The Diary of Anne Frank
Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett
Occupants of the Secret Annex:
Margot Frank, her older sister
Mr. Frank, their father
Mrs. Frank, their mother
Peter Van Daan
Mr. Van Daan, his father
Mrs. Van Daan, his mother
Mr. Dussel, a dentist
Workers in Mr. Frankís Business:Miep Gies, a young Dutchwoman
The scene remains the same throughout the play. It is the top floor of a warehouse and office building in Amsterdam, Holland. The sharply peaked roof of the building is outlined against a sea of other rooftops stretching away into the distance. Nearby is the belfry of a church tower, the Westertoren, whose carillon rings out the hours. Occasionally faint sounds float up from below: the voices of children playing in the street, the tramp of marching feet, a boat whistle from the canal.
The three rooms of the top floor and a small attic space above are exposed to our view. The largest of the rooms is in the center, with two small rooms, slightly raised, on either side. On the right is a bathroom, out of sight. A narrow, steep flight of stairs at the back leads up to the attic. The rooms are sparsely furnished, with a few chairs, cots, a table or two. The windows are painted over or covered with makeshift blackout curtains. In the main room there is a sink, a gas ring for cooking, and a wood-burning stove for warmth.
The room on the left is hardly more than a closet. There is a skylight in the sloping ceiling. Directly under this room is a small, steep stairwell, with steps leading down to a door. This is the only entrance from the building below. When the door is opened, we see that it has been concealed on the outer side by a bookcase attached to it.
The curtain rises on an empty stage. It is late afternoon, November 1945.
The rooms are dusty, the curtains in rags. Chairs and tables are overturned.
The door at the foot of the small stairwell swings open. MR. FRANK comes up the steps into view. He is a gentle, cultured European in his middle years. There is still a trace of a German accent in his speech.
He stands looking slowly around, making a supreme effort at self-control. He is weak, ill. His clothes are thread-bare.
After a second he drops his rucksack on the couch and moves slowly about. He opens the door to one of the smaller rooms and then abruptly closes it again, turning away. He goes to the window at the back, looking off at the Westertoren as its carillon strikes the hour of six; then he moves restlessly on.
From the street below we hear the sound of a barrel organ and childrenís voices at play. There is a many-colored scarf hanging from a nail. MR. FRANK takes it, putting it around his neck. As he starts back for his rucksack, his eye is caught by something lying on the floor. It is a womanís white glove. He holds it in his hand and suddenly all of his self-control is gone. He breaks down crying.
We hear footsteps on the stairs. MIEP GIES comes up, looking for MR. FRANK. MIEP is a Dutchwoman of about twenty-two. She wears a coat and hat, ready to go home. She is pregnant. Her attitude toward MR. FRANK is protective, compassionate.
Miep. Are you all right, Mr. Frank?
Mr. Frank (quickly controlling himself ). Yes, Miep, yes.
Miep. Everyone in the office has gone home. . . . Itís after six. (Then, pleading) Donít stay up here, Mr. Frank. Whatís the use of torturing yourself like this?
Mr. Frank. Iíve come to say goodbye . . . Iím leaving here, Miep.
Miep. What do you mean? Where are you going? Where?
Mr. Frank. I donít know yet. I havenít decided.
Miep. Mr. Frank, you canít leave here! This is your home! Amsterdam is your home. Your business is here, waiting for you. . . . Youíre needed here. . . . Now that the war is over, there are things that . . .
Mr. Frank. I canít stay in Amsterdam, Miep. It has too many memories for me. Everywhere, thereís something . . . the house we lived in . . . the school . . . that street organ playing out there . . . Iím not the person you used to know, Miep. Iím a bitter old man. (Breaking off) Forgive me. I shouldnít speak to you like this . . . after all that you did for us . . . the suffering . . .
Miep. No. No. It wasnít suffering. You canít say we suffered. (As she speaks, she straightens a chair which is overturned.)
Mr. Frank. I know what you went through, you and Mr. Kraler. Iíll remember it as long as I live. (He gives one last look around.) Come, Miep. (He starts for the steps, then remembers his rucksack, going back to get it.)
