Anne Frank House new owner of Anne Frank’s former home

Merwedeplein 37-II

The Merwedeplein in Amsterdam.
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The Anne Frank House is the new owner of Anne Frank’s former home on the Merwedeplein square in Amsterdam. Its purpose remains the same: the apartment offers accommodation to writers from around the world who cannot work freely in their own countries. The Frank family lived in the apartment at Merwedeplein 37 II from December 1933 until July 1942. Anne first wrote in her diary, which she was given for her thirteenth birthday on 12 June 1942, in the apartment. Three weeks later the family went into hiding.

Ronald Leopold, executive director of the Anne Frank House, says: “We find it important that Anne Frank’s former home is preserved and well managed. The apartment is inextricably linked with the legacy for which the Anne Frank House is responsible: the hiding place on the Prinsengracht and the original manuscripts of Anne Frank.”

Accommodation for writers from around the world

Since 2005 the apartment has been rented to the Dutch Foundation for Literature, and serves as accommodation for writers from around the world who cannot work freely in their own countries. Ronald Leopold: “We think this is a fitting purpose for Anne Frank’s former home, and we want it to be retained. It is a place devoted to liberty, tolerance and freedom of expression. We would also like to see how we can do greater justice to the general historical importance of the home without detracting from its current use as a residence for overseas writers.”

Original 1930s style

The Ymere housing corporation bought the property in 2004, and restored the building in its original 1930s style in partnership with the Anne Frank House. Last year Ymere decided to sell the building. Ymere board member Eric van Kaam says: “The management of the apartment at Merwedeplein 37 II is no longer compatible with our remit: providing good, affordable housing for people with a modest income. The current layout, with the interior having the same character as when Anne Frank lived there, entails extra maintenance costs, calls for specialist expertise and takes a lot of time. We want the ideals of Anne Frank to be preserved, and we have found an outstanding takeover partner in the Anne Frank House organisation.”

The interior refurbished in the style of the thirties.

A safe place, now and in the future

Tiziano Perez, director/manager of the Dutch Foundation for Literature: "It is thanks to Ymere and the Anne Frank House that the history of Anne Frank can remain visible and tangible in the apartment, and so can continue to inspire new generations of writers. For the Dutch Foundation for Literature, Ymere was not only a landlord but also a committed partner. So I’m very grateful to Ymere for the years of cooperation in the Amsterdam City of Refuge programme. The Foundation for Literature is delighted that this partnership with the Anne Frank House can be continued, and that the apartment will also be a safe place for persecuted and refugee writers and journalists in the future."

See also

Iedereen meer leren over Anne Frank Opiniestuk van Ronald Leopold

Er ging de afgelopen weken bijna geen dag voorbij of Anne Frank dook op in het nieuws...