Excerpt from The Diary of Anne Frank
*Wednesday, 13th May, 1944 ‘:..As you can easily imagine we often ask ourselves here despairingly: “What, oh what is the use of the war? Why can’t people live peacefully together? Why all this destruction?”
‘The question is very understandable, but no one has found a satisfactory answer to it so far. Yes, why do they make still more gigantic ‘planes, still heavier bombs and, at the same time, prefabricated houses for reconstruction? Why should millions be spent daily on the war and yet there’s not a penny available for medical services, artists, or for poor people?
‘Why do some people have to starve, while there are surpluses rotting in other parts of the world? Oh, why are people so crazy?
‘I don’t believe that the big men, the politicians and the capitalists alone are guilty of the war. Oh, no, the little man is just as keen, otherwise the people of the world would have risen in revolt long ago! There is an urge and rage in people to destroy, to kill, to murder, and until all mankind, without exception, undergoes a great change, everything that has been built up, cultivated and grown, will be destroyed and disfigured, after which mankind will have to begin all over again.
‘I have often been downcast, but never in despair … (in later paragraph/s, same entry) Why, then, should I be in despair?’
She wrote this from the ‘Secret Annexe’ a month before her 15th birthday in June 1944. Her last entry was Tuesday, 1st August 1944. On the 4th August the ‘Secret Annexe’ was raided and the Jewish prisoners taken to Westerbork, the main German concentration camp in Holland, before being packed off in cattle trucks to Auschwitz on 3rd September. Anne and her sister were sent to Bergen-Belsen in November where in February 1945 they both contracted typhus. The death of her beloved sister Margot, broke Anne’s spirit and she died in early March, 1945.
I finished reading her diary on Sunday. It has my maiden name inscribed in my hand, so I’ve had it a long time. I picked it up off my bookshelf a week or so ago. She was given a diary, her best present, on her 13th birthday in June, 1942, not yet incarcerated. In the foreword by Storm Jameson, he writes that her writing ‘…came as naturally as song to a young bird’. Her diary is an extraordinary piece of writing in which she reveals her self. Her first entry in her diary is dated Sunday, 14th June, 1942, two days after her birthday when they had not yet had to escape – She dates all entries with the day of the week, and dates and addresses her diary “Dear Kitty”.
Somehow, I felt a need to put up her words above – perhaps they’ll give cause for pause in some way –
*The Diary of Anne Frank pages 186-187: Pan Books Ltd; 1973.