The Diary of a Young Girl | Study Guide

Anne Frank

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The Diary of a Young Girl | March 23–April 3, 1944 | Summary

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Summary

March 23–March 25, 1944

Despite the pressures of living in hiding, Anne makes an effort to get along with the other residents and to understand how to speak to them when she disagrees. She says that she may not have much, but she loves other people and wants "everyone else to be happy too."

Anne and Peter "wind up talking about sex," and, at her request, he shares information with her about male sexuality, including a discussion of condoms. Anne also notes that Peter knows less about female sexual anatomy, about which she feels quite knowledgeable.

March 27–March 28, 1944

It's probably inevitable that Anne's and Peter's parents start to wonder what the two are doing spending so much time together. Initially, the adults tease them about it. But on March 28, Mrs. Frank forbids Anne to go up to Peter's room, claiming that Mrs. van Daan is jealous of the hours her son spends with Anne. Anne wonders if her mother's not jealous, too. She claims not to care that her mother opposes her—"she no longer means anything to me"—but she keeps returning to what's clearly an uncomfortable topic.

March 29–April 3, 1944

On March 27, Anne announces that she's going to devote an entire entry to politics. She spends less time on war news than on the way it affects the adults she's living with. They listen to the radio for 12 hours a day, and then "air their opinions with unflagging energy ... They're all certain that they have a monopoly on the truth." But on March 29, Anne hears a Dutch broadcast she finds deeply interesting. Holland's Cabinet Minister announces that after the war, the government hopes to collect war-related diaries for publication. Anne jumps on this idea, knowing that the general public has no idea what life is like for Jews in hiding. "People would find it very amusing to read how we lived," she says—and then launches into a nightmarish description of the suffering going on outside the Secret Annex, including widespread bombings, hunger, and epidemics. Then on March 31, Anne reminds herself that being with Peter has made her life "better, much better. God has not forsaken me, and He never will."

Analysis

There are three versions of Anne Frank's diary, known as the A, B, and C Versions. Anne's original diary was the one she got for her 13th birthday in June 1942. By the end of that year, Anne's entries had almost filled the book, and she started using notebooks instead—three in all. (Unfortunately, not all of the notebook entries were preserved; large sections of 1943 are missing.) The birthday diary and the three notebooks constitute the A Version.

When Anne heard the Dutch broadcast in 1944 asking that citizens keep diaries of their war experience, she began to rewrite the A Version as a novel, hoping that it could be published after the war. For 10 weeks—from the time of the broadcast until her arrest—Anne worked on this project, which is now called the B Version.

After the residents of the Secret Annex were arrested, two of their former helpers rescued as much of Anne's work as they could. When Miep Gies learned that Anne had died, she gave the collection of writings to Anne's father. Otto Frank combined passages from both the A and B Versions to create the C Version. This is the version that was originally published after the war.

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