A bookcase hides the entrance.

The hiding place

Boekenkast
The Movable Bookcase Behind this (movable) bookcase is the entrance to the Secret Annex (Photo: Maria Austria, 1954).
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The hiding place is located in an empty section of the building owned by Otto Frank's company. While business continues, as usual, in the front part of the building, there are people hiding in the annex out back.

Anne writes:

"The Annex is an ideal place to hide in. It may be damp and lopsided, but there's probably not a more comfortable hiding place in all of Amsterdam. No, in all of Holland."

Otto Frank met Koningin Juliana bij draaibare boekenkast (1979)

From hiding place to museum

The history of the Anne Frank House

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The business on Prinsengracht 263 is in the area where many small companies are located.  There is a tea company located on the left and a furniture company on the right of the Secret Annex.

Fairly large

The hiding place at 263 Prinsengracht is relatively spacious. There is enough room for two families. This is unusual given that parents and children who go into hiding are frequently separated from each other. Most hiding places are small spaces in damp cellars or dusty attics. People hiding in the countryside are sometimes able go outside, but only if there is no danger of them being discovered.

Unusually, the hiding place consists of a number of different spaces (photo of the refurnished secret annex: Allard Bovenberg).

A bookcase conceals the door

Before too long, the entrance to the Secret Annex is concealed behind a movable bookcase. Father Voskuijl, the warehouse manager, constructs the movable bookcase to conceal the entrance to the Secret Annex.

“Now our Secret Annex has truly become secret…Mr. Kugler thought it would be better to have a bookcase built in front of the entrance to our hiding place. It swings out on its hinges and opens like a door. Mr. Voskuijl did the carpentry work. (Mr. Voskuijl has been told that the seven of us are in hiding, and he's been most helpful.),”

Anne writes this in her diary on August 21, 1942, when there there are still only seven people in hiding. Fritz Pfeffer joins the group at a later date, on November 16, 1942.

The entrance to the Secret Annex is soon concealed by a moveable bookcase (photo of the refurnished secret annex: Allard Bovenberg).

read other people's comments (114)

That is unbelievable. But, amazing.

Payten, Atlanta - United States - 4 Oct 2014

Talvez se tudo isso não tivesse acontecido Anne não teria sido tão grade quanto foi. O que tornou rica sua escritura foi a vontade de vencer e não a dor. Se a dor fosse a chave pra essa grande historia seria muito"molezinha" expressar esse sentimento, mais não é a dor, é a garra de uma menina que sonha só com o bom futuro dos judeus e das mulheres. Ela seria melhor como presidenta de qualquer país por que ela tem historia, ela teve graça por lutar pela sua família, lutaria pelo mundo todo nem que seja apenas escrevendo! Escrevendo um bom futuro! Tenho 12 anos e um dia me tornarei motivo de reflexão como Anne talvez espelho pra muitas pessoas assim como ela!

Gabriella, 12 - Ponta Grossa - Brazil - 24 Sep 2014

The saddest thing about this is the fact that there was somebody evil enough to force Anna, and many others, to hide for so long just to live.

Jazzy, Canada - 4 Apr 2014

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