دوشنبه بیست و هفتم مارس 1944

دوره: آن فرانک: خاطرات یک دختر جوان / درس 62

آن فرانک: خاطرات یک دختر جوان

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دوشنبه بیست و هفتم مارس 1944

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متن انگلیسی درس

MONDAY, MARCH 27, 1944

Dearest Kitty,

At least one long chapter on our life in hiding should be about politics, but I’ve been avoiding the subject, since it interests me so little. Today, however, I’ll devote an entire letter to politics.

Of course, there are many different opinions on this topic, and it’s not surprising to hear it frequently discussed in times of war, but. . . arguing so much about politics is just plain stupid! Let them laugh, swear, make bets, grumble and do whatever they want as long as they stew in their own juice. But don’t let them argue, since that only makes things worse. The people who come from outside bring us a lot of news that later proves to be untrue; however, up to now our radio has never lied. Jan, Miep, Mr. Kleiman, Bep and Mr. Kugler go up and down in their political moods, though Jan least of all.

Here in the Annex the mood never varies. The end- less debates over the invasion, air raids, speeches, etc., etc., are accompanied by countless exclamations such as “Eempossible!, Urn Gottes Willen* [* Oh, for heaven’s sake]. If they’re just getting started now, how long is it going to last!, It’s going splendidly, But, great!”

Optimists and pessimists-not to mention the realists-air their opinions with unflagging energy, and as with everything else, they’re all certain that they have a monopoly on the truth. It annoys a certain lady that her spouse has such supreme faith in the British, and a certain husband attacks his wife because of her teasing and dispar- aging remarks about his beloved nation!

And so it goes from early in the morning to late at night; the funny part is that they never get tired of it. I’ve discovered a trick, and the effect is overwhelming, just like pricking someone with a pin and watching them jump. Here’s how it works: I start talking about politics.

All it takes is a single question, a word or a sentence, and before you know it, the entire family is involved!

As if the German “Wehrmacht News” and the English BBC weren’t enough, they’ve now added special air-raid announcements. In a word, splendid. But the other side of the coin is that the British Air Force is operating around the clock. Not unlike the German propaganda machine, which is cranking out lies twenty-four hours a day!

So the radio is switched on every morning at eight (if not earlier) and is listened to every hour until nine, ten or even eleven at night. This is the best evidence yet that the adults have infinite patience, but also that their brains have turned to mush (some of them, I mean, since I wouldn’t want to insult anyone). One broadcast, two at the most, should be enough to last the entire day. But no, those old nincompoops. . . never mind, I’ve already said it all! “Music While You Work,” the Dutch broadcast from England, Frank Phillips or Queen Wilhelmina, they each get a turn and fInd a willing listener. If the adults aren’t eating or sleeping, they’re clustered around the radio talking about eating, sleeping and politics. Whew! It’s getting to be a bore, and it’s all I can do to keep from turning into a dreary old crone myself! Though with all the old folks around me, that might not be such a bad idea!

Here’s a shining example, a speech made by our beloved Winston Churchill. Nine o’clock, Sunday evening. The teapot, under its cozy, is on the table, and the guests enter the room.

Dussel sits to the left of the radio, Mr. van D. in front of it and Peter to the side. Mother is next to Mr. van D., willi Mrs. van D. behind them. Margot and I are sitting in the last row and Pim at the table. I realize this isn’t a very clear description of our seating arrangements, but it doesn’t matter. The men smoke, Peter’s eyes close from the strain of listening, Mama is dressed in her long, dark negligee, Mrs. van D. is trembling because of the planes, which take no notice of the speech but fly blithely on toward Essen, Father is slurping his tea, and Margot and I are united in a sisterly way by the sleeping Mouschi, who has taken possession of both our knees. Margot’s hair is in curlers and my nightgown is too small, too tight and too short. It all looks so intimate, cozy and peaceful, and for once it really is. Yet I await the end of the speech willi dread. They’re impatient, straining at the leash to start another argument! Pst, pst, like a cat luring a mouse from its hole, they goad each other into quarrels and dissent.

Yours, Anne

TUESDAY, MARCH 28, 1944

My dearest Kitty,

As much as I’d like to write more on politics, I have lots of other news to report today. First, Mother has virtually forbidden me to go up to Peter’s, since, according to her, Mrs. van Daan is jealous. Second, Peter’s invited Margot to join us upstairs. Whether he really means it or is just saying it out of politeness, I don’t know. Third, I asked Father if he thought I should take any notice of Mrs. van Daan’s jealousy and he said I didn’t have to. What should I do now? Mother’s angry, doesn’t want me going upstairs, wants me to go back to doing my homework in the room I share willi Dussel. She may be jealous herself. Father doesn’t begrudge us those few hours and thinks it’s nice we get along so well. Margot likes Peter too, but feels that three people can’t talk about the same things as two.

Furthermore, Mother thinks Peter’s in love with me. To tell you the truth, I wish he were. Then we’d be even, and it’d be a lot easier to get to know each other. She also claims he’s always looking at me. Well, I suppose we do give each other the occasional wink. But I can’t help it if he keeps admiring my dimples, can I?

I’m in a very difficult position. Mother’s against me and I’m against her. Father turns a blind eye to the silent struggle between Mother and me. Mother is sad, because she still loves me, but I’m not at all unhappy, because she no longer means anything to me.

As for Peter. . . I don’t want to give him up. He’s so sweet and I admire him so much. He and I could have a really beautiful relationship, so why are the old folks poking their noses into our business again? Fortu- nately, I’m used to hiding my feelings, so I manage not to show how crazy I am about him. Is he ever going to say anything? Am I ever going to feel his cheek against mine, the way I felt Petel’s cheek in my dream? Oh, Peter and Petel, you’re one and the same! They don’t understand us; they’d never understand that we’re content just to sit beside each other and not say a word. They have no idea of what draws us together! Oh, when will we overcome all these difficulties? And yet it’s good that we have to surmount them, since it makes the end that much more beautiful. When he lays his head on his arms and closes his eyes, he’s still a child; when he plays with Mouschi or talks about her, he’s loving; when he carries the potatoes or other heavy loads, he’s strong; when he goes to watch the gunfire or walks through the dark house to look for burglars, he’s brave; and when he’s so awkward and clumsy, he’s hopelessly endearing. It’s much nicer when he explains something to me than when I have to teach him. I wish he were superior to me in nearly every way! What do we care about our two mothers? Oh, if only he’d say something. Father always says I’m conceited, but I’m not, I’m merely vain! I haven’t had many people tell me I was pretty, except for a boy at school who said I looked so cute when I smiled. Yesterday Peter paid me a true com- pliment, and just for fun I’ll give you a rough idea of our conversation.

Peter often says, “Smile!” I thought it was strange, so yesterday I asked him, “Why do you always want me to smile?”

“Because you get dimples in your cheeks. How do you do that?”

“I was born with them. There’s also one in my chin. It’s the only mark of beauty I possess.”

“No, no, that’s not true!”

“Yes it is. I know I’m not beautiful. I never have been and I never will be!” “I don’t agree. I think you’re pretty.”

“I am not.”

“I say you are, and you’ll have to take my word for it.” So of course I then said the same about him.

Yours, Anne M. Frank

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