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Frequently asked questions about the deciphered hidden pages in the diary of Anne Frank. 

1. What is written on the revealed pages?
"I'll use this spoiled page to write down 'dirty' jokes", wrote Anne on 28 September 1942. At that time she had been in hiding in the secret annexe for barely two months. In an attempt to save what she saw as the 'spoiled' page of her beloved diary, she first listed four 'dirty' jokes. From these jokes Anne moves on to the subject of sex education, pretending that she has to give it to someone. Read more.

2. How did you discover the content of the covered pages?
In 2016 the diaries of Anne Frank were photographed as part of a check on their condition. The two covered pages were also photographed then. In fact a photograph was made through the covered pages, and thanks to digital technology the text became visible.

3. Why did Anne Frank cover up the pages?
We don't know. But what we do know is that Anne regularly reread her diary entries and made changes to them. For example in one of her diary entries of 28 September 1942 Anne wrote that with hindsight she viewed certain 'things' from a 'new standpoint'.
A number of times Anne explicitly wrote that she was afraid that other people in the secret annexe would read her diary. This mainly concerned passages in which the people themselves appear. On 21 September 1942, for example, she wrote that Mrs Van Pels wanted to read her diary.
Anne may also have been afraid of this when she wrote on 3 October 1942: "Daddy is grumbling again and threatening to take away my diary. Oh, horror of horrors! From now on, I'm going to hide it."

4. Did Anne cover up any more pages of her diary?
No, these were the only two pages that were covered.

5. Is this the first time that new texts by Anne Frank have been discovered?
No, in 1998 three loose pages, with five written sides, of Anne's diary papers came to light. These are included in the reissue of the critical edition by the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (2001).

6. Anne covered up the pages for a reason. Is it right for you to publish these pages?

Of course we asked ourselves, together with the other organisations involved, the question of whether it was right to publish a text that Anne had covered up. After careful consideration we arrived at a positive answer.

The diary papers of Anne Frank are world-famous. Millions of people have read her diary and visited the Anne Frank House. The diary papers have UNESCO world heritage status. So there is also a major public interest connected with the publication of this new text. The text also offers us the possibility of gaining a better insight into the way the diary papers were created. A major academic interest is served by this.

The diary of Anne Frank is a world heritage object with great historical value, and this justifies research into it. Research into Anne Frank's qualities as a writer means research into the process of deliberation and of writing and deleting, as this can be deduced from her diary texts. Rejected versions are just as important for insight into her working method as passages that were added. The covered sections of the text are part of the object of research. 

Texts from Anne Frank's diary papers that she did not herself intend for publication have been published earlier, at various times. That already occurred in the publication arranged by her father in 1947, and later in the compilation of the critical education by the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, which was published in 1986 and republished in 2001 after the discovery of five new diary pages.

We can well understand the standpoint of people who think that we should not have published the text, but on the basis of the above arguments we have come to a different conclusion. We realise that not everyone will adopt a different standpoint because of this, but we hope that in this way we have shown that we did not take this decision lightly and that it was taken with great care.

Anne Frank Huis. Bezoekers komen de kamer van Anne Frank en Fritz Pfeffer binnen. 
Anne Frank House. Visitors entering Anne Frank and Fritz Pfeffer's room.

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Frequently asked questions Diary of Anne Frank

Frequently asked questions about the deciphered hidden pages in the diary of Anne Frank...

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