15 May 2018

Frequently Asked Questions on the Covered Pages of Anne Frank's Diary.

Cover of the diary of Anne Frank

1. What is written on the revealed pages?

“I’ll use this spoiled page to write down ‘dirty’ jokes”, wrote Anne on 28 September 1942. At that time she had been in hiding in the secret annexe for barely two months. In an attempt to save what she saw as the ‘spoiled’ page of her beloved diary, she first listed four ‘dirty’ jokes. From these jokes Anne moves on to the subject of sex education, pretending that she has to give it to someone.

2. How did you discover the content of the covered pages?

In 2016 the diaries of Anne Frank were photographed as part of a check on their condition. The two covered pages were also photographed then. In fact a photograph was made through the covered pages, and thanks to digital technology the text became visible. 

3. Why did Anne Frank cover up the pages?

We don’t know. But what we do know is that Anne regularly reread her diary entries and made changes to them. For example in one of her diary entries of 28 September 1942 Anne wrote that with hindsight she viewed certain ‘things’ from a ‘new standpoint’.

A number of times Anne explicitly wrote that she was afraid that other people in the secret annexe would read her diary. This mainly concerned passages in which the people themselves appear. On 21 September 1942, for example, she wrote that Mrs Van Pels wanted to read her diary.

Anne may also have been afraid of this when she wrote on 3 October 1942: “Daddy is grumbling again and threatening to take away my diary. Oh, horror of horrors! From now on, I’m going to hide it.”

4. Did Anne cover up any more pages of her diary?

No, these were the only two pages that were covered.

5. Is this the first time that new texts by Anne Frank have been discovered?

No, in 1998 three loose pages, with five written sides, of Anne’s diary papers came to light. These are included in the reissue of the critical edition by the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (2001).

6. Anne covered up the pages for a reason. Is it right for you to publish these pages?

The diary papers of Anne Frank are world-famous. Millions of people have read her diary and visited the Anne Frank House. The diary papers have UNESCO world heritage status. So there is also a major public interest connected with the publication of this new text. The text also offers us the possibility of gaining a better insight into the way the diary papers were created. A major academic interest is served by this.

For more information, please contact the Anne Frank Foundation.