Miep (hurrying up to a cupboard). Mr. Frank, did you see? There are some of your papers here. (She brings a bundle of papers to him.) We found them in a heap of rubbish on the floor after . . . after you left.
Mr. Frank. Burn them. (He opens his rucksack to put the glove in it.)
Miep. But, Mr. Frank, there are letters, notes . . .
Mr. Frank. Burn them. All of them.
Miep. Burn this? (She hands him a paper-bound notebook.)
Mr. Frank (quietly). Anneís diary. (He opens the diary and begins to read.) ďMonday, the sixth of July, nineteen forty-two.Ē (To MIEP) Nineteen forty-two. Is it possible, Miep? . . . Only three years ago. (As he continues his reading, he sits down on the couch.) ďDear Diary, since you and I are going to be great friends, I will start by telling you about myself. My name is Anne Frank. I am thirteen years old. I was born in Germany the twelfth of June, nineteen twenty-nine. As my family is Jewish, we emigrated to Holland when Hitler came to power.Ē
[As MR. FRANK reads on, another voice joins his, as if coming from the air. It is ANNEís voice. ]
Mr. Frank and Anneís Voice. ďMy father started a business, importing spice and herbs. Things went well for us until nineteen forty. Then the war came, and the Dutch capitulation, followed by the arrival of the Germans. Then things got very bad for the Jews.Ē
[MR. FRANKís voice dies out. ANNEís voice continues alone. The lights dim slowly to darkness. The curtain falls on the scene.]
Anneís Voice. You could not do this and you could not do that. They forced Father out of his business. We had to wear yellow
stars. I had to turn in my bike. I couldnít go to a Dutch school anymore. I couldnít go to the movies or ride in an automobile or even on a streetcar, and a million other things. But somehow we children still managed to have fun. Yesterday Father told me we were going into hiding. Where, he wouldnít say. At five oíclock this morning Mother woke me and told me to hurry and get dressed. I was to put on as many clothes as I could. It would look too suspicious if we walked along carrying suitcases. It wasnít until we were on our way that I learned where we were going. Our hiding place was to be upstairs in the building where Father used to have his business. Three other people were coming in with us . . . the Van Daans and their son Peter . . . Father knew the Van Daans but we had never met them. . . .
[During the last lines the curtain rises on the scene. The lights dim on. ANNEís voice fades out.]
It is early morning, July 1942. The rooms are bare, as before, but they are now clean and orderly.
MR. VAN DAAN, a tall, portly man in his late forties, is in the main room, pacing up and down, nervously smoking a cigarette. His clothes and overcoat are expensive and well cut.
MRS. VAN DAAN sits on the couch, clutching her possessions: a hatbox, bags, etc. She is a pretty woman in her early forties. She wears a fur coat over her other clothes.
PETER VAN DAAN is standing at the window of the room on the right, looking down at the street below. He is a shy, awkward boy of sixteen. He wears a cap, a raincoat, and long Dutch trousers, like plus fours.6 At his feet is a black case, a carrier for his cat.
The yellow Star of David is conspicuous on all of their clothes.
Mrs. Van Daan (rising, nervous, excited). Somethingís happened to them! I know it!
Mr. Van Daan. Now, Kerli!
Mrs. Van Daan. Mr. Frank said theyíd be here at seven oíclock. He said . . .
Mr. Van Daan. They have two miles to walk. You canít expect . . .
Mrs. Van Daan. Theyíve been picked up. Thatís whatís happened. Theyíve been taken . . .
[MR. VAN DAAN indicates that he hears someone coming.]
Mr. Van Daan. You see?
[PETER takes up his carrier and his school bag, etc., and goes into the main room as MR. FRANK comes up the stairwell from below. MR. FRANK
looks much younger now. His movements are brisk, his manner confident. He wears an overcoat and carries his hat and a small cardboard box. He crosses to the VAN DAANS,
shaking hands with each of them.]
Mr. Frank. Mrs. Van Daan, Mr. Van Daan, Peter. (Then, in explanation of their
lateness) There were too many of the Green Police on the streets . . . we had to take the long way around.
