This theme pretty much speaks for itself. It's like the sneaky shadows hiding in every corner of the play. Anne's life was so overshadowed by warfare that she ate, slept, and dreamed warfare. Unfortunately during WWII, children were grossly affected by the war. Those who weren't victims were fighting, and those who weren't fighting were displaced—lost from their families and loved ones. All in all, the 1940s was a pretty bad time for a lot of folks.
Warfare overshadows everything the residents of the Annex do. They're forced into their situation by the political aspects of the war, and they can't leave until the war is over. They fear for their lives because of the war's aspects and it's the sole cause of their suffering and grief.
Warfare also contributes to several other themes—we can think of it as an umbrella theme that lots of other themes fall under. Isolation, survival, and fear are the direct relations of war. We as the audience realize how lucky we are that this wasn't our life, and the play almost begs us to remember this after we leave the theater and go about our daily, peacetime lives.
Questions About Warfare
How does warfare affect the children of the Annex differently than it does the grownups?
Which other characters beside the Annex residents are affected by the war?
How does the play provide inside information to the audience about what life was like during World War II?
What is the aftermath of the war that Otto Frank is forced to deal with?
Chew on This
Anne's experiences as a teenager are different than a normal teen's because she was a war victim.
The war, or World War II specifically, is the major theme in Anne's life. It is what she most consistently worries about.