Study Guide

The Diary of Anne Frank Selfishness

By Anne Frank

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Anne Frank

For the umpteenth time, Mrs. van Daan is sulking. She’s very moody and has been removing more and more of her belongings and locking them up. It’s too bad Mother doesn’t repay every van Daan "disappearing act" with a Frank "disappearing act." (9/27/1942.4)

Very quickly, the inhabitants of the Secret Annex demonstrate their selfishness with their own material possessions.

I should explain that yesterday was November 16, the first anniversary of his [Mr. Dussel’s] living in the Annex [. . .] instead of taking the opportunity to thank us – for the first time – for unselfishly taking him in, he didn’t utter a word. (11/17/1943.3)

Mr. Dussel is an example of extreme selfishness, not caring or realizing that the Franks and van Daans unselfishly saved his life.

There are many resistance groups, such as Free Netherlands, that forge identity cards, provide financial support to those in hiding, organize hiding places and find work for young Christians who go underground. It’s amazing how much these generous and unselfish people do, risking their own lives to help and save others.

The best example of this is our own helpers, who have managed to pull us through so far and will hopefully bring us safely to shore, because otherwise they’ll find themselves sharing the fate of those they’re trying to protect. (1/28/1944.5-6)

In contrast to the small-minded bickering that occurs in the Secret Annex, the men and women helping the Franks and van Daans are unselfishly risking their own lives. Anne’s recognition of this shows her insight, awareness, and sense of gratitude.

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