The soft static sound of the radio murmurs through my hollow body as I sit, motionless, waiting for the BBC reporter to announce the afternoon war report. This is how I seem to spend my restless days with my family as we huddle closely around the radio and wait—anxiously wait—for the broadcaster, with his uplifting voice, to help us not lose heart and drive away our negative thoughts of the grim reality imposed upon us by the Germans. My family along with the Van Pels have been hiding in the cramped secret annex of an apartment building behind my father’s business located at Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam for the past two years. We were one of the only families that were fortunate enough to go into hiding, although, sometimes I question whether I would have preferred a quick death years ago, instead of living in the attic of an apartment in silence as our constant fear of being caught by the Germans has led to uneasiness in all of us throughout every second of each day. The only motive that allows me to stay optimistic is knowing that I am already infinitely more fortunate than my friends, who have already been arrested and sent to concentration camps, but dealing with the sacrifices and restrictions of this wretched annex takes a heavy toll on my spirit as I am confined in a binary world where I worry whether I will survive, or if my friends are alive. Sometimes, I wonder if anyone will ever understand me as a person, if anyone will ever overlook my race and not judge me about whether or not I’m a Jewish girl, but that I’m just a teenage girl, with simple needs other than wanting to return to the freedoms and comforts of before the war; I simply just want to experience a normal childhood.
Even at eight in the morning I can already feel the searing heat from the sun warming up the annex as we are forced to close every door and window at all times, leaving me boiling mad. Pim won’t let me open the window, not even a crack despite my assurances that I am cooking alive. It doesn’t make it any better that we are all tightly squeezed around the radio as it’s the only way we can all hear the announcers with the volume low enough to prevent anyone hearing us. As the radio frequencies begin to lower, my ears pick up on the signal transmission as I finally hear the BBC broadcaster announce, “This is D‐Day”, and quite rightly “this is the day”; the invasion has begun! The English have reported that Calais, Boulogne, Le Havre, Cherbourg, and the Pas de Calais were heavily bombarded along with 150,000 Allied expeditionary forces that have landed on the north coast of Normandy! We have all prayed that this day would come, now our hopes have finally become reality. Will the long‐ awaited liberation that I’ve thought of so much, but which still seems too farfetched, too much like a fairy tale, finally come true? Could 1944 be the year our dreams of victory come true? We don’t know yet, but hope is instilled in me giving me fresh courage, and a taste of resurgence. Since we must be brave with all the fears, hardships, and sufferings, the best thing now is to remain calm and steadfast. Life is difficult in times like these: we envision our ideals, dreams, and cherished hopes within us, only to be crushed by reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling on the hope that one day I can look past this brutal reality and become the Anne Frank I wish I could be without this holocaust crippling my life. I’ve experienced more discrimination, injustice, and trauma than a 14 year old girl ever should. Although I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.
The greatest part of the invasion is I have the feeling that been wishing for that day to come for so long. Maybe one day I can put this journal away, but for now I’ll fold a tab in the corner to mark my spot for another day to come.friends are approaching. The terrible Germans have tormented us for so long, that the thoughts of friends and liberation fills us with confidence! This dilemma has grown so greatly that it doesn’t just concern the Jews anymore; no, it concerns Holland and all occupied Europe. Although, my sister Margot says that I may be able to go back to Montessori school in the fall! I hope her ecstatic words don’t become false expectations as I have been wishing for that day to come for so long. Maybe one day I can put this journal away, but for now I’ll fold a tab in the corner to mark my spot for another day to come.