[Up the steps come MARGOT FRANK, MRS. FRANK, MIEP (not pregnant now), and MR. KRALER. All of them carry bags, packages, and so forth. The Star of David is conspicuous on all of the FRANKSí clothing. MARGOT is eighteen, beautiful, quiet, shy. MRS. FRANK is a young mother, gently bred, reserved. She, like MR. FRANK, has a slight German accent. MR. KRALER is a Dutchman, dependable, kindly.
As MR. KRALER and MIEP go upstage to put down their
parcels, MRS. FRANK turns back to call ANNE.]
Mrs. Frank. Anne?
[ANNE comes running up the stairs. She is thirteen, quick in her movements, interested in everything, mercurial in her emotions. She wears a cape and long wool socks and carries a school bag.]
Mr. Frank (introducing them). My wife, Edith. Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan (MRS. FRANK
hurries over, shaking hands with them.) . . . their son, Peter . . . my daughters, Margot and Anne.
[ANNE gives a polite little curtsy as she shakes MR. VAN DAANís hand. Then she immediately starts off on a tour of investigation of her new home, going upstairs to the attic room.
MIEP and MR. KRALER are putting the various things they have brought on the shelves.]
Mr. Kraler. Iím sorry there is still so much confusion.
Mr. Frank. Please. Donít think of it. After all, weíll have plenty of leisure to arrange everything ourselves.
Miep (to MRS. FRANK). We put the stores of food you sent in here. Your drugs are here . . . soap, linen here.
Mrs. Frank. Thank you, Miep.
Miep. I made up the beds . . . the way Mr. Frank and Mr. Kraler said.
(She starts out.) Forgive me. I have to hurry. Iíve got to go to the other side of town to get some ration
books for you.
Mrs. Van Daan. Ration books? If they see our names on ration books, theyíll know weíre here.
Mr. Kraler (speaking at the same time as MIEP). There isnít anything . . .
Miep. Donít worry. Your names wonít be on them. (As she hurries out) Iíll be up later.
Mr. Frank. Thank you, Miep.
Mrs. Frank (to MR. KRALER). Itís illegal, then, the ration books? Weíve never done anything illegal.
Mr. Frank. We wonít be living here exactly according to regulations.
[As MR. KRALER reassures MRS. FRANK, he takes various small things, such as matches and soap, from his pockets, handing them to her.]
Mr. Kraler. This isnít the black market, Mrs. Frank. This is what we call the white market . . . helping all of the hundreds and hundreds who are hiding out in Amsterdam.
[The carillon is heard playing the quarter-hour before eight. MR. KRALER looks at his watch. ANNE stops at the window as she comes down the stairs.]
Anne. Itís the Westertoren!
Mr. Kraler. I must go. I must be out of here and downstairs in the office before the workmen get here. (He starts for the stairs leading out.) Miep or I, or both of us, will be up each day to bring you food and news and find out what your needs are. Tomorrow Iíll get you a better bolt for the door at the foot of the stairs. It needs a bolt that you can throw yourself and open only at our signal. (To MR. FRANK) Oh . . . Youíll tell them about the noise?
Mr. Frank. Iíll tell them.
Mr. Kraler. Goodbye, then, for the moment. Iíll come up again, after the workmen leave.
Mr. Frank. Goodbye, Mr. Kraler.
Mrs. Frank (shaking his hand). How can we thank you?
[The others murmur their goodbyes.]
Mr. Kraler. I never thought Iíd live to see the day when a man like Mr. Frank would have to go into hiding. When you thinkóó
[He breaks off, going out. MR. FRANK follows him down the steps, bolting the door after him. In the interval before he returns, PETER goes over to MARGOT, shaking hands with her. As MR. FRANK comes back up the steps, MRS. FRANK questions him anxiously.]
Mrs. Frank. What did he mean, about the noise?
Mr. Frank. First let us take off some of these clothes.
[They all start to take off garment after garment. On each of their coats, sweaters, blouses, suits, dresses is another yellow Star of David. MR. and MRS. FRANK are underdressed quite simply. The others wear several things: sweaters, extra dresses, bathrobes, aprons, nightgowns, etc.]
Mr. Van Daan. Itís a wonder we werenít arrested, walking along the streets . . . Petronella with a fur coat in July . . . and that cat of Peterís crying all the way.
