Otto Frank works hard on his businesses and is rarely at home.

Otto Frank's businesses

Opekta Housewives can use Opekta to make homemade jam.
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Otto Frank works hard on his businesses and is rarely at home. Opekta is a company which is licensed to sell pectin. Opekta is also the name of the gelling agent to make homemade jam. Otto sets up the company. To sell his product he arranges advertisements and organizes demonstrations at meetings for housewife associations.

Who is who?

The people in hiding and their helpers.

Main characters

Victor Kugler and Miep Santrouschitz help Otto build up his business. Victor is his righthand man. Miep gives information over the telephone and also sends information about using Opekta. Jo Kleiman and Bep Voskuijl join the company later. Others work in the warehouse and sales.

Exhibitor’s card for Otto’s participation in a trade fair in Rotterdam, September/October 1933.


In April 1934, Otto writes about his business to an uncle, who is helping him financially: “Though my income remains fairly modest, one must be satisfied to have found some way of earning a living and getting on." However, by the fall of 1934, the space the company occupies has become too cramped and Opekta moves to larger quarters at 400 Singel in Amsterdam.

Van Pels Family

Trade in Opekta is seasonal. Jam is only made in the summer when there is plenty of fruit so business does not flourish. A solution to this problem presents itself in the person of Hermann van Pels. In 1937, Hermann flees Osnabrück (Germany) with his wife Auguste and their young son Peter. Just like the Frank family, the Van Pels’ family is Jewish.

Hermann and Auguste van Pels.

Opekta and Pectacon

Hermann van Pels comes to work for Otto Frank. He has  background in butchery and  knows about meat seasonings. Together with Otto Frank he concentrates on selling these meat seasonings. In June 1938 the new company called Pectacon is registered in the chamber of commerce. In the same year, Johnannes Kleiman joins Otto Frank's company.  He is responsible for the accounting of both companies. 

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