the Holocaust Induced struggles of Anne Frank


The Holocaust Induced Struggles of Anne Frank


     During the Holocaust, many innocent people were killed and tortured. Most of the targeted victims were Jews, Romanians, and people with defects. In order to survive, many people were forced to flee and go into hiding. In The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank talks about the many horrors of the Holocaust. She especially focuses on showing how she, as a thirteen year old girl, tolerated the daily struggles of confinement. Along the course of the diary, Anne Frank resists hunger, boredom, confinement, and never-ending personal conflicts.

First, during the Holocaust, the inhabitants of the Secret Annexe were often hungry. In those times of great need, things like butter, lard, sweets, cakes, flour and sugar were hard to come by. Hence, in order for everyone to get the same amount, they were issued ration books, containing tokens by which the person could use to buy the necessary supplies. The Franks and Van Daans were very lucky, for they had Mr. Koophuis and Mr. Kraler, Miep and Ellie to bring them food. Nevertheless, the inhabitants of the Secret still went through a lot of food cycles. Anne writes, on Monday, 3 April, 1994: ‘Contrary to my usual custom, I will for once write more fully about food because it has become a very difficult and important matter, not only here in the Secret Annexe, but in the whole of Holland, all Europe, and even beyond. In the twenty-one months we’ve spent here we have been through a good many “food cycles”─ you’ll understand what that means in a minute. When I talk of “food cycles” I mean periods in which one has nothing else to eat but one particular dish or vegetable. We had nothing but endive for a long time, day in, day out, endive with sand, endive without sand, stew with endive, boiled or en casserole; then it was spinach, and after that followed kohlrabi, salsify, cucumber, tomatoes, sauerkraut, etc., etc.’ (Anne Frank 195) In addition, another way the inhabitants of the Secret Annexe resisted hunger was by buying things from the black market. Such things were: ration books, printed paper, butter, potatoes, shoes, tobacco, thread, and cheese. Anne writes, on November 9th, 1942, “4 ration cards have also been bought illegally. Their price keeps going up all the time; it has gone up from 27 florins to 33. And all that for a little slip of printed paper!” (Anne Frank 47)

Meanwhile, the social interactions between the inhabitants of the Secret Annexe were not always positive. For example, Anne Frank and her mother frequently had conflicts, so did Mr. and Ms. Van Daan. Sometimes, after a fight with her mother, Anne Frank didn’t feel like she had a mother anymore. For instance, on Saturday, November 7th, 1942, Anne wants to read one of Margot’s books, then her mother and “Pim” go to Margot’s side. This leads to Anne writing: “We are exact opposites of everything, so naturally we are bound to run up against each other. I don’t pronounce judgment on Mummy’s character, for that is something I can’t judge. I only look at her as a mother, and she just doesn’t succeed in being that to me; I have to be my own mother.” (Anne Frank 45)

Similarly, Mr. and Ms. Van Daan have a conflict over selling one of Ms. Van Daan’s rabbit fur coats. Anne writes, on Friday, October 29, 1943: “The yells, the screams, stamping and abuse── you can’t possibly imagine it! It was frightening. My family stood at the bottom of the stairs, holding their breath, ready if necessary to drag them apart! All this shouting and weeping are so unsettling and such a strain that in the evening I drop into my bed crying, thanking heaven that I have half and hour to myself.” (Anne Frank 112) Anne Frank has some negative opinions about Ms. Van Daan and Dussel; she describes Ms. Van Daan as pushy, egotistical, cunning, calculating, and perpetually dissatisfied. She feels like Dussel is a stodgy, old-fashioned disciplinarian and a preacher of long, drawn out sermons. Although she tolerates all the fighting, these disagreements affect Anne’s psychological health very much. Her constant struggles also force her to grow up very quickly. For instance, in the beginning, Anne was a little more happy, however, in the end, the tone of her diary grows a little dark and depressing.

Finally, the Franks and Van Daans were in hiding for over two years. Eventually, their confinement in the Secret Annexe, due to oppression, turned very depressing. To demonstrate, on Friday, 26 May, 1944, Anne writes: “I feel so miserable, I haven’t felt like this for months, even after the burglary I didn’t feel so utterly broken.” (Anne Frank 240) With this in mind, during the war, the Franks and Van Daans didn’t have a lot of resources to entertain themselves with. Most of the time, Anne Frank helped do chores, like cooking and cleaning, she talked to Peter, read books in various languagesl, listened to the radio, and wrote. Consequently, she sometimes became very bored and depressed. All they had were books, radios, food, and language. When we think about all of these limitations Anne had, her depression is quite understandable. 2 years is a quite a long time if you consider how limited Anne’s resources were.

Anne Frank was Jewish, and lived during the Holocaust and Nuremburg laws, two of the worst times to be Jewish. She was victim of many hardships, including the Holocaust, Nuremburg Laws, concentration camps, and World War II. Her writing was full of sorrow and her story is both touching and thoughtful. Her story is an example of why life is precious, no matter how drastic the circumstances. She wrote, on Wednesday, April 4th, 1944: “I want to get on; I can’t imagine that I would have to lead the same sort of life as Mummy and Ms. Van Daan and all the women who do their work and then are forgotten. I must have something besides a husband and children. Something I can devote myself to!

I want to go living after my death! And therefore I am grateful to God for giving me this gift this possibility of developing myself and of writing, of expressing all that is in me.” (Anne Frank 197)









Works cited:


Frank, Anne. The Diary of a Young Girl. Bantam Books, 1952




I know that plagarism is the unacknowledged use of someone else’s work or ideas, and I pledge that this paper is not plagiarized.