‘Our many Jewish friends and acquaintances are being taken away in droves. The Gestapo is treating them very roughly and transporting them in cattle cars to Westerbork, the big camp in Drenthe to which they’re sending all the Jews . . . If it’s that bad in Holland, what must it be like in those faraway and uncivilized places where the Germans are sending them? We assume that most of them are being murdered. The English radio says they’re being gassed. . . Have you ever heard the term ‘hostages’? That’s the latest punishment for saboteurs. It’s the most horrible thing you can imagine. Leading citizens - innocent people - are taken prisoner to await their execution. If the Gestapo can’t find the saboteur, they simply grab five hostages and line them up against the wall. You read the announcements of their death in the paper, where they’re referred to as ‘fatal accidents’.
‘At any time of night and day, poor helpless people are being dragged out of their homes. They’re allowed to take only a rucksack and a little cash with them, and even then, they are robbed of these possessions on the way. Families are torn apart; men, women, and children are separated. Children come home from school to find their parents have disappeared. Women return from shopping to find their houses sealed and their families gone. The Christians in Holland are also living in fear because their sons are being sent to Germany. Everyone is scared.’
‘I’ve reached the point where I hardly care whether I live or die. The world will keep on turning without me, and I can’t do anything to change events anyway. I’ll just let matters take their course and concentrate on studying and hope that everything will be all right in the end.’
‘It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. . . It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more.’