‘Now our Secret Annexe 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.’ - Anne Frank, 21 August 1942

Caring for those in hiding

Various objects the helpers brought for the Secret Annexe inhabitants
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The helpers have many tasks: organizing food and other things for those in hiding, writing to family members and keeping Otto’s businesses going.

The bookcase

To conceal the door to the Secret Annexe, in August 1942 Victor Kugler decides to place a rotating book case in front of it. Johan Voskuijl makes the bookcase.

The helpers can open the bookcase door to the annexe with a wooden handle.

























Books and magazines

To keep those in hiding occupied, the helpers bring them as many books and magazines as possible. Now and again Kleiman brings books from his daughter for Anne.

Education continues for the children. The helpers provide textbooks. Bep orders correspondence courses, such as shorthand for Anne, Margot and Peter, and Latin for Margot.












































From 1941 the Nazis dispossess Jewish entrepreneurs. Some Jewish business people avoid this by looking for a non-Jewish substitute. So they ‘Aryanize’ their own businesses.

Otto Frank appoints Kleiman director of Opekta. Kugler becomes director of Gies & Co spice trade, Jan Gies supervisory director. They keep Otto Frank’s businesses going.
















Writing to the family

Kleiman regularly corresponds with Otto Frank’s family in Basel. Otto’s brother-in-law, Erich Elias, is also his business partner.

The family in Switzerland don’t know that Otto and his family have gone into hiding in the Secret Annexe.

Through Kleiman the Frank family are kept informed of what’s happening to the Swiss members of the family.

Photo of the wooden handle with which the helpers could open the bookcase.
In this photo from 1954 Johannes Kleiman shows how the bookcase is opened.
Victor Kugler gave the book ‘Maria Theresia’ by Zdenko von Kraft to Anne for her 15th birthday.
Dutch business correspondence is one of the textbooks the children receive via the helpers. Anne has written on this page ‘Margot and Anne Frank, Secret Annexe 1943’.
Anne loves reading the Joop ter Heul series by Cissy van Marxveldt.
Museale Collectie Anne Frank
stamp. Victor Kugler is the official director of the spice trade.
Kleiman sent this card dated 21 August 1942 to Alice Frank-Stern, Otto’s mother. It says, ‘Many congratulations on Lotti’s birthday.’
Postcard from Kleiman to Otto’s brother-in-law Erich Elias. ‘A few lines to let you know that everyone is well. Nothing special regarding the business, the season’s over. How are things there?'

The helpers of the Secret Annexe Until april 2015

Throws light on the important role played by the people who made it possible for the Franks to go into hiding


The helpers Without them it would have been impossible to go into hiding

They supply those in hiding with provisions and keep up their spirits


Everything is rationed Provisions are scarce during the war

The helpers organize coupons for those in hiding and shop for groceries 


Caring for those in hiding The helpers have many tasks

Such as writing to family members and keeping Otto’s businesses going


Arrested On 4 August 1944 those in hiding are arrested

Of the helpers Victor Kugler and Johannes Kleiman are also picked up