The Diary of Anne Frank
How we cite our quotes:
Our freedom was severely restricted by a series of anti-Jewish decrees: Jews were required to wear a yellow star; Jews were required to turn in their bicycles; Jews were forbidden to use streetcars; Jews were forbidden to ride in cars, even their own; Jews were required to do their shopping between 3 and 5 P.M.; Jews were required to frequent only Jewish-owned barbershops and beauty parlors; Jews were forbidden to be out on the streets between 8 P.M. and 6 A.M.; Jews were forbidden to go to theaters, movies or any other forms of entertainment; Jews were forbidden to use swimming pools [. . .] (6/20/1942.9)
These are just a few examples of how Nazi policies imposed an identity on Jewish people. They were identified as separate, different, and less than human. Anne doesn’t seem to believe any of this about herself or other Jewish people, but she is forced to live it. This imposed identity contributes to Anne’s later identity as a fearful person, living on the brink of disaster.
It’s sweltering. Everyone is huffing and puffing, and in this heat I have to walk everywhere. Only now do I realize how pleasant a streetcar is, but we Jews are no longer allowed to make use of this luxury; our own two feet are good enough for us [. . .] The only mode of transportation left to us is the ferry. The ferryman at Josef Israëlkade took us across when we asked him to. It’s not the fault of the Dutch that we Jews are having such a bad time. (6/24/1942.1-2)
In this passage, we see that the identity being imposed upon Anne by the Nazis is not, in Anne's view, reinforced by the Dutch people. She understands that Holland is being occupied by Nazi forces and under Nazi control, but that the Dutch as a people don’t seem to buy in to Nazi propaganda, and are not to blame.
Fine specimens of humanity, those Germans, and to think I’m actually one of them! No, that’s not true, Hitler took away our nationality long ago. (10/9/1942.6)
National identity is confusing. How much our identities are influenced by the nation we live in or are born in is different for each person. While the Nazi party was in power, proper German identity meant hating Jewish people. Most people don’t want to hate other people. Identity crises were rampant among “Germans” and “Jews.”