The Diary of Anne Frank: Free Study Guide - Free BookNotes/Analysis|
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FREE STUDY GUIDE: THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK
Mr. van Daan was a former business associate of Otto Frank. He, his wife, and his son Peter join the Franks in the secret annex. Although Mr. Daan was not well developed in the diary, Anne did indicate that he was a chain smoker. As long as he had cigarettes, he was a quiet and calm man, but without them, he grew cranky. He forced Mrs. van Daan to sell her fur coat to support his smoking habit.
Anne described Mrs. van Daan as a quarrelsome and irritating woman. She was always picking a fight with someone, especially her husband. She also constantly criticized Anne’s behavior, indicating she had been improperly raised. Although all of the Franks found her troublesome and lazy, they could do nothing about her.
Neither Mr. Daan nor his wife was a good parent. They never knew how to properly handle Peter’s disobedience. When he read a book not meant for him, Mr. van Daan grew furious and beat Peter, an action that made the Franks even more uncomfortable.
Both Mr. and Mrs. van Daan were captured by the Gestapo and died at Auschwitz.
Peter is the fifteen-year-old son of the van Daans. When he arrives at the secret annex with his parents, Anne judges him to be shy and awkward. Although he is attractive, with blue eyes and dark, curly hair, she thinks he will never be good company for her. During the two years that they stay in the attic, they become very good friends. When her parents scold her for spending too much time with him, she stands up to them, refusing to change her behavior, for when she is with Peter she has a bit of happiness amidst her misery. When Anne receives her first kiss from him, she is delighted. By the time they are captured, Anne realizes that she is in love with Peter.
When Peter and Anne are captured by the Gestapo and sent to Westerbork, it
is reported that they are constantly together. At Auschwitz, however,
the pair is permanently separated. In January of 1945, Peter had to leave
the Auschwitz camp with the SS guards on a forced 35 mile “death march”
to a train station to be taken to Mathausen-Gusen. Otto Frank tried to
persuade the boy to stay back, but Peter was too afraid. Peter died in
May, 1945 at the Mathausen-Gusen concentration camp.
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. 09 May 2017