One thing to keep in mind when answering this question is Anne Frank's age during the time that she is writing her diary: she is a young teenager. Speaking as a father of three, one of the worst punishments I can dish out is confining my children to a small...
space that prevents them from moving around. Just sitting completely still through a 40 minute speech of any kind is akin to torture. Anne Frank has to do this day after day forhours at a time.
When five in the afternoon and later rolls around, the family is given a special "all clear" signal. That signal means it is safe for the family to move around, talk above a whisper, and even leave their small hiding area. The freedom that Anne Frank is referring to is a freedom to talk in a normal voice, freedom to walk and run, freedom to laugh and giggle, freedom to be a kid, and freedom to forget her family's dire circumstances.
Five-thirty. Bep’s arrival signals the beginning of our nightly freedom. Things get going right away. I go upstairs with Bep, who usually has her dessert before the rest of us.
Five forty-five. Bep leaves. I go down two floors to have a look around: first to the kitchen, then to the private office and then to the coal bin to open the cat door for Mouschi.