The Diary of a Young Girl July 29, 1943 - December 22, 1943 Summary

Anne decides to give Kitty a detailed description of a typical day in the "Secret Annex". She describes how they go about getting ready for bed. Each of them has to make up their bed to fit their individual needs. She also goes into great detail of how she and others take turns using the bathroom. She details Mr. Dussel's over use of the bathroom; he stays in the room for long periods of time, multiple times each day.

The group does not seem to be getting along any better. It seems as if it is sport for Mrs. Van Daan to cause friction amongst various members of the group. It is almost as if she receives joy out of causing problems.

The good news that has come through the radio, is the Fascist party has been outlawed in Italy and the army is helping to rid the country of the party. The families hope this news will help turn the tide of the war.

The air raids and gun fire continue to cause stress for everyone. The gunfire usually happens somewhere between one and four in the morning. Anne then takes her pillow and goes to sleep with her father. It makes her feel safer and allows her to sleep if she is with her father during these times.

Much of this section of the diary is devoted to the mundane tasks taken on by the group. She highlights the need for everyone to pitch in and help prepare the potatoes for the evening meal. Anne tells of how Mr. Dussel feels that everyone, especially Anne, should peel the potatoes exactly as he does it. This is just another example of how Mr. Dussel feels he is superior to the others in the group.

On September 10, 1943, Anne and the others learn Italy has surrendered to the Allies. This is cause for rejoicing, not only among those living in the "Secret Annex", but for millions of people around the world.

There is also more illness among those who are helping the families. Mr. Koophuis has to have an operation for his stomach problems, Elli is under tremendous strain from trying to help the families, the additional work she has at the business, and from caring for her father who has cancer. Meip is trying to help as best she can, but it is difficult for all of them.

The Van Daan's have run out of money and are having to sell their clothes in order to get by. Mr. Van Daan is willing to sell his clothes, but he is asking for more money for them than most people have to spend on clothing. Mrs. Van Daan does not want to sell any of her clothes, especially her fur coat. This causes a great deal of arguing amongst the two of them, which in turn cause even more stress for the rest of the group. Finally Mrs. Van Daan allows her coat to be sold. She thinks the money should be saved to use after the war, but Mr. Van Daan convinces her the money is needed now.

Anne's father has decided the girls and himself need to learn Latin. He has Elli order the lessons through a mail order school. He is also determined to give Anne a Bible for St. Nicholas Day so she can learn about the New Testament. Margot is not happy about this, but Mr. Frank is going through with it anyway.

One evening as Elli is visiting, the families hear a long ringing sound from the door. Anne is paralyzed with fear from this. She is plagued with nightmares of them being put in dungeons or of her being alone on a road, lost, without her parents.

Anne loses her prized fountain pen which her grandmother had given her. Anne had received the pen at the age of nine and has used it ever since. She is heartbroken to find that it had been accidently burned in the stove with the dirt from some of the moldy beans she had been cleaning.

She also, one night before falling asleep, thinks that she sees her friend Lies. She pictures her in rags, thin and worn out. She feels as if her friend is reproaching her for leaving her behind. She is afraid for her friend and the fate that possibly awaits her. In the end Anne vows to make it all up to Lies after the war, if Lies survives.

For St. Nicholas day, December 6, 1943, Anne and her father have written poems for everyone as a gift. They put the poems inside a shoe of each member of the group, the shoes are then put into a decorated basket. The others are thrilled with their gifts and enjoy finding and reading their poems.

After Anne fights off a bad case of the flu, she and the others try in their own way to celebrate Christmas with sweets, syrup and broaches made from two-and-a-half-cent pieces. Mr. Dusssel gave the women, Mrs.Frank and Van Daan a cake which he had Miep bake for him. Anne made fondants for Miep and Elli. It is hard to be joyous because the war is no longer advancing for the Allies. The hope they experienced from the fall of Italy is waning.

The "Secret Annex" brings security to the group, but because of the close quarters it also breeds animosity. The group has a hard time adjusting to each other's eccentricities. What would be overlooked in a normal situation is only magnified by the stress of war and the feeling they are in a self-imposed exile from society.



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