Character Analysis Peter Van Daan


One of the Dutch "protectors" has described Peter as a "simple, lovable boy, whom Anne would sometimes tease for his slow, methodical ways." It is clear from Anne's diary that she loved him, although it is possible that she loved her dream of love rather than the boy himself. Peter was a quiet, handsome boy with a forest of brown curls and blue-gray eyes.

At the Westerbork reception camp, Anne and Peter were still together, and they made a striking and handsome pair. At Auschwitz, however, men were separated from women upon arrival, so we must presume that after their dispatch there, on September 2, 1944, they did not see one another again. When the women were ordered to go to the left, at the Auschwitz railway station, Peter, Mr. Frank, Mr. Van Daan, and Mr. Düssel had to turn to the right.

Peter was taken along by the SS guards when they left Auschwitz in January 1945. Mr. Frank, who was in the infirmary at the time, tried to persuade Peter to hide there too, but Peter did not dare to do so. It was bitterly cold and the roads were covered with ice as thousands of prisoners marched out of the camp, together with their guards. Many died of the cold, of hunger, and of exhaustion, and many were shot by the SS guards for lagging behind. Most of them were never heard of again. Peter Van Daan was among these.

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