The different versions of Anne’s diary

  • Print

There are different versions of Anne’s diary. These are known as the A, B and C versions.

There are different versions of Anne Frank’s diary.

Laureen Nussbaum wrote an essay about this.

Showcase Anne en haar dagboek

Anne Frank and her diary

Discover the story behind Anne Frank's diary.

To the website

The A version: the original diary

On 12 June 1942 her thirteenth birthday Anne Frank receives the famous red and white check diary. When Margot receives a call-up to report for ‘work duty in Germany’ at the beginning of July 1942, the Frank family go into hiding in the upper floors of the secret annex on the Prinsengracht 263. Anne takes her diary with her.

At the end of September 1942, after reading one of her favorite books ‘Joop ter Heul’ by Cissy van Marxveldt,  Anne decides to write her diary entries in the form of letters to an imaginary group of friends of whom Kitty is her favorite.

By the end of 1942 the first diary is almost completely full.

Anne continues to write in several notebooks, not all of which have been preserved, nearly all of 1943 is missing.

These original diary entries (3 notebooks and the red and white check diary) make up the A version.

The B version: Anne rewrites her original diary entries

In the spring of 1944 Minister Bolkenstein makes his request on Radio Oranje for diaries and other writings made during the occupation to be kept. Anne decides to rewrite her original diary entries in the form of a novel. She wants them to be published after the war. She starts rewriting on loose sheets of paper on 20 May 1944 and continues in the ten weeks up to her arrest.

These rewritten texts by Anne Frank go up to March 1944 and are known as the B version.

Anne sometimes writes stories in her diary and also in a notebook as well as collecting favorite sentences by other writers in a notebook.

The C Version: Otto compiles ‘The Secret Annex’ from the A and B versions

The people in hiding were betrayed and arrested on 4 August 1944. After the arrest the two helpers, Miep Gies and Bep Voskuijl collect all that they can find of Anne’s writings.

A year later when it is clear that only Anne’s father is the only survivor of the extermination camps, Miep Gies gives him his daughter’s writings.

From these Otto compiles the book ‘The Secret Annex’. This version becomes the C version and is a combination of passages from Anne’s A and B versions.

Otto had to use a combination of both of Anne’s versions because the A version is incomplete and the B version ends before 1 August.

Anne Frank's diary is published “If she had been here, Anne would have been so proud."

In her diary, Otto reads about the plan Anne had to publish a book after the war.


The different versions of Anne’s diary

There are different versions of Anne’s diary...


A play and on film After a stage play of the Diary of Anne Frank, it is made into film in 1958

However, the book first achieves real popularity after it is adapted for the stage...

Steve Press als peter in het toneelstuk

800 times Peter van Daan Steve Press auditioned for the part of Peter van Daan in 1956

Steve Press plays Peter van Daan in the Broadway version of The Diary of Anne Frank.


Reception in America The first confrontation with the nazi regime

A wildly enthusiastic review by writer Meyer Levin in the New York Times Book Review results in sales of the diary taking-off.


Otto Frank moves to Switzerland He remains involved with the Anne Frank House

He continues to answer letters from readers of the diary until his death in 1980.


Nelson Mandela on Anne Frank and her diary

Nelson Mandela talks about the strength he derived from Anne Frank's diary  when he was imprisoned on Robben Island. 


Authenticity diary Ten questions on the authenticity of the diary of Anne Frank

A great deal of reliable information is available about Anne Frank and her diary...