It's a wonder I haven't abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.
Annelies Marie Frank (12 June 1929 – February/March 1945) was a Jewish diarist and aspiring writer, who died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
- How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before beginning to improve the world.
- As quoted in God's To-do List: 103 Ways to be an Angel and Do God's Work on Earth (2007) by Ron Wolfson, Introduction, p. 17
The Diary (1942 - 1944)Edit
- Composed from her 13th birthday on 12 June 1942, until 1 August 1944, just prior to her family's capture.
I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that this cruelty too shall end, and that peace & tranquility will return once again.
People will always follow a good example; be the one to set a good example, then it won't be long before the others follow...
I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to people, even those I've never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that's why I'm grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop and to express all that's inside me!
- For someone like me, it is a very strange habit to write in a diary. Not only that I have never written before, but it strikes me that later neither I, nor anyone else, will care for the outpouring of a thirteen year old schoolgirl.
- Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don't know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!
- A "food cycle" is a period in which we have only one particular dish or type of vegetable to eat. For a long time we ate nothing but endive. Endive with sand, endive without sand, endive with mashed potatoes, endive-and-mashed-potato casserole...
- Forgive me, Kitty, they don't call me a bundle of contradictions for nothing!
- God never deserted our people. Right through the ages there were Jews. Through the ages they suffered, but it also made us strong.
- Ik geloof nooit dat de oorlog de schuld is alleen van de grote mannen, van de regeerders en kapitalisten. O neen, de kleine man doet het net zo goed graag, anders zouden de volkeren er toch al lang tegen in opstand zijn gekomen! Er is nu eenmaal in de mensen een drang tot vernieling, een drang tot doodslaan, tot vermoorden en razen en zolang de gehele mensheid, zonder uitzondering, geen grote metamorphose heeft ondergaan, zal de oorlog woeden, zal alles wat opgebouwd, aangekweekt en gegroeid is, weer geschonden en vernietigd worden, waarna de mensheid opnieuw moet beginnen.
- 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, wars will be waged, everything that has been built up, cultivated and grown, will be destroyed and disfigured, after which mankind will have to begin all over again.
- May 3, 1944
- I believe that in the course of the next century [as dated from June 13, 1944] the notion that it's a woman's duty to have children will change and make way for the respect and admiration of all women, who bear their burdens without complaint or a lot of pompous words!
- I don't think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains... My advice is : "Go outside, to the fields, enjoy nature and the sunshine, go out and try to recapture happiness in yourself and in God. Think of all the beauty that's still left in and around you and be happy!"
- Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.
Think of all the beauty that is still left in and around you and be happy!
- I don't want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to people, even those I've never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that's why I'm grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop and to express all that's inside me!
- I have often been downcast, but never in despair; I regard our hiding as a dangerous adventure, romantic and interesting at the same time. In my diary I treat all the privations as amusing. I have made up my mind now to lead a different life from other girls and, later on, different from ordinary housewives. My start has been so very full of interest, and that is the sole reason why I have to laugh at the humorous side of the most dangerous moments.
- I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more. (Saturday 15th of July, 1944)
- I soothe my conscience now with the thought that it is better for hard words to be on paper than that Mummy should carry them in her heart.
- If I read a book that impresses me, I have to take myself firmly by the hand, before I mix with other people; otherwise they would think my mind rather queer.
- Is discord going to show itself while we are still fighting, is the Jew once again worth less than another? Oh, it is sad, very sad, that once more, for the umpteenth time, the old truth is confirmed: "What one Christian does is his own responsibility, what one Jew does is thrown back at all Jews."
- It's difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It's a wonder I haven't abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. I simply can't build my hopes on a foundation of confusion, misery, and death. I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that this cruelty too shall end, and that peace & tranquility will return once again.
- 15 July 1944; Variant translations:
- It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.
- I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.
- I simply can't build my hopes on a foundation of confusion, misery, and death...and yet...I think...this cruelty will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.
- Laziness may appear attractive but work gives satisfaction.
- However, during the third class he'd finally had enough. "Anne Frank, as punishment for talking in class, write an essay entitled, Quack, Quack, Quack, Said Mistress Chatterback."
- Writing a story about a teacher who is scolding her for being talkative in class. Variant translations :
- Quack, Quack, Quack, Said Miss Quackenbush.
- Quack, Quack, Quack, Said Miss Natterbeak.
- Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.
- People can tell you to keep your mouth shut, but it doesn't stop you having your own opinions. Even if people are still very young, they shouldn't be prevented from saying what they think.
- People will always follow a good example; be the one to set a good example, then it won't be long before the others follow... How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment, we can start now, start slowly changing the world! How lovely that everyone, great and small, can make their contribution toward introducing justice straightaway... And you can always, always give something, even if it is only kindness!
- The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.
- The only way to truly know a person is to argue with them. For when they argue in full swing, then they reveal their true character.
- We all live with the objective of being happy, our lives are all different and yet the same.
- Who would ever think that so much went on in the soul of a young girl?
- I've found that there is always some beauty left — in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can help you. Look at these things, then find yourself again, and God, and then you regain your balance.
And whoever is happy will make others happy too. He who has courage and faith will never perish in misery!
- Variant translation: Whoever is happy will make others happy, too.
- I trust to luck and do nothing but work, hoping that all will end well.
Quotes about FrankEdit
- Alphabetized by author
- Anne Frank's legacy is still very much alive and it can address us fully, especially at a time when the map of the world is changing and when dark passions are awakening within people.
- Of the multitude who throughout history have spoken for human dignity in times of great suffering and loss, no voice is more compelling than that of Anne Frank.
- John F. Kennedy, as quoted in "Anne's words still strengthen spirits" by Joyce Apsel in The St. Petersburg Times (26 January 2000)
- One single Anne Frank moves us more than the countless others who suffered just as she did, but whose faces have remained in the shadows. Perhaps it is better that way: If we were capable of taking in the suffering of all those people, we would not be able to live.
- Primo Levi, as quoted in "Anne's words still strengthen spirits" by Joyce Apsel in The St. Petersburg Times (26 January 2000)
- Some of us read Anne Frank's diary on Robben Island and derived much encouragement of it.
- Nelson Mandela, as quoted in "Anne's words still strengthen spirits" by Joyce Apsel in The St. Petersburg Times (26 January 2000)