June 12, 1942-July 5, 1942
Anne Frank begins her diary on her thirteenth birthday, June 12, 1942. She and her family are Jews living in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, Holland, during World War II, and she received the diary as a birthday present. She describes the other presents she received and the day she spent at the Jewish school she attends. In her next two entries, she describes the girls and boys at her school. She is quite forthright about them all, and describes who she likes and who she doesn't like. She describes one boy, Maurice Coster, as being one of her many admirers, so it appears that at the age of thirteen, she is already popular with the boys and confident about it, too.
On June 20, Anne confides to her diary that she is writing it because she does not have a real friend, someone in whom she can confide her innermost thoughts. This is in spite of the fact that she has, she says, loving parents, a sixteen-year-old sister, and about thirty people she can call friends.
Anne addresses her diary entries to an imaginary friend called Kitty, and she tells Kitty about her background and family. She was born in Frankfurt, Germany, but her father, Otto Frank, moved with his wife Edith to Holland in 1933. This was the year Adolf Hitler and the Nazis came to power in Germany. Anne was temporarily sent to stay with her grandparents before rejoining her parents and sister Margot in Amsterdam in February, 1934. World War II began in 1939, and she describes how after May, 1940, when the Germans occupied Holland, troubles began for the Jews in that country. A series of anti-Jewish decrees were issued, severely restricting the Jews' freedom of action and movement.
On June 20, Anne describes playing ping-pong with her friends and going to the ice-cream parlor, where there is always a male admirer to buy her some ice cream. She writes again of her many admirers amongst the boys who attend her school. She has gained a lot of skill in deflecting unwanted attention.
In the next few entries, Anne describes incidents at school, in which she is known for talking too much. Her math teacher keeps punishing her by assigning extra homework, such as an essay on the subject, A Chatterbox. She also complains about the restrictions placed on the Jews, including the fact that they are no longer allowed to use the streetcars. She writes of how she is getting to know a sixteen-year-old boy, Hello Silberberg. His grandmother thinks Anne is too young for him and wants him to go back to his old girlfriend, Ursul, but he disagrees and says he would like to go on seeing Anne. Hello (his name is short for Helmuth) meets Anne's mother and father, and her father is angry with her for getting home after eight o'clock. Eight o'clock is the German-imposed curfew after which no Jew is allowed to be outside.
Anne believes Hello is in love with her, although she regards him as only a friend. She believes she is still in love with a boy named Peter Schiff, even though she does not see him much anymore.
On July 5, Anne reports on the grades she received at the end of the school year. She has done reasonably well, although her sister Margot, three years older than Anne, has done better, as usual.
She also reports that her father has told her they may have to go into hiding to avoid being taken away and having their belongings confiscated by the Germans. He reminds her that for over a year they have been taking supplies to other Jews who have already gone into hiding.
In her early diary entries, Anne's life appears to be relatively normal, in spite of the difficult situation all Dutch Jews are in. She reports on her friends and school activities, her interest in boys and their interest in her, just like any other young teenager would. Although she knows about the restrictions placed on the Jews, these seem to her no more than an inconvenience. She is happy and carefree and expresses no concern about the future until her father confides in her that they may have to go into hiding to avoid being rounded up by the Germans. Even then, Anne's response is to hope that such a thing does not happen. She is still innocent about life, and has no idea about what might befall her. For the reader, however, who knows about the Holocaust in which six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis, the ominous notes are there at the beginning, particularly in the long list Anne provides of the anti-Jewish decrees imposed by the Germans. The contrast here is between Anne's youthful innocence and the reader's knowledge of the fate that awaited her and the Jews as a whole.