Anne (as she is removing a pair of panties). A cat?
Mrs. Frank (shocked). Anne, please!
Anne. Itís all right. Iíve got on three more.
[She pulls off two more. Finally, as they have all removed their surplus clothes, they look to MR. FRANK, waiting for him to speak.]
Mr. Frank. Now. About the noise. While the men are in the building below, we must have complete quiet. Every sound can be heard down there, not only in the workrooms but in the offices too. The men come at about eight-thirty and leave at about five-thirty. So, to be perfectly safe, from eight in the morning until six in the evening we must move only when it is necessary, and then in stockinged feet. We must not speak above a whisper. We must not run any water. We cannot use the sink or even, forgive me, the
w.c. The pipes go down through the workrooms. It would be heard. No trash . . . (MR. FRANK
stops abruptly as he hears the sound of marching feet from the street below. Everyone is motionless, paralyzed with fear. MR. FRANK
goes quietly into the room on the right to look down out of the window. ANNE
runs after him, peering out with him. The tramping feet pass without stopping. The tension is
relieved. MR. FRANK, followed by ANNE, returns to the main room and resumes his instructions to the
group.) . . . No trash must ever be thrown out which might reveal that someone is living up here . . . not even a potato paring. We must burn everything in the stove at night. This is the way we must live until it is over, if we are to survive.
[There is silence for a second.]
Mrs. Frank. Until it is over.
Mr. Frank (reassuringly). After six we can move about . . . we can talk and laugh and have our supper and read and play games . . . just as we would at home. (He looks at his watch.) And now I think it would be wise if we all went to our rooms, and were settled before eight oíclock. Mrs. Van Daan, you and your husband will be upstairs. I regret that thereís no place up there for Peter. But he will be here, near us. This will be our common room, where weíll meet to talk and eat and read, like one family.
Mr. Van Daan. And where do you and Mrs. Frank sleep?
Mr. Frank. This room is also our bedroom.
Mrs. Van Daan. (speaking at the same time as MR. VAN DAAN). That isnít right. Weíll sleep here and you take the room upstairs.
Mr. Van Daan. Itís your place.
Mr. Frank. Please. Iíve thought this out for weeks. Itís the best arrangement. The only arrangement.
Mrs. Van Daan (to MR. FRANK). Never, never can we thank you. (Then, to MRS. FRANK) I donít know what would have happened to us, if it hadnít been for Mr. Frank.
Mr. Frank. You donít know how your husband helped me when I came to this country . . . knowing no one . . . not able to speak the language. I can never repay him for that. (Going to MR. VAN DAAN) May I help you with your things?
Mr. Van Daan. No. No. (To MRS. VAN DAAN) Come along, liefje.
Mrs. Van Daan. Youíll be all right, Peter? Youíre not afraid?
Peter (embarrassed). Please, Mother.
[They start up the stairs to the attic room above. MR. FRANK turns to
Mr. Frank. You too must have some rest, Edith. You didnít close your eyes last night. Nor you, Margot.
Anne. I slept, Father. Wasnít that funny? I knew it was the last night in my own bed, and yet I slept soundly.
Mr. Frank. Iím glad, Anne. Now youíll be able to help me straighten things in here. (To MRS. FRANK and MARGOT) Come with me. . . . You and Margot rest in this room for the time being. (He picks up their clothes, starting for the room on the right.)
Mrs. Frank. Youíre sure . . . ? I could help . . . And Anne hasnít had her milk . . .
Mr. Frank. Iíll give it to her. (To ANNE and PETER) Anne, Peter . . . itís best that you take off your shoes now, before you forget. (He leads the way to the room, followed by MARGOT.)
Mrs. Frank. Youíre sure youíre not tired, Anne?
Anne. I feel fine. Iím going to help Father.
Mrs. Frank. Peter, Iím glad you are to be with us.
Peter. Yes, Mrs. Frank.
[MRS. FRANK goes to join MR. FRANK and MARGOT.
During the following scene MR. FRANK helps MARGOT and MRS. FRANK to hang up their clothes. Then he persuades them both to lie down and rest. The VAN DAANS, in their room above, settle themselves. In the main room ANNE and PETER remove their shoes. PETER takes his cat out of the carrier.]
