پنجشنبه سوم فوریه 1944کتاب: آن فرانک: خاطرات یک دختر جوان / فصل 46
پنجشنبه سوم فوریه 1944
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متن انگلیسی فصل
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 1944
Invasion fever is mounting daily throughout the country. If you were here, I’m sure you’d be as impressed as I am at the many preparations, though you’d no doubt laugh at all the fuss we’re making. Who knows, it may all be for nothing! The papers are full of invasion news and are driving everyone insane with such statements as: “In the event of a British landing in Holland, the Germans will do what they can to defend the country, even flooding it, if necessary.” They’ve published maps of Holland with the potential flood areas marked. Since large portions of Amsterdam were shaded in, our first question was what we should do if the water in the streets rose to above our waists. This tricky question elicited a variety of responses: “It’ll be impossible to walk or ride a bike, so we’ll have to wade through the water.”
“Don’t be silly. We’ll have to try and swim. We’ll all put on our bathing suits and caps and swim underwater as much as we can, so nobody can see we’re Jews.” “Oh, baloney! I can just imagine the ladies swimming with the rats biting their legs!” (That was a man, of course; we’ll see who screams loudest!) “We won’t even be able to leave the house. The warehouse is so unstable it’ll collapse if there’s a flood.”
“Listen, everyone, all joking aside, we really ought to try and get a boat.” “Why bother? I have a better idea. We can each take a packing crate from the attic and row with a wooden spoon.”
“I’m going to walk on stilts. I used to be a whiz at it when I was young.” “Jan Gies won’t need to. He’ll let his wife ride piggyback, and then Miep will be on stilts.”
So now you have a rough idea of what’s going on, don’t you, Kit? This lighthearted banter is all very amusing, but reality will prove otherwise. The second question about the invasion was bound to arise: what should we do if the Germans evacuate Amsterdam?
“Leave the city along with the others. Disguise ourselves as well as we can.” “Whatever happens, don’t go outside! The best thing to do is to stay put! The Germans are capable of herding the entire population of Holland into Germany, where they’ll all die.”
“Of course we’ll stay here. This is the safest place.
We’ll try to talk Kleiman and his family into coming here to live with us. We’ll somehow get hold of a bag of wood shavings, so we can sleep on the floor. Let’s ask Miep and Kleiman to bring some blankets, just in case. And we’ll order some extra cereal grains to supplement the sixty-five pounds we already have. Jan can try to find some more beans. At the moment we’ve got about sixty-five pounds of beans and ten pounds of split peas. And don’t forget the fifty cans of vegetables.”
“What about the rest, Mother? Give us the latest figures.’ ,
“Ten cans of fish, forty cans of milk, twenty pounds of powdered milk, three bottles of oil, four crocks of butter, four jars of meat, two big jars of strawberries, two jars of raspberries, twenty jars of tomatoes, ten pounds of oatmeal, nine pounds of rice. That’s it.”
Our provisions are holding out fairly well. All the same, we have to feed the office staff, which means dipping into our stock every week, so it’s not as much as it seems. We have enough coal and firewood, candles too. “Let’s all make little moneybags to hide in our clothes so we can take our money with us if we need to leave here.”
“We can make lists of what to take first in case we have to run for it, and pack our knapsacks in advance.”
“When the time comes, we’ll put two people on the lookout, one in the loft at the front of the house and one in the back.”
“Hey, what’s the use of so much food if there isn’t any water, gas or electricity?”
“We’ll have to cook on the wood stove. Filter the water and boil it. We should clean some big jugs and fill them with water. We can also store water in the three kettles we use for canning, and in the washtub.”
“Besides, we still have about two hundred and thirty pounds of winter potatoes in the spice storeroom.”
All day long that’s all I hear. Invasion, invasion, nothing but invasion. Arguments about going hungry, dying, bombs, fire extinguishers, sleeping bags, identity cards, poison gas, etc., etc. Not exactly cheerful.
A good example of the explicit warnings of the male contingent is the following conversation with Jan:
Annex: “We’re afraid that when the Germans retreat, they’ll take the entire population with them.”
Jan: “That’s impossible. They haven’t got enough trains.”
Annex: “Trains? Do you really think they’d put civilians on trains? Absolutely not. Everyone would have to hoof it.” (Or, as Dussel always says, per pedes apostolorum.)
Jan: “I can’t believe that. You’re always looking on the dark side. What reason would they have to round up all the civilians and take them along?” Annex: “Don’t you remember Goebbels saying that if the Germans have to go, they’ll slam the doors to all the occupied territories behind them?” Jan: “They’ve said a lot of things.”
Annex: “Do you think the Germans are too noble or humane to do it? Their reasoning is: if we go under, we’ll drag everyone else down with us.” Jan: “You can say what you like, I just don’t believe Annex: “It’s always the same old story. No one wants to see the danger until it’s staring them in the face.”
Jan: “But you don’t know anything for sure. You’re just making an assumption.” Annex: “Because we’ve already been through it all ourselves, First in Germany and then here. What do you think’s happening in Russia?”
Jan: “You shouldn’t include the Jews. I don’t think anyone knows what’s going on in Russia. The British and the Russians are probably exaggerating for propaganda purposes, just like the Germans.”
Annex: “Absolutely not. The BBC has always told the truth. And even if the news is slightly exaggerated, the facts are bad enough as they are. You can’t deny that millions of peace-loving citizens in Poland and Russia have been murdered or gassed.”
I’ll spare you the rest of our conversations. I’m very calm and take no notice of all the fuss. I’ve reached the point where I hardly care whether I live or die. The world will keep on turning without me, and I can’t do anything to change events anyway. I’ll just let matters take their course and concentrate on studying and hope that everything will be all right in the end.
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