letters, let me tell you, just for fun, what we each want to do first when we’re able to go outside again.
Margot and Mr. van Daan wish, above all else, to have a hot bath, filled to the brim, which they can lie in for more than half an hour. Mrs. van Daan would like a cake, Dussel can think of nothing but seeing his Charlotte, and Mother is dying for a cup of real coffee. Father would like to visit Mr. Voskuijl, Peter would go downtown, and as for me, I’d be so overjoyed I wouldn’t know where to begin.
Most of all I long to have a home of our own, to be able to move around freely and have someone help me with my homework again, at last. In other words, to go back to school!
Bep has offered to get us some fruit, at so-called bargain prices: grapes 2.50 guilders a pound, gooseberries 70 cents a pound, one peach 50 cents, melons 75 cents a pound. No wonder the papers write every evening in big, fat letters: “Keep Prices Down!”
MONDAY, JULY 26, 1943
Yesterday was a very tumultuous day, and we’re still all wound up. Actually, you may wonder if there’s ever a day that passes without some kind of excitement.
The first warning siren went off in the morning while we were at breakfast, but we paid no attention, because it only meant that the planes were crossing the coast. I had a terrible headache, so I lay down for an hour after breakfast and then went to the office at around two.
At two-thirty Margot had finished her office work and was just gathering her things together when the sirens began wailing again. So she and I trooped back upstairs. None too soon, it seems, for less than five minutes later the guns were booming so loudly that we went and stood in the hall. The house shook and the bombs kept falling. I was clutching my “escape bag,” more because I wanted to have something to hold on to than because I wanted to run away. I know we can’t leave here, but if we had to, being seen on the streets would be just as dangerous as getting caught in an air raid.
After half an hour the drone of engines faded and the house began to hum with activity again. Peter emerged from his lookout post in the front attic, Dussel remained in the front office, Mrs. van D. felt safest in the private office, Mr. van Daan had been watching from the loft, and those of us on the landing spread out to watch the columns of smoke rising from the harbor. Before long the smell of fire was everywhere, and outside it looked as if the city were enveloped in a thick fog.
A big fire like that is not a pleasant sight, but fortunately for us it was all over, and we went baCk to our various chores. Just as we were starting dinner: another air-raid alarm. The food was good, but I lost my appetite the moment I heard the siren. Nothing happened, however, and forty-five minutes later the all clear was sounded.
After the dishes had been washed: another air-raid warning, gunfire and swarms of planes. “Oh, gosh, twice in one day,” we thought, “that’s twice in one day,” we thought, “that’s twice too many.” Little good that did us, because once agai the bombs rained down, this time on the others of the city. According to British reports, Schiphol Airport was bombed. The planes dived and climbed, the air was abuzz with the drone of engines. It was very scary, and the whole time I kept thinking, “Here it comes, this is it.”
I can assure you that when I went to bed at nine, my legs were still shaking. At the stroke of midnight I woke up again: more planes! Dussel was undressing, but I took no notice and leapt up, wide awake, at the sound of the first shot. I stayed in Father’s bed until one, in my own bed until one-thirty, and was back in Father’s bed at two. But the planes kept on coming. At last they stopped firing and I was able to go back “home” again. I finally fell asleep at half past two.
Seven o’clock. I awoke with a start and sat up in bed. Mr. van Daan was with Father. My first thought was: burglars. “Everything,” I heard Mr. van Daan say, and I thought everything had been stolen. But no, this time it was wonderful news, the best we’ve had in months, maybe even since the war began.
Mussolini has resigned and the King of Italy has taken over the government. We jumped for joy. After the awful events of yesterday, finally something good happens and brings us. . . hope! Hope for an end to the war, hope for peace. Mr. Kugler dropped by and told us that the Fokker aircraft factory had been hit hard. Meanwhile, there was another air-raid alarm this morning, with planes flying over, and another warning siren.
I’ve had it up to here with alarms. I’ve hardly slept, and the last thing I want to do is work. But now the suspense about Italy and the hope that the war will be over by the end of the year are keeping us awake. .
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