Jo Kleiman

Jo Kleiman was born on August 17, 1896 in Koog aan de Zaan. He gets to know Otto Frank in the early 1920’s when he sets up a branch of his family’s bank in Amsterdam. When Otto Frank opens the bank branch on Keizersgracht 604 in 1923 he appoints Jo Kleiman as one of the power of attorney holders. But Business does not go well and the branch is liquidated in 1924. In 1925 Jo Kleiman goes to work for his brother Willy’s company CIMEX which deals in disinfectants.

“In 1933,” tells Jo Kleiman, "Otto Frank was suddenly standing at the door again and that was the beginning of a long friendship." Once again Otto sets up a company in Amsterdam. This time a firm dealing in Opekta and Pectacon. Late 1938 when the company moved to the Prinsengracht 263, Jo Kleiman is officially employed as a bookkeeper for Opekta and Pectacon.

Stomach ulcer

Jo Kleiman is in bad health. He suffers terribly with his stomach. Miep Gies thinks that this was brought on by all the stress. "The doctor could not suspect that Kleiman, deeply worried about the safety of his friends in hiding, was carrying this exceptional weight of responsibility and stress on his shoulders."


Why did he help?

After the war, in a radio interview, Jo Kleiman explained why he had decided to help. "he reason I offered my help in looking after Otto Frank and his family during the time they were in hiding was because I had come to know him as a very decent and helpful person, qualities for which he is held in the highest esteem."


Guided tours

When he moves to Basel in 1952 Jo Kleiman is his help even more and stays in Amsterdam. Jo Kleiman works long hours. The company moves to the Van Slingelandstraat in Amsterdam and after that Prinsengracht 263 remains empty. Jo Kleiman regularly takes journalists and other visitors around the secret annex. He becomes intensely involved in the setting up of the Anne Frank House on May 3, 1957. The most important goal of the house is maintaining the secret annex.


August 17, 1896

Born in Koog aan de Zaan (the Netherlands).


Kleiman meets Otto Frank.

July 1927

Kleiman marries, and a few months later his daughter is born.


The Frank family move to the Netherlands and Otto Frank meets Kleiman. From that time onwards they are good friends.


Kleiman starts work at Pectacon.

December 18, 1941

Otto Frank is no longer allowed to be a director of Opekta, because Jews are now forbidden from having their own businesses. Kleiman becomes his successor, but secretly Otto Frank remains in charge.

July 6, 1942

The Frank family goes into hiding in the secret annex. Jo Kleiman becomes one of the helpers.

March 31, 1943

Kleiman develops gastric bleeding.

September 1943

Kleiman undergoes an operation.

August 4, 1944

Jo Kleiman and Victor Kugler are arrested together with the eight people in hiding. They are all first brought to the SD (Nazi security police) headquarters on the Euterpestraat in Amsterdam. The same day Kleiman and Kugler are sent to the prison on the Amstelveenseweg.

September 7, 1944

Kleiman and Kugler are transferred to the prison on the Weteringschans in Amsterdam.

September 11, 1944

Kleiman is sent to Amersfoort concentration camp (the Netherlands).

September 18, 1944

The Red Cross manages to get Jo Kleiman released from Amersfoort camp because of his poor health.

1952 onwards

After Otto Frank moves to Switzerland Mr Kleiman takes charge of the Opekta company. Until 1959 he guides many visitors around the Anne Frank House

January 28, 1959

Jo Kleiman dies in his office. He is 63 years old.

Otto Frank Anne and Margot's father, Edith's husband

Otto sets up a business in the Netherlands. After that, his family can come over too.


Victor Kugler Opekta employee

Victor, with Jo, takes care of security and finances for the people hiding in the Annex.


Wat Anne over Jo schrijft

Mijnheer Kleiman brengt om de week een paar meisjesboeken voor me mee, aardig is hij toch, hij brengt alles precies op tijd.