‘Fear’ by Anne Frank translated by Michel Mok

The global fame of Anne Frank’s diary overshadows the fact that she wrote short stories, essays and fables too. She was fourteen when she composed ‘Fear’, a two-page story dated 25 March 1944, which takes the reader from falling bombs to the freedom of nature with such speed and clarity it’s like being pulled along by gust of wind. It sparks with an acute atmosphere of not enough time, time running out, and a future neither guaranteed nor given. Collected in a 1986 Penguin edition, which I was given as a ten-year-old, I read it back then with a child’s mindset and marvelled as I do even more now at Frank’s fearless faith, her matter-of-fact directness, and the heartfelt wisdom of her innocence. 

Collected in Anne Frank’s Tales from the Secret Annex – stories, essays, fables and reminiscences written in hiding, Penguin, 1986