Anne. Whatís your catís name?
Anne. Mouschi! Mouschi! Mouschi! (She picks up the cat, walking away with it. To PETER) I love cats. I have one . . . a darling little cat. But they made me leave her behind. I left some food and a note for the neighbors to take care of her. . . . Iím going to miss her terribly. What is yours? A him or a her?
Peter. Heís a tom. He doesnít like strangers. (He takes the cat from her, putting it back in its carrier.)
Anne (unabashed). Then Iíll have to stop being a stranger, wonít I? Is he fixed?
Peter (startled). Huh?
Anne. Did you have him fixed?
Anne. Oh, you ought to have him fixedóto keep him fromóyou know, fighting. Where did you go to school?
Peter. Jewish Secondary.
Anne. But thatís where Margot and I go! I never saw you around.
Peter. I used to see you . . . sometimes . . .
Anne. You did?
Peter. . . . in the schoolyard. You were always in the middle of a bunch of kids. (He takes a penknife from his pocket.)
Anne. Why didnít you ever come over?
Peter. Iím sort of a lone wolf. (He starts to rip off his Star of David.)
Anne. What are you doing?
Peter. Taking it off.
Anne. But you canít do that. Theyíll arrest you if you go out without your star.
[He tosses his knife on the table.]
Peter. Whoís going out?
Anne. Why, of course! Youíre right! Of course we donít need them anymore. (She picks up his knife and starts to take her star off.) I wonder what our friends will think when we donít show up today?
Peter. I didnít have any dates with anyone.
Anne. Oh, I did. I had a date with Jopie to go and play ping-pong at her house. Do you know Jopie de Waal?14
Anne. Jopieís my best friend. I wonder what sheíll think when she telephones and thereís no answer? . . . Probably sheíll go over to the house. . . . I wonder what sheíll think . . . we left everything as if weíd suddenly been called away . . . breakfast dishes in the sink . . . beds not made . . . (As she pulls off her star, the cloth underneath shows clearly the color and form of the star.) Look! Itís still there! (PETER goes over to the stove with his star.) Whatíre you going to do with yours?
Peter. Burn it.
Anne. (She starts to throw hers in, and cannot.) Itís funny, I canít throw mine away. I donít know why.
Peter. You canít throw . . . ? Something they branded you with . . . ? That they made you wear so they could spit on you?
Anne. I know. I know. But after all, it is the Star of David, isnít it?
[In the bedroom, right, MARGOT and MRS. FRANK are lying down. MR. FRANK starts quietly out.]
Peter. Maybe itís different for a girl.
[MR. FRANK comes into the main room.]
Mr. Frank. Forgive me, Peter. Now let me see. We must find a bed for your cat. (He goes to a cupboard.) Iím glad you brought your cat. Anne was feeling so badly about hers. (Getting a used small washtub) Here we are. Will it be comfortable in that?
Peter (gathering up his things). Thanks.
Mr. Frank (opening the door of the room on the left). And here is your room. But I warn you, Peter, you canít grow anymore. Not an inch, or youíll have to sleep with your feet out of the skylight. Are you hungry?
Mr. Frank. We have some bread and butter.
Peter. No, thank you.
Mr. Frank. You can have it for luncheon then. And tonight we will have a real supper . . . our first supper together.
Peter. Thanks. Thanks. (He goes into his room. During the following scene he arranges his possessions in his new room.)
Mr. Frank. Thatís a nice boy, Peter.
Anne. Heís awfully shy, isnít he?
Mr. Frank. Youíll like him, I know.
Anne. I certainly hope so, since heís the only boy Iím likely to see for months and months.
[MR. FRANK sits down, taking off his shoes.]
Mr. Frank. Annele, thereís a box there. Will you open it?
[He indicates a carton on the couch. ANNE brings it to the center table. In the street below, there is the sound of children playing.]
Anne (as she opens the carton). You know the way Iím going to think of it here? Iím going to think of it as a boardinghouse. A very peculiar summer boardinghouse, like the one that
weóó(She breaks off as she pulls out some photographs.) Father! My movie stars! I was wondering where they were! I was looking for them this morning . . . and Queen
Wilhelmina! How wonderful!
