A Collection of Short Stories

Review From User :

I decided to read Anne Frank's Tales from the Secret Annex after I finished her Diary. Her Diary (The Diary of Anne Frank) was still on my mind and having had this Kindle book for years, it was about time to read. When I glanced at the chapters in "The Tales from the Secret Annex", (TTFTSA); future abbreviation, it seemed like there would be a lot of stories that I had just read in her Diary. This was about 30% Diary material, I will list the chapters and comment on this by saying "new", meaning not from the Diary. When you see quotes with a "D" next to it, this is from her Diary and other quotes will be from TTFTSA.

Below I will quote from the Diary and place where it has a significance to the short stories.

"Mr. Bolkestein, the Cabinet Minister, speaking on the Dutch broadcast from London, said that after the war a collection would be made of diaries and letters dealing with the war. Of course, everyone pounced on my diary. Just imagine how interesting it would be if I were to publish a novel about the Secret Annex. The title alone would make people think it was a detective story." From "D"

"Anne Frank is best known as the writer of her world-famous diary, though she tried her hand at other genres as well. Between September 1943 and May 1944, Anne wrote numerous stories, fairy tales, essays and personal reminiscences in a stiff-backed notebook reserved for that purpose. She did her utmost to make it resemble a real book, copying her stories neatly into the notebook and adding a title page, a table of contents, page numbers and so forth. Her collection of tales is now reproduced here in full, in a new translation, in the exact order in which she wrote them in her notebook."

Chapters ------

"Was There a Break-in Wednesday evening, March 24, 1943"- this is from "D", it seemed word for word. Anne describes robbers coming to steal from the factory.

"The Dentist Wednesday, December 8, 1942" - from "D" seems word for word.

"Sausage Day Friday, December 10, 1942" from "D" there is almost word for word but something are missing from "D".

"The Flea Wednesday, July 7, 1943" New not in the "D" though this and other chapters are dated, which is the case here. Fleas are mentioned in the "D" but not under this date and a different material.

"Do You Remember Memories of my schooldays at the Jewish Lyceum" New- random memories of school. I had to laugh at Anne's apology letter to class because it seems not a true apology letter but mixed with insolent and sorry tones.

"The Best Little Table Tuesday, July 13, 1943" from the "D" Dussel and Anne fight from working at the table rights.

"Anne in Theory Monday, August 2, 1943" from "D"Dussel and Mrs. van Daan lectures Anne.

"The Battle of the Potatoes Wednesday, August 4, 1943" New, potatoes in "D" but this is different.

"Evenings and Nights in the Annex Wednesday, August 4, 1943" from ("D") seemed word for word.

"Lunch Break Thursday, August 5, 1943" from "D" with changes

"The Annex Eight at the Dinner Table Thursday, August 5, 1943" from "D" Seems word for word but under August 9, 1943 in the diary.

"Wenn Die Uhr Halb Neune Schlägt * Friday, August 6, 1943" from "D" Word for word it seems but August 23, 1943 under the diary.

"Villains! Friday, August 6, 1943" from."D"; August entry in diary less mentioned there then here.

"A Daily Chore in Our Little Community: Peeling Potatoes! Friday, August 6, 1943" August 10, 1943 in the diary word for word

"Freedom in the Annex Friday, August 6, 1943" from "D" Word for word but August 10, 1943 in diary.

"Kaatje Saturday, August 7, 1943" new- Not in the diary. Anne makes up a story about a girl she sees that lives nearby.

"The Janitor's Family Saturday, August 7, 1943" New- Not in diary; Anne makes up a story bout the janitor's family.

"My First Day at the Lyceum Wednesday, August 11, 1943" All new about first day at new school.

"A Biology Class Wednesday, August 11, 1943" new

"A Math Class Thursday, August 12, 1943" New but also quack name mentioned.

"Eva's Dream Wednesday, October 6, 1943" New. Eva has a visit in her dream of a little elf who shows her nature and the botanicals; that personality.

"Eva's Dream" is my best fairy tale, and the odd thing is that I don't have the faintest idea where it came from. Parts of "Cady's Life" are also good, but as a whole it's nothing special. I'm my best and harshest critic." From "D"

"I want to ask the magazine The Prince if they'll take one of my fairy tales, under a pseudonym, of course. But up to now all my fairy tales have been too long, so I don't think I have much of a chance." From "D"

"Roomers or Renters Friday, October 15, 1943" New, renting to different people a room in the family's house.

