What can you infer about why Italy's surrender gave hope to the people in the Annexe in Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The life in the Annexe was filled with so much in way of uncertainty.  There were some fundamental and tension ridden beliefs that lived besides one another in this setting.  On one hand, there was an overwhelming condition of despair.  Living in the annexe was a flight from death, and everyone in the annexe understood it.  At the same time, in order to counteract the condition of total fear and despair, there seemed to be an equally intense yearning for hope, to take hope in almost anything.  Seeing that those hiding in the Annexe have little or no power in the social setting, there was a tendency to see anything that happened as in a larger context than might actually be.  When news of Italy's surrender hits, there is an immediate hope that the war is close to being over and their life of hiding is over with it.  It is this painful condition of striving to find hope in anything, everything that could lead to a potential end to such a condition that enables the people in the Annexe to react the way they do.  This hope becomes one of the most defining elements in Holocaust Literature such as The Diary of Anne Frank.  It compels people to believe, which is the source of both great strength and simultaneously great delusion.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Let us remember that the people in the annexe are reduced to the unfortunate position of just observing and listening to the news and are not able to participate in any of the big momentous events that are happening around them. This must have been particularly frustrating for the adults, who were not able to either fight or be involved in other services that could support the war. They know that they will only be able to walk free again when the Germans are conquered, and so any news at all of the allies and how well they are doing bring them hope. Thus it is that when news reaches them of Italy and their surrender, they take this as a massive encouragement, and hope that further allied victories will soon come after this. It can only be a matter of time until Germany is either beaten or forced to withdraw from Holland, thus giving them the freedom that they desire.

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