In this quote from the play version of The Diary of Anne Frank, Mr. Frank is responding to the way the tense and anxious inmates of the attic hideaway are fighting over food. Food had become very scarce all across the Netherlands at this point in World War II, as the Nazis commandeered most of the available food resources to support their own army in their failing war effort. Hunger was severe and widespread, and, of course, extended to the Franks and the Van Damms, hiding away and dependent on others to feed them. They quarrel in this scene over potatoes, over dividing the food fairly, and over whether some should leave the annex so that there will be more food for the rest. The Jews here are destroying themselves through infighting and through some of them putting their own needs above the good of the community. They need to stick together: if everyone is willing to sacrifice a little without endless quarreling and complaining, the group as a whole is more likely to survive.