"Paulas Flight Wednesday, December 22, 1943" Anne copied these stories told to her by her dad, who had a gift of story telling about "Bad Paula" new -, Paula a young girl is naughty and when going to an airport boards a plane where soldiers are about to bomb Russia. The plane crashes and the Russians send the girl to a farm till the end of the war but Paula decided to go home to see her family which are no longer there but their paths cross. Bad Paula stories were told over the years to her.

"Delusions of Stardom Friday, December 24, 1943 My answer to Mrs. van Daan, who's forever asking me why I don't want to be a movie star" New -This was interesting because it shows us about Anne's thoughts on movie stars, America and her morals. Priscilla Lane who is adorable as were her sisters; I wonder if she heard this short story that she and her family are mentioned in.

"Katrien Friday, February 11, 1944" new - a lonely girl tries to win friends. I found this story very sad and mature thinking about life.

"Sundays Sunday, February 20, 1944" from "D" but more.

"The Flower Girl Sunday, February 20, 1944" new - a young girl sells flowers and works hard.

"My First Interview Tuesday, February 22, 1944" New, Not located in diary though she does mention Peter other places in the diary.

"The Den of Iniquity Tuesday, February 22, 1944" New not in diary. Views on dress and nudity.

"The Guardian Angel Tuesday, February 22, 1944" New - a granddaughter is left alone after her grandmother dies.

"Happiness Sunday, March 12, 1944" New - a girl talks to a boy and both no longer feel alone. She is kind of writing about herself and Peter here.

"Fear Saturday, March 25, 1944" New - a young girl finds peace amongst war. New - a young girl finds peace amongst war.

"Now that the war has long been over, I know why my fear vanished beneath that spacious sky. You see, once I was alone with nature I realized, without actually being aware of it, that fear doesn't help, that it doesn't get you anywhere. Anyone who's as frightened as I was should look to nature and realize that God is much closer than most people think. From that moment on, though countless bombs fell close by, I was never truly afraid again."

This quote tells so much about Anne and wise at such a young age. I so agree with her sentiments about nature and God; inner strength from nature and a source of inner happiness.

"Give!* Sunday, March 26, 1944" New - the art of giving.

"Everyone is born equal; we will all die and shed our earthly glory. Riches, power and fame last for only a few short years. Why do we cling so desperately to these fleeting things Why can't people who have more than enough for their own needs give the rest to their fellow human beings Why should anyone have to have such a hard life for those few short years on earth"

"The Wise Old Gnome Tuesday, April 18, 1944" New -old Gnome teaches a lesson.

"Blurry the Explorer Sunday, April 23, 1944" New - a teddy bear leaves home to explore the world.

"I've written an amusing story called "Blurry the Explorer," which was a big hit with my three listeners." From "D"

"The Fairy Friday, May 12, 1944" New - a fairy who has money gives it away and helps others.

"I want to ask the magazine The Prince if they'll take one of my fairy tales, under a pseudonym, of course. But up to now all my fairy tales have been too long, so I don't think I have much of a chance." From "D"

"I want to try to finish my story about Ellen, the fairy. Just for fun, I can give it to Father on his birthday, together with all the copyrights. See you later!" From "D"

"I've finished my story about Ellen, the fairy. I've copied it out on nice notepaper, decorated it with red ink and sewn the pages together." From "D"

"Riek Undated" new-giving story

"Jo Undated"new - A girl finds strength that she thought she lost.

"Why Undated" new- Some of this is at the beginning but this is all.

"Who Is Interesting Undated" New- finding someone interesting on a train.

"Cady's Life" An unfinished story which I will include some note from her Diary that will give you an idea.

