In Act 2, Anne gets to know Peter better and the family faces difficult decisions about their blackmailer until they are finally caught.
Act 2 begins with a New Year’s celebration that painfully reminds the family of how long they have been in hiding. There is a cake that predicts peace in the coming year, and the families are saddened by the fact that the war continues. Tensions are running high, and Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan fight over selling her coat for cigarettes.
The most serious event the family faces is the presence of a blackmailer. The blackmailer asks about Mr. Frank, and then asks more questions.
He was standing staring at the bookcase . . . your bookcase. He said he thought he remembered a door there . . . Wasn’t there a door there that used to go up to the loft? Then he told me he wanted more money. (Act 2, Scene 1)
The families decide they can do nothing but pay him. They constantly worry that they will be turned in.
Anne and Peter become friends in this act. In Act 1, they argued and behaved childishly. Now they realize that they are both sensitive and have things in common. They begin to see each other in a romantic light. In fact, they even kiss. Unfortunately, then the families are arrested.