دوشنبه هشتم می 1944

کتاب: آن فرانک: خاطرات یک دختر جوان / فصل 73

آن فرانک: خاطرات یک دختر جوان

86 فصل

دوشنبه هشتم می 1944

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متن انگلیسی فصل

MONDAY, MAY 8, 1944

Dearest Kitty,

Have I ever told you anything about our family? I don’t think I have, so let me begin. Father was born in Frankfurt am Main to very wealthy parents: Michael Frank owned a bank and became a millionaire, and Alice Stern’s parents were prominent and well-to-do. Michael Frank didn’t start out rich; he was a self-made man. In his youth Father led the life of a rich man’s son. Parties every week, balls, banquets, beautiful girls, waltzing, dinners, a huge house, etc. After Grandpa died, most of the money was lost, and after the Great War and inflation there was nothing left at all. Up until the war there were still quite a few rich relatives. So Father was extremely well-bred, and he had to laugh yesterday because for the first time in his fifty-five years, he scraped out the frying pan at the table.

Mother’s family wasn’t as wealthy, but still fairly well-off, and we’ve listened openmouthed to stories of private balls, dinners and engagement parties with 250 guests.

We’re far from rich now, but I’ve pinned all my hopes on after the war. I can assure you, I’m not so set on a bourgeois life as Mother and Margot. I’d like to spend a year in Paris and London learning the languages and studying art history. Compare that with Margot, who wants to nurse newborns in Palestine. I still have visions of gorgeous dresses and fascinating people. As I’ve told you many times before, I want to see the world and do all kinds of exciting things, and a little money won’t hurt!

This morning Miep told us about her cousin’s engagement party, which she went to on Saturday. The cousin’s parents are rich, and the groom’s are even richer. Miep made our mouths water telling us about the food that was served: vegetable soup with meatballs, cheese, rolls with sliced meat, hors d’oeuvres made with eggs and roast beef, rolls with cheese, genoise, wine and cigarettes, and you could eat as much as you wanted.

Miep drank ten schnapps and smoked three cigarettes-could this be our temperance advocate? If Miep drank all those, I wonder how many her spouse managed to toss down? Everyone at the party was a little tipsy, of course. There were also two officers from the Homicide Squad, who took photographs of the wedding couple. You can see we’re never far from Miep’s thoughts, since she promptly noted their names and addresses in case anything should happen and we needed contacts with good Dutch people.

Our mouths were watering so much. We, who’d had nothing but two spoonfuls of hot cereal for breakfast and were absolutely famished; we, who get nothing but half-cooked spinach (for the vitamins!) and rotten pota- toes day after day; we, who fill our empty stomachs with nothing but boiled lettuce, raw lettuce, spinach, spinach and more spinach. Maybe we’ll end up being as strong as Popeye, though up to now I’ve seen no sign of it!

If Miep had taken us along to the party, there wouldn’t have been any rolls left over for the other guests. If we’d been there, we’d have snatched up everything in sight, including the furniture. I tell you, we were practically pulling the words right out of her mouth. We were gathered around her as if we’d never in all our lives heard of” delicious food or elegant people! And these are the granddaughters of the distinguished millionaire. The world is a crazy place!

Yours, Anne M. Frank

TUESDAY, MAY 9, 1944

Dearest Kitty,

I’ve finished my story about Ellen, the fairy. I’ve copied it out on nice notepaper, decorated it with red ink and sewn the pages together. The whole thing looks quite pretty, but I don’t know if it’s enough of a birthday present. Margot and Mother have both written poems.

Mr. Kugler came upstairs this afternoon with the news that starting Monday, Mrs. Broks would like to spend two hours in the office every afternoon. Just imagine! The office staff won’t be able to come upstairs, the potatoes can’t be delivered, Bep won’t get her dinner, we can’t go to the bathroom, we won’t be able to move and all sorts of other inconveniences! We proposed a variety of ways to get rid of her. Mr. van Daan thought a good laxative in her coffee might do the trick. “No,” Mr. Kleiman answered, “please don’t, or we’ll never get her off the can.

A roar of laughter. “The can?” Mrs. van D. asked. “What does that mean?” An explanation was given. “Is it all right to use that word?” she asked in perfect innocence. “Just imagine,” Bep giggled, “there you are shopping at The Bijenkorf and you ask the way to the can. They wouldn’t even know what you were talking about!”

Dussel now sits on the “can,” to borrow the expression, every day at twelve-thirty on the dot. This afternoon I boldly took a piece of pink paper and wrote:

Mr. Dussel’s Toilet Timetable

Mornings from 7: 15 to 7:30 A.M.

Afternoons after 1 P.M.

Otherwise, only as needed!

I tacked this to the green bathroom door while he was still inside. I might well have added’ ‘Transgressors will be subject to confinement!” Because our bathroom can be locked from both the inside and the outside.

Mr. van Daan’s latest joke:

After a Bible lesson about Adam and Eve, a thirteen-year-old boy asked his father, “Tell me, Father, how did I get born?”

“Well,” the father replied, “the stork plucked you out of the ocean, set you down in Mother’s bed and bit her in the leg, hard. It bled so much she had to stay in bed for a week.”

Not fully satisfied, the boy went to his mother. “Tell me, Mother,” he asked, “how did you get born and how did I get born?”

His mother told him the very same story. Finally, hoping to hear the fine points, he went to his grandfather. “Tell me, Grandfather,” he said, “how did you get born and how did your daughter get born?” And for the third time he was told exactly the same story.

That night he wrote in his diary: “After careful inquiry, I must conclude that there has been no sexual intercourse in our family for the last three generations!”

I still have work to do; it’s already three o’clock.

Yours, Anne M. Frank

PS. Since I think I’ve mentioned the new cleaning lady, I just want to note that she’s married, sixty years old and hard of hearing! Very convenient, in view of all the noise that eight people in hiding are capable of making.

Oh, Kit, it’s such lovely weather. If only I could go outside!

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