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Mr. Van Daan is a resident of the Annex because he was super-kind to Mr. Frank when Otto immigrated to Holland. Mr. Van Daan helped him find a job, a house, and introduced him all around. Mr. Frank claims he owes the man a heaping helping of gratitude for all that.
If anything, Otto Frank repaid his debt to the Van Daans ten-fold by welcoming them into the attic. Mr. Van Daan's selfishness is evident at the beginning of the play, and it continues to grow until he actually begins stealing food from the Annex storage bin. He sells his wife's favorite fur coat in order to buy himself cigarettes and is completely harsh and uncaring toward Peter, his son. He's not fond of Anne by any means and is generally angry and irritated the entire length of the play.