"I haven't worked on "Cady's Life" for ages. In my mind I've worked out exactly what happens next, but the story doesn't seem to be coming along very well. I might never finish it, and it'll wind up in the wastepaper basket or the stove. That's a horrible thought, but then I say to myself, "At the age of fourteen and with so little experience, you can't write about philosophy." So onward and upward, with renewed spirits. It'll all work out, because I'm determined to write!" From "D"

"Anne also started a novel, which she called Cady's Life, at the back of Diary 2-the second volume of her diary- where there were still a number of blank pages. It is not known exactly when she began to write Cady's Life. However, from comments in her diary we can conclude that she must have been working on the "bits and pieces" during the first half of 1944. For one reason or another she never finished the novel, though in her diary entry of May 11, 1944, she briefly sketched the remainder of the plot. Three fragments of Cady's Life, which were written on loose sheets of paper, have also been included in this edition. No attempt has been made to insert them in the proper chronological order in the story, since we have no way of knowing where-or indeed whether-Anne intended to include them. But because there is a gap in the chronology, the three fragments have been inserted before the final, very moving, piece in Anne's unfinished novel. Interested readers are referred to The Diary of Anne Frank: The Revised Critical Edition (2003), which reproduces Anne Frank's Tales from the Secret Annex and Cady's Life in every detail. Gerrold van der Stroom's introduction to that section provides a wealth of background information."

I added this here about the plot of Cady's story because if you read it in this book it is quite incomplete and this next quote will help you understand where she was going with the story.

"You've known for a long time that my greatest wish is to be a journalist, and later on, a famous writer. We'll have to wait and see if these grand illusions (or delusions!) will ever come true, but up to now I've had no lack of topics. In any case, after the war I'd like to publish a book called The Secret Annex. It remains to be seen whether I'll succeed, but my diary can serve as the basis. I also need to finish "Cady's Life." I've thought up the rest of the plot. After being cured in the sanatorium, Cady goes back home and continues writing to Hans. It's 1941, and it doesn't take her long to discover Hans's Nazi sympathies, and since Cady is deeply concerned with the plight of the Jews and of her friend Marianne, they begin drifting apart. They meet and get back together, but break up when Hans takes up with another girl. Cady is shattered, and because she wants to have a good job, she studies nursing. After graduation she accepts a position, at the urging of her father's friends, as a nurse in a TB sanatorium in Switzerland. During her first vacation she goes to Lake Como, where she runs into Hans. He tells her that two years earlier he'd married Cady's successor, but that his wife took her life in a fit of depression. Now that he's seen his little Cady again, he realizes how much he loves her, and once more asks for her hand in marriage. Cady refuses, even though, in spite of herself, she loves him as much as ever. But her pride holds her back. Hans goes away, and years later Cady learns that he's wound up in England, where he's struggling with ill health. When she's twenty-seven, Cady marries a well-to-do man from the country, named Simon. She grows to love him, but not as much as Hans. She has two daughters and a son, Lilian, Judith and Nico. She and Simon are happy together, but Hans is always in the back of her mind until one night she dreams of him and says farewell. It's not sentimental nonsense: it's based on the story of Father's life." From "D"

My thoughts- Did Anne Frank have talent enough to be a writer as an adult I think these stories by a teenager have promise, so I think she could have made it. Her stories have feeling and insight of suffering not just from a war torn environment but many stories draw into her characters dealing with things in life not very easy. The story about the Teddy Bear going out in the world shows how our surroundings can play a part in how are life is lead and people having more charge of us than we would like to admit. Cady's Life is interesting but when you read about how she wants the story to play out as mentioned in her Diary, you see the serious writer.
When reading these stories and thinking about Anne's life, another author that was killed after arriving in Auschwitz, Irene Nemirovsky came to my mind, quite similar in a way. Though Anne was much younger than Irene both used their relationships with their mothers in their works. Their relationship with their mothers was quite cool and it is obvious and shows up many times. I think Anne's mother would have helped her daughter and grandkids if trouble needed her help, Irene's mom living in Paris actually refused to help her daughter and granddaughters, who luckily had to hide with a good friend and not easily done. Both these authors had unfinished works because of the Final Solution of The Nazis and being Jewish. Irene's Suite Francaise is her example and Anne's is Cady's Life. Both these unfinished stories had a war related stories and both had to find writing material that was scare. Anne writing in her Diary and Irene writing in extremely small print. (I plan on re reading Suite Francaise in 2021)
The loss of these women is just so heart breaking, the reason for their death makes no sense and shows such barbarism and credulity.

Was this worth reading Yes, I came away understanding Anne Frank better and her philosophy which helped her deal with life. Anne has fulfilled her wish below and making future generations of all races aware of the dangers that make men turning away from goodness and embracing evil.

"I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I've never met. I want to go on living even after my death!" From "D"

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