Lawsuit over Anne Frank Archives


Buddy Elias, surrounded by press, at the official transfer of the family archive in 2007.

The Anne Frank Fonds in Basel, Switzerland, which administers the copyrights to Anne Frank’s diaries, has instigated a lawsuit against the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam in 2011. The lawsuit pertains to parts of the Anne Frank Archives, which are managed by the Anne Frank House. Ronald Leopold, Executive Director Anne Frank house: “The Anne Frank House deplores that the Anne Frank Fonds has elected, after 30 years of fruitful cooperation, to force a confrontation in court. The House has done all it could to amicably resolve any objections the Fonds might have to the projects mentioned above.”

Anne Frank Archives

Questions and Answers


Archive of Anne Frank's family

Historical records from Switzerland belonging to the Frank family presented to the Anne Frank House.


The Anne Frank Archives have been scrupulously administered by the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam for many years. The place where Anne Frank went into hiding and wrote her diary was, in the opinion of both the Anne Frank Fonds and the Anne Frank House, the most appropriate location for the administration, access to and display of the archives. In a lawsuit the Anne Frank Fonds is now demanding the immediate return of part of the Anne Frank-Archive. This is inconsistent with the long-term loan agreement which the Anne Frank Fonds and the Anne Frank House had entered into. Moreover the Fund reclaims certain assets whose ownership is uncertain.


Ronald Leopold: “The Anne Frank Fonds and the Anne Frank House have worked together well in a strategic partnership for many years; the Anne Frank Fonds as owner of all copyrights owned by Otto Frank during his lifetime, and the Anne Frank House as the educational organisation and administrator of the Anne Frank House and the Anne Frank collection operating under a direct mandate from Otto Frank. No difference of opinion ever grew  regarding the objectives of the two organisations, and they worked together on a basis of trust. Unfortunately, this basis of trust appears to have vanished. The Anne Frank House finds this deeply regrettable.”   


The lawsuit doesn’t concern the diaries of Anne Frank. These are the physical property of the Dutch State, and have been entrusted to the Anne Frank House on loan.


In the lawsuit no final judgment has been pronounced. For more information, go to FAQ.

See also

Strawberries for visitors museum 5 May

Saturday 8 July 1944: a cheerful afternoon for the people in hiding in the Secret Annexe...