Character Analysis Mrs. Van Daan


Mrs. Van Daan was described by one of the group of Dutch "protectors" as "a very uncomplicated person, anxious and cheerful at the same time, as temperamental people often are." Anne's account of her in her diary is generally unflattering and intolerant, and we often feel that there was a great gulf of character and intelligence between them. What is evident is that Mrs. Van Daan was not a stoical person who shines in adversity.

Mrs. Van Daan was included in the last group of one thousand prisoners sent from Westerbork in Holland to Auschwitz in Poland on September 2, 1944, as the Nazis retreated before the advancing Allies. At Auschwitz, she was separated from her husband and son. She was sent to Belsen, separately from Anne and Margot, who were surprised to meet her there later on. It was she who heard Anne's friend, Lies, calling from another part of the camp, and who summoned Anne to their meeting.

Mrs. Van Daan died at Belsen, although it is not known whether she was gassed or succumbed to hunger or disease. The date of her death is not known, although it must have been after February, when Anne and Lies saw one another for the last time.

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