یکشنبه سیزدهم ژوئن 1943

کتاب: آن فرانک: خاطرات یک دختر جوان / فصل 26

آن فرانک: خاطرات یک دختر جوان

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یکشنبه سیزدهم ژوئن 1943

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SUNDAY, JUNE 13, 1943

Dearest Kitty,

The poem Father composed for my birthday is too nice to keep to myself. Since Pim writes his verses only in German, Margot volunteered to translate it into Dutch. See for yourself whether Margot hasn’t done herself proud. It begins with the usual summary of the year’s events and then continues: As youngest among us, but small no more, Your life can be trying, for we have the chore

Of becoming your teachers, a terrible bore.

“We’ve got experience! Take it from me!”

“We’ve done this all before, you see.

We know the ropes, we know the same.”

Since time immemorial, always the same.

One’s own shortcomings are nothing but fluff,

But everyone else’s are heavier stuff:

Faultfinding comes easy when this is our plight,

But it’s hard for your parents, try as they might,

To treat you with fairness, and kindness as well;

Nitpicking’s a habit that’s hard to dispel.

Men you’re living with old folks, all you can do

Is put up with their nagging-it’s hard but it’s true.

The pill may be bitter, but down it must go,

For it’s meant to keep the peace, you know.

The many months here have not been in vain,

Since wasting time noes against your Brain.

You read and study nearly all the day,

Determined to chase the boredom away.

The more difficult question, much harder to bear,

Is “What on earth do I have to wear?

I’ve got no more panties, my clothes are too tight,

My shirt is a loincloth, I’m really a siaht!

To put on my shoes I must off my toes,

Dh dear, I’m plagued with so many woes!”

Margot had trouble getting the part about food to rhyme, so I’m leaving it out. But aside from that, don’t you think it’s a good poem?

For the rest, I’ve been thoroughly spoiled and have received a number of lovely presents, including a big book on my favorite subject, Greek and Roman mythology. Nor can I complain about the lack of candy; everyone had dipped into their last reserves. As the Benjamin of the Annex, I got more than I deserve.

Yours, Anne

TUESDAY, JUNE 15, 1943

Dearest Kitty,

Heaps of things have happened, but I often think I’m boring you with my dreary chitchat and that you’d just as soon have fewer letters. So I’ll keep the news brief.

Mr. Voskuijl wasn’t operated on for his ulcer after all. Once the doctors had him on the operating table and opened him up, they saw that he had cancer. It was in such an advanced stage that an operation was pointless. So they stitched him up again, kept him in the hospital for three weeks, fed him well and sent him back home. But they made an unforgivable error: they told the poor man exactly what was in store for him. He can’t work anymore, and he’s just sitting at home, surrounded by his eight children, brooding about his approaching death. I feel very sorry for him and hate not being able to go out; otherwise, I’d visit him as often as I could and help take his mind off matters. Now the good man can no longer let us know what’s being said and done in the warehouse, which is a disaster for us. Mr. Voskuijl was our greatest source of help and suppor when it came to safety measures. We miss him very much.

Next month it’s our turn to hand over our radio to the authorities. Mr. Kleiman has a small set hidden in his home that he’s giving us to replace our beautiful cabinet radio. It’s a pity we have to turn in our big Philips, but when you’re in hiding, you can’t afford to bring the authorities down on your heads. Of course, we’ll put the “baby” radio upstairs. What’s a clandestine radio when there are already clandestine Jews and clandestine money?

All over the country people are trying to get hold of an old radio that they can hand over instead of their “morale booster.” It’s true: as the reports from outside grow worse and worse, the radio, with its wondrous voice, helps us not to lose heart and to keep telling ourselves, “Cheer up, keep your spirits high, things are bound to get better!”

Yours, Anne

SUNDAY, JULY 11, 1943

Dear Kitty,

To get back to the subject of child-rearing (for the umpteenth time), let me tell you that I’m doing my best to be helpful, friendly and kind and to do all I can to keep the rain of rebukes down to a light drizzle. It’s not easy trying to behave like a model child with people you can’t stand, especially when you don’t mean a word of it. But I can see that a little hypocrisy gets me a lot further than myoid method of saying exactly what I think (even though no one ever asks my opinion or cares one way or another). Of course, I often forget my role and find it impossible to curb my anger when they’re unfair, so that they spend the next month saying the most impertinent girl in the world. Don’t you think I’m to be pitied sometimes? It’s a good thing I’m not the grouchy type, because then I might become sour and bad-tempered. I can usually see the humorous side of their scoldings, but it’s easier when somebody else is being raked over the coals.

Further, I’ve decided (after a great deal of thought) to drop the shorthand. First, so that I have more time for my other subjects, and second, because of my eyes. That’s a sad story. I’ve become very nearsighted and should have had glasses ages ago. (Ugh, won’t I look like a dope!). But as you know, people in hiding can’t. . .

Yesterday all anyone here could talk about was Anne’s eyes, because Mother had suggested I go to the ophthalmologist with Mrs. Kleiman. Just hearing this made my knees weak, since it’s no small matter. Going outside! Just think of it, walking down the street! I can’t imagine it. I was petrified at first, and then glad. But it’s not as simple as all that; the various authorities who had to approve such a step were unable to reach a quick decision. They first had to carefully weigh all the difficulties and risks, though Miep was ready to set off immediately with me in tow. In the meantime, I’d taken my gray coat from the closet, but it was so small it looked as if it might have belonged to my little sister. We lowered the hem, but I still couldn’t button it. I’m really curious to see what they decide, only I don’t think they’ll ever work out a plan, because the British have landed in Sicily and Father’s all set for a “quick finish.”

Bep’s been giving Margot and me a lot of office work to do. It makes us both feel important, and it’s a big help to her. Anyone can file letters and make entries in a sales book, but we do it with remarkable accuracy.

Miep has so much to carry she looks like a pack mule. She goes forth nearly every day to scrounge up vegetables, and then bicycles back with her purchases in large shopping bags. She’s also the one who brings five library books with her every Saturday. We long for Saturdays because that means books. We’re like a bunch of little kids with a present. Ordinary people don’t know how much books can mean to someone who’s cooped up.

Our only diversions are reading, studying and listening to the radio.

Yours, Anne

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