How did the air raids disrupt the Dutch public life?
In Anne’s account, we witness the misery of the Dutch people who endured the air raids. Trembling houses, raging epidemics, starving people and thefts became common place. Windows of houses were broken and everything which one could lay one’s hand on was stolen. Public properties such as electric clocks and phones on the streets were dismantled. The food which they stocked for a week did not last for more than two days. Hunger and disease forced people to turn to crime. While these conditions prevailed, men were separated from their families and forcefully shipped away like goods to Germany to fight in the war. There was widespread poverty.
In Anne's account, we get a picture of the unforeseen misery unleashed upon the Dutch people due to the air raids. The common occurrences during that time were that of frightened women, trembling houses, raging epidemics and people relentlessly stalked by hunger. People would have to stand in line to buy vegetables and all kinds of goods, doctors could not visit their patients and automobiles were stolen. Burglaries and thefts had become quite common. Little children smashed windows of people's homes and stole whatever they could get their hands on. People did not dare to leave the house even for five minutes since they were liable to come back and find all their belongings gone. Newspapers were filled with reward notices for the return of stolen typewriters, Persian rugs, electric clocks, fabrics and so on. The electric clocks on street corners were dismantled, public phones stripped down to the last wire. Morale among the Dutch was low and everyone was going hungry. A week's food ration did not last for more than two days unless it was ersatz coffee. Men were shipped off to Germany, children were sick or undernourished and everyone wore their worn-out clothes and run-down shoes. Commodities were expensive even on the black market.