جمعه 19 مارس 1943کتاب: آن فرانک: خاطرات یک دختر جوان / فصل 23
جمعه 19 مارس 1943
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متن انگلیسی فصل
FRIDAY, MARCH 19, 1943
In less than an hour, joy was followed by disappoint ment. Turkey hasn’t entered the war yet. It was only a cabinet minister talking about Turkey giving up its neu trality sometime soon. The newspaper vendor in Dam Square was shouting “Turkey on England’s side!” and the papers were being snatched out of his hands. This was how we’d heard the encouraging rumor.
Thousand-guilder notes are being declared invalid. That’ll be a blow to the black marketeers and others like them, but even more to pe Ie in hiding and anyone else with money that can’t be accounted for. To turn in a thousand-guilder bill, you have to be able to state how you came by it and provide proof. They can still be used to pay taxes, but only until next week. The five-hundred notes will lapse at the same time. Gies & Co. still had some unaccounted-for thousand-guilder bills, which they used to pay their estimated taxes for the coming years, so everything seems to be aboveboard. Dussel has received an old-fashioned, foot-operated dentist’s drill. That means I’ll probably be getting a thorough checkup soon.
Dussel is terribly lax when it comes to obeying the rules of the house. Not only does he write letters to his Charlotte, he’s also carrying on a chatty correspondence with various other people. Margot, the Annex’s Dutch teacher, has been correcting these letters for him. Father has forbidden him to keep up the practice and Margot has stopped correcting the letters, but I think it won’t be long before he starts up again.
The Fuhrer has been talking to wounded soldiers. We listened on the radio, and it was pathetic. The questions and answers went something like this: “My name is Heinrich Scheppel.”
“Where were you wounded?”
“What kind of wound is it?”
“Two frostbitten feet and a fracture of the left arm.”
This is an exact report of the hideous puppet show aired on the radio. The wounded seemed proud of their wounds-the more the better. One was so beside himself at the thought of shaking hands (I presume he still had one) with the Fuhrer that he could barely say a word.
I happened to drop Dussel’s soap on the floor and step on it. Now there’s a whole piece missing. I’ve already asked Father to compensate him for the damages, especially since Dussel only gets one bar of inferior wartime soap a month.
THURSDAY, MARCH 25, 1943
Mother, Father, Margot and I were sitting quite pleasantly together last night when Peter suddenly came in and whispered in Father’s ear. I caught the words “a barrel falling over in the warehouse” and “someone fiddling with the door.” Margot heard it too, but was trying to calm me down, since I’d turned white as chalk and was extremely nervous. The three of us waited while Father and Peter went downstairs. A minute or two later Mrs. van Daan came up from where she’d been listening to the radio and told us that Pim had asked her to turn it off and tiptoe upstairs. But you know what happens when you’re trying to be quiet-the old stairs creaked twice as loud. Five minutes later Peter and Pim, the color drained from their faces, appeared again to relate their experiences. They had positioned themselves under the staircase and waited. Nothing happened. Then all of a sudden they heard a couple of bangs, as if two doors had been slammed shut inside the house. Pim bounded up the stairs, while Peter went to warn Dussel, who finally pre sented himself upstairs, though not without kicking up a fuss and making a lot of noise. Then we all tiptoed in our stockinged feet to the van Daans on the next floor. Mr. van D. had a bad cold and had already gone to bed, so we gathered around his bedside and discussed our suspicions in a whisper. Every time Mr. van D. coughed loudly, Mrs. van D. and I nearly had a nervous fit. He kept coughing until someone came up with the bright idea of giving him codeine. His cough subsided immediately. Once again we waited and waited, but heard nothing. Finally we came to the conclusion that the burglars had taken to their heels when they heard footsteps in an otherwise quiet building. The problem now was that the chairs in the private office were neatly grouped around the radio, which was tuned to England. If the burglars had forced the door and the air-raid wardens were to notice it and call the police, there could be very serious repercus sions. So Mr. van Daan got up, pulled on his coat and pants, put on his hat and cautiously followed Father down the stairs, with Peter (armed with a heavy hammer, to be on the safe side) right behind him. The ladies (including Margot and me) waited in suspense until the men returned five minutes later and reported that there was no sign of any activity in the building. We agreed not to run any water or flush the toilet; but since everyone’s stomach was churning from all the tension, you can imagine the stench after we’d each had a turn in the bathroom.
Incidents like these are always accompanied by other disasters, and this was no exception. Number one: the Westertoren bells stopped chiming, and I’d always found them so comforting. Number two: Mr. Voskuijlleft early last night, and we weren’t sure if he’d given Bep the key and she’d forgotten to lock the door. But that was of little importance now. The night had just begun, and we still weren’t sure what to expect. We were somewhat reassured by the fact that between eight-fifteen-when the burglar had first entered the building and put our lives in jeopardy, and ten-thirty, we hadn’t heard a sound. The more we thought about it, the less likely it seemed that a burglar would have forced a door so early in the evening, when there were still people out on the streets. Besides that, it occurred to us that the warehouse manager at the Keg Company next door might still have been at work. What with the excitement and the thin walls, it’s easy to mistake the sounds. Besides, your imagination often plays tricks on you in moments of danger.
So we went to bed, though not to sleep. Father and Mother and Mr. Dussel were awake most of the night, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that I hardly got a wink of sleep. This morning the men went downstairs to see if the outside door was still locked, but all was well!
Of course, we gave the entire office staff a blow-by-blow account of the incident, which had been far from pleasant. It’s much easier to laugh at these kinds of things after they’ve happened, and Bep was the only one who took us seriously.
PS. This morning the toilet was clogged, and Father had to stick in a long wooden pole and fish out several pounds of excrement and strawberry recipes (which is what we use for toilet paper these days). Afterward we burned the pole.
SATURDAY, MARCH 27, 1943
We’ve finished our shorthand course and are now working on improving our speed. Aren’t we smart! Let me tell you more about my “time killers” (this is what I call my courses, because all we ever do is try to make the days go by as quickly as possible so we are that much closer to the end of our time here). I adore mythology, espe cially the Greek and Roman gods. Everyone here thinks my interest is just a passing fancy, since they’ve never heard of a teenager with an appreciation of mythology. Well then, I guess I’m the first!
Mr. van Daan has a cold. Or rather, he has a scratchy throat, but he’s making an enormous to-do over it. He gargles with camomile tea, coats the roof of his mouth with a tincture of myrrh and rubs Mentholatum over his chest, nose, gums and tongue. And to top it off, he’s in a foul mood!
Rauter, some German bigwig, recently gave a speech. “All Jews must be out of the German-occupied territories before July 1. The province of Utrecht will be cleansed of Jews [as if they were cockroaches] between April 1 and May 1, and the provinces of North and South Holland between May 1 and June 1.” These poor people are being shipped off to filthiy slaughterhouses like a herd of sick and neglected cattle. But I’ll say no more on the subject. My own thoughts give me nightmares!
One good piece of news is that the Labor Exchange was set on fire in an act of sabotage. A few days later the County Clerk’s Office also went up in flames. Men posing as German police bound and gagged the guards and managed to destroy some important documents.
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