Anne Frank and Her Sister: From Jealousy to Friendship

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Who was Anne Frank’s sister in The Diary of a Young Girl? Why did Anne feel jealous of her sister’s relationship with their parents?

Reading The Diary of a Young Girl, you get to know Anne Frank’s sister, Margot Frank, rather superficially. Anne’s diary entries concerning her sister were mainly about the jealousy she felt towards Margot because she felt like their parents treated her better than they treated Anne.

Read about Anne Frank’s sister Margot and their relationship in the Secret Annex.

Anne Frank’s Sister: Margot Frank

Anne Frank’s sister Margot was three years older than Anne. Unlike Anne, who was opinionated and outspoken, Margot was rather timid and withdrawn in her disposition.

During their life in the Annex, Anne became jealous of Margot’s relationship with their parents because she felt like they treated Margot better than they treated her (especially, their mother Edith). For example, Margot broke the vacuum and was immediately forgiven, but Anne asked to simply write down something on a shopping list and was yelled at for it.

On another occasion, Margot was reading a book that Anne was interested in. When Margot put it down for a while, Anne picked it up and began to read. When Margot asked for it back, Anne said that she wanted to read it for a while. Both Edith and Otto scolded Anne for taking her sister’s book and demanded that she give it back. Anne saw this as an attack as no one took her side in the disagreement. This caused Anne to cry and question whether anyone would ever truly understand her. She felt the closest to her father, but she felt that even he would usually side with Margot and her mother.

This led to more frequent fights with Margot, whom she didn’t often clash with prior to their time in the Annex. Her insecurities rose to the surface in many of these fights, and she began to blame herself for the arguments. 

When Anne and Peter fell in love, Margot started to become jealous of their relationship. In a letter, Margot explained that she was upset that she didn’t have a person that she could talk to in the way that Peter and Anne could talk to one another. While she was glad that Anne had found someone to talk to, Margot felt lonely and left out. Anne felt sorry for her sister and assured her that she cared about her. She wanted to be there for Margot and told her to come to her with anything she’d want to discuss. 

As time went on, Anne and Margot grew closer and started confiding in each other. For example, Anne told Margot about her frustrations that their parents still treated her like a child. They monitored the books she was allowed to read and expected small affections such as little kisses throughout the day. In her response, Margot expressed the same sentiment about their parents, relating to Anne’s frustrations.

Anne Frank and Her Sister: From Jealousy to Friendship

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Here's what you'll find in our full The Diary of a Young Girl summary :

  • What Nazi occupation looked like from the perspective of a young Jewish girl
  • How Anne Frank had some normal teenage experiences while in hiding
  • How the hidden residents coped with the stress

Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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