فصل 20

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فصل 20

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CHAPTER TWENTY

Thursday, 23 March 1944

Our black market ration book men are out of prison now, so things are better here.

Yesterday a plane crashed quite near us, on top of a school. Luckily, there were no children inside. There was a small fire, and two people were killed. The men inside the plane were able to get out in time, but the Germans shot them immediately. Local people were so angry - it was a cowardly, horrible thing to do! We - the ladies of the Annexe - were very frightened. I hate the sound of guns.

Tuesday, 28 March 1944

Mother is trying to stop me going up to Peters room. She says that Mrs van Daan is jealous. Perhaps she’s jealous too. Father is happy about it; he’s glad that we’re friends. Mother thinks that Peter has fallen in love with me. I wish that it was true.

I do want to stay friends with Peter. We have our difficulties, but we have to fight against them, and in the end they will make everything more beautiful. When he rests his head on his arms and closes his eyes, he’s still a child. When he plays with Mouschi, his cat, he’s loving. When he carries the heavy potatoes for us, he’s strong. When he watches the air raids, or walks through the dark house to look for burglars, he’s brave. And when he doesn’t know quite how to behave, he’s sweet!

Wednesday, 29 March 1944

Mr Bolkestein, from the Government, was speaking on the Dutch broadcast from London. He said that after the war they wanted everybody’s diaries and letters about the war - they would be an interesting part of history. I might be able to write a book called The Secret Annexe. People would think that it was a detective story! But seriously, ten years after the war people would find it very amusing to read about us, the Jews who were hiding. How we lived, what we ate, what we talked about. But although I tell you a lot about our lives, you still know very little about us. For example, how frightened the women are during the air raids. Last Sunday, 350 British planes dropped their bombs on Ijmuiden, so that the houses shook like grass in the wind, or about the awful illnesses that people are catching here.

You know nothing about all this, and it would take me all day to describe it. People have to wait in line for vegetables and all kinds of other things too. Doctors can’t visit the sick, since their cars and bikes are stolen at once. There are so many thieves around that you ask what has happened to the Dutch - why are they stealing so much? Little children, eight and eleven-year-olds, break the windows of people’s homes and steal whatever they can. People don’t dare to leave the house even for five minutes, because everything may be gone when they return. The public phones are stolen, and all the parts of the electric clocks on the street corners too.

Everyone’s hungry. A week’s food ration doesn’t even last two days. We’re waiting for the Allied invasion, but it’s so long coming. The men are sent to Germany, the children are ill or hungry, and everyone wears old clothes and broken shoes. It’s too expensive to repair shoes, and if you give your shoes to a shoe mender, you may never see them again.

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