I’ve always been the clown and mischief maker of the family; I’ve always had to pay double for my sins: once with scoldings and then again with my own sense of despair.
My writing has raised me somewhat from "the depths of despair."
Every day I think what a fascinating and amusing adventure this is! With all that, why should I despair?
I’m "on top of the world" when I think of how fortunate we are and compare myself to other Jewish children, and "in the depths of despair" when, for example, Mrs. Kleiman comes by and talks about Jopie’s hockey club, canoe trips, school plays and afternoon teas with friends.
One day we’re laugh— ing at the comical side of life in hiding, and the next day (and there are many such days), we’re frightened, and the fear, tension and despair can be read on our faces.
What’s so difficult about my personality is that I scold and curse myself much more than anyone else does; if Mother adds her advice, the pile of sermons becomes so thick that I despair of ever getting through them.
"Himmelhoch jauchzend, zu Tode betru’bt"* [* A famous line from Goethe: "On top of the world, or in the depths of despair.
As you can no doubt imagine, we often say in despair, "What’s the point of the war?