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In Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank (the author) discusses the worsening conditions for the Jews even before she and her family go into hiding in the Annex. Anne first describes how difficult it is for the Jews as forms of transportation, athletics, and even places one can go for a haircut or shave are outlawed. They are not even allowed to sit in their gardens after a certain time, and may only shop for food during a two-hour stretch in the afternoons. In terms of the economy, the war has thrown society into turmoil. The people are only able to purchase food with ration books. Tickets from these books are exchanged for food.
Once the Franks go into hiding (because they are Jewish), food is more limited. A baker sympathetic to their plight provides them with bread.
…we don't have as much as we did at home, but it's enough.
In the Annex, Anne shares that they are now forced to buy ration books on the black market (because they are in hiding and no longer receive them through regular channels). About the books she notes:
The price keeps going up; it's already risen from 27 to 33 guilders. And that for mere sheets of printed paper.
Other things in the economy are being rationed in addition to food. Being in hiding because they are Jewish limits a great deal of what the members of the Annex have access to. On November 28, 1942, Anne reports that electricity has also been rationed and that they have exceeded what was rationed to them: they prepare themselves for nights without light.
While Anne brought a large supply of pencils and paper, such things also become hard to come by because they are in hiding. As Anne writes in her diary, she is loath to scratch out mistakes she might make. She explains to "Kitty" (the imaginary recipient of the news of Anne's diary), waste is out of the question:
…I don't like crossing things out, and in these times of scarcity, tossing away a piece of paper is clearly taboo.
When Hanukkah arrives, they celebrate in small ways. This includes the lighting of the candles, but because they have so few candles and it is so difficult to get more, they light the candles for a short time: ten minutes. Anne observes that having them lit while singing is most important: they do not need them lit longer.
Food is bought in bulk, such as the beans that break the bag in which they are held—scattering them everywhere. The people in the Annex buy an enormous amount of meat ("under the counter") in case their provisions become more drastically limited in the future. Mr. van Daan makes sausages—some that will be dried and saved for the future.
While people in Europe suffer with a shortage of food (among other things), the Jews struggle even more so because so many limitations have been placed on them because of their ethnicity. Once they go into hiding, the crumbling economy makes living in in such a way that much more difficult.
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