Fritz Pfeffer asks Miep Gies if she can hide him. Miep asks Otto Frank. ‘He says: Where seven people can eat, eight can too.’
– Interview with Miep Gies

Fritz Pfeffer in hiding

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The deportations begin in July 1942, shortly after the Franks have gone into hiding. By the time Fritz Pfeffer joins the two families in the Secret Annexe more than 30,000 Jews have been transported out of the Netherlands, most of them to Auschwitz, including his first wife, Vera Bythiner. She is murdered on 30 September.


Fritz joins the two families in hiding at Prinsengracht 263 four months after the others have settled in.

When he steps through the secret entrance behind the bookcase, he is amazed to see them, as the Franks were believed to have fled to Switzerland. They welcome him with coffee and cognac, and Margot Frank moves into her parents’ room. Fritz takes her place as Anne’s roommate.

He is the only single man in the group, with no family around him. As well as writing often to his fiancée, Charlotte Kaletta, he also writes to his son Werner, in letters smuggled out to the Red Cross by the helpers.













The table

Fritz spends much of his time at the disputed table in the room he shares with Anne. He writes letters and studies Spanish, still hoping to emigrate to Chile after the war. During office hours, when people work underneath the annexe and the surrounding buildings are used, no sound can be made.

The lack of exercise is hard on Fritz.

What does this – I hope brief – parting matter for our eternal love? Keep your wonderful courage; your faith in God and your love will make me, and us, strong and brave.

Fritz Pfeffer, Farewell letter to Charlotte Kaletta, 15 November 1942
Jews begin their deportation from Amsterdam A. Wijnberg, 20 June 1943

Today I have nothing but dismal and depressing news to report. Our many Jewish friends and acquaintances are being taken away in droves.

Anne Frank, 9 October 1942
Desk Reconstructed interior of the Secret Annexe, 1999.
Museale Collectie Anne Frank
Hope for the future Exercise book belonging to Fritz Pfeffer, inscribed ‘My trip through the Netherlands: translated from the Spanish by Fredo’. He gave himself a new name for the new life in Chile he planned with Charlotte Kaletta once the war was over.
Charlotte Kaletta

I became intimate with your dear daddy only here in Amsterdam and when the situation became very difficult in 1942, I had him come to our hiding place, where he lived with us for two years. Unfortunately we were discovered… We still wait for your father, we may still hope.

Otto Frank to Werner Pfeffer, 20 September 1945

Fritz Pfeffer - Anne's roommate Temporary exhibition in 2015

A portrait of the real ‘Mr. Dussel’ in photographs, interviews and personal papers.


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