Otto Frank answers letters from readers of Anne Frank’s diary worldwide.
Otto Frank in 1979. He dies on August 19, 1980.
"I am now almost ninety and my strength is slowly failing. Still, the task I received from Anne continues to restore my energy: to struggle for reconciliation and human rights throughout the world."
Otto reads the diary
Otto Frank recalls how he felt when he started to read the diary that first time.
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Following the war, Otto Frank devotes himself to human rights and achieving mutual respect. With his second wife Fritzi, he answers thousands of letters. These letters are written by people who have read the diary and they reach him from all over of the world. Elfriede or Fritzi (her nick name) lost her husband and son during the Holocaust. Fritzi and her daughter survived the concentration camps.
He corresponds with some readers at length and says about this: "Young people especially always want to know how these terrible things could ever have happened. I answer them as well as I can. And then at the end, I often finish by saying: 'I hope Anne's book will have an effect on the rest of your life so that insofar as it is possible in your own circumstances, you will work for unity and peace.'"
Otto reads a letter
Fritzi helped Otto answer thousands of letters from readers of the diary. Otto died on the 19th of August 1980. After his death, Fritzi continued answering letters from readers.
The Anne Frank House
The Anne Frank House was founded on 3 May 1957 with the primary aims of preserving the Anne Frank House and spreading the message of Anne Frank’s life and ideals. Following a fundraising drive, restoration work began in 1958, and the Anne Frank House was officially opened as a museum on 3 May 1960.
The Anne Frank House is an independent organisation entrusted with the care of the Secret Annexe, the place where Anne Frank went into hiding during World War II and where she wrote her diary. It brings her life story to the attention of people all over the world to encourage them to reflect on the dangers of anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination and the importance of freedom, equal rights and democracy.
Over the years a number of people have tried to spread the claim that the diary of Anne Frank is a forgery. Until his death, Otto Frank carried out legal actions against these "deniers". In 1979 – he was then 90 years old – he commented on this: "At the moment there are four court cases in West Germany, two in Hamburg and two in Frankfurt, concerning accusations that the diary is a forgery. I fought against this in 1961 and won, but the same accusations are still being expressed, and I have to fight against them over and over again." After his death in 1980 this task is taken over by the Anne Frank House and the Anne Frank Fonds.
The Anne Frank House regularly takes successful legal action against attacks on the authenticity of the diary. Anyone who is nevertheless confronted with lies about the diary can find the most important facts about its authenticity, in question and answer form (pdf), on this page.
In order to clarify the different editions of Anne’s diary, in 1986 the NIOD publishes the critical edition which differs from the bookstore version. This edition includes the three versions of the diary: the original diary, the version Anne Frank rewrote and the version compiled by Otto Frank which was published in 1947 by Contact.