In the play, just as in the book version of Anne’s diary, Anne grows closer to Peter. He becomes her only meaningful ally other than her father and her diary, “Kitty.” In act 2, scenes 1 and 2, we see Peter come to Anne’s defense and the dialogue that reveals their growing friendship.
When the act opens, Peter’s parents have an argument which ostensibly is about Mrs. Van Daan’s fur coat but in reality is about much more than that. They argue about her attachment to the coat and her inability to let go of it so that her husband can sell it to raise badly needed funds to keep the family going. From there, the argument takes a turn and reveals the underlying source of friction between them, which is that Mrs. Van Daan refused to flee Amsterdam when Hitler first came to power and they had a chance to escape. Anne tries to buffer the argument and Mrs. Van Daan turns on her and insults her, saying that Anne speaks too freely and should keep out of this discussion.
Hurt, Anne leaves, and Peter goes after her to apologize for his parents. This draws the two closer together and shows their budding friendship. Peter laments about his parents’ behavior and says that he hopes that he does not turn out like them when he is older. He then tells Anne that she is always a big help to him because her cheerful demeanor keeps him from being depressed.
Anne reveals that she does not feel cheerful deep inside. Anne acknowledges that they share a bond that they never realized before. Even though they have lived in the annex together for a year and a half, “this is the first time we’ve really talked,” she says. Unlike her mother, Mrs. Van Daan, and even sometimes her sister, Peter compliments Anne and is there to listen to her when she is worried or angry.