شنبه بیست و هفتم نوامبر 1943

کتاب: آن فرانک: خاطرات یک دختر جوان / فصل 38

آن فرانک: خاطرات یک دختر جوان

86 فصل

شنبه بیست و هفتم نوامبر 1943

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Dearest Kitty,

Last night, just as I was falling asleep, Hanneli suddenly appeared before me. I saw her there, dressed in rags, her face thin and worn. She looked at me with such sadness and reproach in her enormous eyes that I could read the message in them: “Oh, Anne, why have you deserted me? Help me, help me, rescue me from this hell!”

And I can’t help her. I can only stand by and watch while other people suffer and die. All I can do is pray to God to bring her back to us. I saw Hanneli, and no one else, and I understood why. I misjudged her, wasn’t mature enough to understand how difficult it was for her. She was devoted to her girlfriend, and it must have seemed as though I were trying to take her away. The poor thing, she must have felt awful! I know, because I recognize the feeling in myself! I had an occasional flash of understanding, but then got selfishly wrapped up again in my own problems and pleasures.

It was mean of me to treat her that way, and now she was looking at me, oh so helplessly, with her pale face and beseeching eyes. If only I could help her! Dear God, I have everything I could wish for, while fate has her in its deadly clutches. She was as devout as I am, maybe even more so, and she too wanted to do what was right. But then why have I been chosen to live, while she’s probably going to die? What’s the difference between us? Why are we now so far apart?

To be honest, I hadn’t thought of her for months-no, for at least a year. I hadn’t forgotten her entirely, and yet it wasn’t until I saw her before me that I thought of all her suffering.

Oh, Hanneli, I hope that if you live to the end of the war and return to us, I’ll be able to take you in and make up for the wrong I’ve done you. But even if I were ever in a position to help, she wouldn’t need it more than she does now. I wonder if she ever thinks of me, and what she’s feeling? Merciful God, comfort her, so that at least she won’t be alone. Oh, if only You could tell her I’m thinking of her with compassion and love, it might help her go on.

I’ve got to stop dwelling on this. It won’t get me anywhere. I keep seeing her enormous eyes, and they haunt me. Does Hanneli really and truly believe in God, or has religion merely been foisted upon her? I don’t even know that. I never took the trouble to ask.

Hanneli, Hanneli, if only I could take you away, if only I could share everything I have with you. It’s too late. I can’t help, or undo the wrong I’ve done. But I’ll never forget her again and I’ll always pray for her!

Yours, Anne


Dearest Kitty,

The closer it got to St. Nicholas Day, the more we all thought back to last year’s festively decorated basket.

More than anyone, I thought it would be terrible to skip a celebration this year. After long deliberation, I finally came up with an idea, something funny. I consulted rim, and a week ago we set to work writing a verse for each person. Sunday evening at a quarter to eight we trooped upstairs carrying the big laundry basket, which had been decorated with cutouts and bows made of pink and blue carbon paper. On top was a large piece of brown wrapping paper with a note attached. Everyone was rather amazed at the sheer size of the gift. I removed the note and read it aloud: “Once again St. Nicholas Day

Has even come to our hideaway;

It won’t be quite as Jun, I fear,

As the happy day we had last year.

Then we were hopeful, no reason to doubt

That optimism would win the bout,

And by the time this year came round,

We’d all be free, and s* and sound.

Still, let’s not Jorget it’s St. Nicholas Day,

Though we’ve nothing left to give away.

We’ll have to find something else to do:

So everyone please look in their shoe!”

As each person took their own shoe out of the basket, there was a roar of laughter. Inside each shoe was a little wrapped package addressed to its owner. Yours, Anne Dearest Kitty,

A bad case of flu has prevented me from writing to you until today. Being sick here is dreadful. With every cough, I had to duck under the blanket-once, twice, three times-and try to keep from coughing anymore.

Most of the time the tickle refused to go away, so I had to drink milk with honey, sugar or cough drops. I get dizzy just thinking about all the cures I’ve been subjected to: sweating out the fever, steam treatment, wet compresses, dry compresses, hot drinks, swabbing my throat, lying still, heating pad, hot-water bottles, lemonade and, every two hours, the thermometer. Will these remedies really make you better? The worst part was when Mr. Dussel decided to play doctor and lay his pomaded head on my bare chest to listen to the sounds. Not only did his hair tickle, but I was embarrassed, even though he went to school thirty years ago and does have some kind of medical degree. Why should he lay his head on my heart? After all, he’s not my boyfriend! For that matter, he wouldn’t be able to tell a healthy sound from an unhealthy one.

He’d have to have his ears cleaned first, since he’s becoming alarmingly hard of hearing. But enough about my illness. I’m fit as a fiddle again. I’ve grown almost half an inch and gained two pounds. I’m pale, but itching to get back to my books.

Ausnahmsweise* (the only word that will do here [* By way of exception]), we’re all getting on well together. No squabbles, though that probably won’t last long. There hasn’t been such peace and quiet in this house for at least six months.

Bep is still in isolation, but any day now her sister will no longer be contagious.

For Christmas, we’re getting extra cooking oil, candy and molasses. For Hanukkah, Mr. Dussel gave Mrs. van Daan and Mother a beautiful cake, which he’d asked Miep to bake. On top of all the work she has to do! Margot and I received a brooch made out of a penny, all bright and shiny. I can’t really describe it, but it’s lovely.

I also have a Christmas present for Miep and Bep. For a whole month I’ve saved up the sugar I put on my hot cereal, and Mr. Kleiman has used it to have fondant made.

The weather is drizzly and overcast, the stove stinks, and the food lies heavily on our stomachs, producing a variety of rumbles.

The war is at an impasse, spirits are low.

Yours, Anne

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