Hidden pages in Anne Frank's diary revealed

May 17, 2018

On May 15, 2018, the Anne Frank House, the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, and the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, published hidden text found beneath gummed paper in Anne Frank's first diary. 

The newly revealed text was discovered in 2016 during a routine check on the condition of Anne's diaries. Image processing technology allowed the text to be made legible without altering the pages of the diary. The text was written on September 28, 1942, and includes five crossed-out phrases, four "dirty" jokes, and 33 lines about sex education and prostitution.

The covered pages do not alter our image of Anne. She regularly recorded “dirty” jokes or dealt with sexuality in her diary. Over the decades Anne has grown to become the worldwide symbol of the Holocaust, and Anne the girl has increasingly faded into the background. These - literally - uncovered texts bring the inquisitive and in many respects precocious teenager back into the foreground."  - Anne Frank House

This is not the first time that "new" text from Anne's diary papers have been made public. In 1947, Anne's father, Otto Frank, published an edited version her diary for the first time. In 1986, the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies published a critical edition of the diary which included passages that were excluded from the original publication. In 2001, the critical edition was republished to include five rediscovered pages of the diary.

The Anne Frank House has addressed concerns regarding the publication of the hidden text with a series of frequently asked questions. Since Anne's diary holds UNESCO World Heritage status, research into the content of the diary and context in which it was written serves important historic and academic purposes.

Research into Anne Frank's qualities as a writer means research into the process of deliberation and of writing and deleting, as this can be deduced from her diary texts. Rejected versions are just as important for insight into her working method as passages that were added. The covered sections of the text are part of the object of research." - Anne Frank House

Anne received a diary for her thirteenth birthday in June 1942. One month later, Anne and her family went into hiding in a secret apartment behind her father's office building. For just over two years, Anne documented her life in hiding by writing in her diary and other notebooks. In the spring of 1944, she began to rewrite her original entries with the intention of publishing a novel after the war. Anne did not survive to see the end of the war. She died in February 1945 at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Her writings not only serve as testament to her experiences between 1942 and 1945, but they provide insight into the intimate thoughts and feelings of a young teenage girl as she develops her own identity and beliefs. 

​The Anne Frank House is committed to telling Anne's story as completely and accurately as possible. In December 2016, the Anne Frank House published new research about the discovery and arrest of the occupants of the Secret Annex. The Anne Frank House is also "preparing itself for a new generation of visitors" by undergoing a comprehensive renewal project that includes remodeling of the museum and the educational content of its exhibits.  The Georgia Commission on the Holocaust shares the pledge as we tell Anne's story with the Anne Frank in the World exhibit.

 


Sources

Emma Ellingson

About the Author

Emma has been with the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust since 2011. She provides educational resources, trainings, and historical content.