WOMEN WE LOVE: Anne Frank

Writing and art by Freya Bennett

Anne-Frank-Desk

Anne Frank was a diarist and a writer. She was born on the 12th of June in 1929 and she died of typhus in early March 1945. She was 15 years old when she died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Anne became famous after her death when her father, Otto Frank, the only surviving member of her immediate family, published her diary.

The Diary Of Anne Frank provides an incredible insight into what life would have been like as a Jew in Nazi-occupied Holland. Anne lived in hiding in Amsterdam for two years before being betrayed and captured.

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Although we learn and gain insight about the war, we also hear a lot about Anne’s personal thoughts. She goes through many of the same struggles that teenage girls still face every day. She has questions and concerns about her sexuality, her body, her family, and her freedom.

Following are some of my favourite quotes from The Diary of Anne Frank. Some are very philosophical, and others relate to typical problems most teenage girls go through.

Saturday, October 3 ,1942

“Oh I long to get my period – then I’ll really be grown up.”

Thursday, January 6, 1944

“Once when I was spending the night at Jacque’s, I could no longer restrain my curiosity about her body, which she had always hidden from me and which I had never seen. I asked her whether, as proof of our friendship, we could touch each others breasts. Jacque refused. I also had a terrible desire to kiss her, which I did. Everytime I see a female nude, such as the Venus in my art history book, I go into ecstasy. Sometimes I find them so exquisite I have to struggle to hold back my tears. If only I had a girlfriend.”

Wednesday, February 23, 1944

“The best remedy for those who are frightened, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere they can be alone, alone with the sky, nature and God.”

Sunday, February 27, 1944
“From early morning to late at night, all I do is think about Peter. I fall asleep with his image before my eyes, dream about him and wake up with him still looking at me.”

Saturday, March 18, 1944

“Parents and people in general are very peculiar when it comes to sex. Instead of telling their sons and daughters everything at the age of 12, they send the children out of the room, the moment the subject arises and leave them to find out everything on their own…..It was Jacque who told me that children didn’t come out of their mothers tummies. As she put it, “Where the ingredients go in is where the finished product comes out…”

Friday, March 24, 1944

“Everything’s pretty well arranged in us women. Until I was twelve, I didn’t realise there was a second set of labia on the inside, since you couldn’t see them. What’s even funnier, is I thought urine came out of the clitoris.”

“How on earth can you explain what it (the vulva and vagina) looks like, without any models? Shall I try anyway? Okay, here goes!

When you’re standing up, all you see from the front is hair. Between your legs there are two soft, cushiony things, also covered with hair, which press together when you are standing, so you can’t see what’s inside. They separate when you sit down, and they are very red and quite fleshy on the inside. In the upper part, between the outer labia, there’s a fold of skin that, on second thought, looks like a kind of blister. That’s the clitoris. Then come the inner labia, which are also pressed together in a kind of crease. When they open up, you can see a fleshy little mound, no bigger than the top of my thumb. The upper part has a couple of small holes in it, which is where the urine comes out. The lower part looks as if it were just skin, and yet, that’s where the vagina is. You can barely find it, because the folds of skin hide the opening. The hole is so small I can hardly imagine how a man could get in there, much less how a baby could come out. It’s hard enough to try and get your index finger inside. That’s all there is, yet it plays such an important role.”

Friday, March 31, 1944
“It’s so nice not having to hold back when we come to a delicate topic, the way I would with other boys. For example, we were talking about blood and somehow the conversation turned to menstruation, etc. Peter thinks we women are quite tough to be able to withstand the loss of blood.”

Tuesday June 13, 1944

“Many people think nature is beautiful, many people sleep from time to time under the starry sky, and many people in hospitals and prisons long for the day when they’ll be free to enjoy what nature has to offer. But few are so isolated and cut off as we are from the joys of nature, which can be shared by rich and poor alike.

It’s not just my imagination – looking at the sky, the clouds, the moon and the stars really does make me feel calm and hopeful.”

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Freya Bennett

Freya Bennett is the Co-Founder and Director of Ramona Magazine. She is a writer and illustrator from Melbourne, Australia who loves dreary grey days, libraries and coffee.
With a passion for grassroots activism and creative community, Freya began Ramona Magazine as an alternative to boring, image-obsessed media. Ramona Magazine is founded upon Freya’s core values of creative expression, equality, kindness and a little bit of feminist rage. You can follow her @thecinnamonsociety

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