Mr. Frank. Thereís something more. Go on. Look further. (He goes over to the sink, pouring a glass of milk from a thermos bottle.)
Anne ( pulling out a pasteboard-bound book). A diary! (She throws her arms around her father.) Iíve never had a diary. And Iíve always longed for one. (She looks around the room.) Pencil, pencil, pencil, pencil. (She starts down the stairs.) Iím going down to the office to get a pencil.
Mr. Frank. Anne! No! (He goes after her, catching her by the arm and pulling her back.)
Anne (startled). But thereís no one in the building now.
Mr. Frank. It doesnít matter. I donít want you ever to go beyond that door.
Anne (sobered). Never . . . ? Not even at nighttime, when everyone is gone? Or on Sundays? Canít I go down to listen to the radio?
Mr. Frank. Never. I am sorry, Anneke. It isnít safe. No, you must never go beyond that door.
[For the first time ANNE realizes what ďgoing into hidingĒ means.]
Anne. I see.
Mr. Frank. Itíll be hard, I know. But always remember this, Anneke. There are no walls, there are no bolts, no locks that anyone can put on your mind. Miep will bring us books. We will read history, poetry, mythology. (He gives her the glass of milk.) Hereís your milk. (With his arm about her, they go over to the couch, sitting down side by side.) As a matter of fact, between us, Anne, being here has certain advantages for you. For instance, you remember the battle you had with your mother the other day on the subject of overshoes? You said youíd rather die than wear overshoes? But in the end you had to wear them? Well now, you see, for as long as we are here, you will never have to wear overshoes! Isnít that good? And the coat that you inherited from Margot, you wonít have to wear that anymore. And the piano! You wonít have to practice on the piano. I tell you, this is going to be a fine life for you!
[ANNEís panic is gone. PETER appears in the doorway of his room, with a saucer in his hand. He is carrying his cat.]
Peter. I . . . I . . . I thought Iíd better get some water for Mouschi before . . .
Mr. Frank. Of course.
[As he starts toward the sink, the carillon begins to chime the hour of eight. He tiptoes to the window at the back and looks down at the street below. He turns to
PETER, indicating in pantomime that it is too late. PETER starts back for his room. He steps on a creaking board. The three of them are frozen for a minute in fear. As
PETER starts away again, ANNE tiptoes over to him and pours some of the milk from her glass into the saucer for the cat. PETER
squats on the floor, putting the milk before the cat. MR. FRANK gives
ANNE his fountain pen and then goes into the room at the right. For a second
ANNE watches the cat; then she goes over to the center table and opens her
In the room at the right, MRS. FRANK has sat up quickly at the sound of the carillon. MR. FRANK comes in and sits down beside her on the settee, his arm comfortingly around her.
Upstairs, in the attic room, MR. and MRS. VAN DAAN have hung their clothes in the closet and are now seated on the iron bed. MRS. VAN DAAN leans back, exhausted. MR. VAN DAAN fans her with a newspaper.
ANNE starts to write in her diary. The lights dim out; the curtain falls.
In the darkness ANNEís voice comes to us again, faintly at first and then with growing
Anneís Voice. I expect I should be describing what it feels like to go into hiding. But I really donít know yet myself. I only know itís funny never to be able to go outdoors . . . never to breathe fresh air . . . never to run and shout and jump. Itís the silence in the nights that frightens me most. Every time I hear a creak in the house or a step on the street outside, Iím sure theyíre coming for us. The days arenít so bad. At least we know that Miep and Mr. Kraler are down there below us in the office. Our protectors, we call them. I asked Father what would happen to them if the Nazis found out they were hiding us.
Pim said that they would suffer the same fate that we would. . . . Imagine! They know this, and yet when they come up here, theyíre always cheerful and gay, as if there were nothing in the world to bother them. . . . Friday, the twenty-first of August, nineteen forty-two. Today Iím going to tell you our general news. Mother is unbearable. She insists on treating me like a baby, which I loathe. Otherwise things are going better. The weather is . . .
[As ANNEís voice is fading out, the curtain rises on the scene.]
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