What is The Secret Annex Online?

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The Secret Annex Online is a 3D version of the house at Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam where Anne Frank lived in hiding during The Second World War. In this three-dimensional online environment, visitors can explore the front of the house and the secret annex as it was then, and hear stories that explain in greater depth what happened there.

Prizes won

The Secret Annexe Online has been a regular prizewinner


The Secret Annex Online

Discover Anne Frank's hiding place


Anne Frank Timeline

With exceptional photographs and audio and video fragments.

To the timeline

Launch German version 2011

The German version of The Secret Annex Online, Das Hinterhaus Online, will be launched in Berlin on 25 February. The development of this version of the website was partly made possible thanks to a contribution of the German embassy in the Netherlands. Present at the presentation will be German actresses Katja and Paula Riemann. Katja took care of the narrative voice in the website and her daughter Paula is the voice of Anne Frank. We are organizing the presentation together with the Anne Frank Zentrum, our partner organization in Berlin.

Furnished as it was then

The museum in Amsterdam does not contain furniture or objects of daily use from the war years. After the inhabitants were arrested, the secret annex was cleared. After the war, Otto Frank wished for it to remain empty. By contrast, the online version contains objects that visitors can see and find out more about. The furnished rooms have been created based on photographs made in 1999, when the front part of the house and the secret annex were temporarily furnished as part of the creation of educational materials showing how they were used.



Part of the Virtual Museum

The Secret Annex Online is part of the Virtual Museum: the complete online collection of the Anne Frank House. The Virtual Museum will become a central source of knowledge, news and education about Anne Frank, The Second World War, the persecution of the Jews and related contemporary themes.

I visited the Anne Frank House when I was in Amsterdam years ago, and the virtual tour is just as compelling and heartbreaking as was the time walking through their home. Thank you for placing this resource online.

Why the Secret Annex Online?

  • Annually, about a million people visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. The museum has reached the limit of its capacity to accommodate visitors.
  • Millions of people cannot visit the museum in Amsterdam, because they live too far away or are physically unable to.
  • Not all of the spaces in the museum in Amsterdam are open to the public. A special advantage of the Secret Annex Online is that some of these spaces can be explored, including the private office of Otto Frank in the attic.


Before and after a visit to the house

The Secret Annex Online can be visited to prepare for a visit to the museum in Amsterdam, but can also offer deeper insight and enrichment after a visit.

As part of the events marking the 50th anniversary of the Anne Frank House museum on May 3, 2010, we want to offer people everywhere in the world the chance to explore the place where Anne Frank lived in hiding. The website is made in Flash and can accommodate large numbers of visitors simultaneously.

Stories from the diary in image and sound

Events during the period of hiding are told in The Secret Annex Online in a series of stories. These are based on both the popular and authoritative editions of the diary and on reports by witnesses from the Anne Frank House archives. Ambient sound and music accompany the narration.


Music by Mark Isham

Music by the American Grammy and Emmy Award-winning, and Academy Award nominated performer and composer Mark Isham helps re-create the atmosphere during the period in which the annex was inhabited, and the emotions of its inhabitants and their helpers. Mark Isham composed the music for, amongst others, the films 'Crash', 'Freedom Writers' and 'Mrs. Soffel'. He made his work available for use in the The Secret Annex Online. About the project, he said: “This is a high quality educational website run by a non-profit charity organization and I love to make my music available for their use.”


Voice-over and voice of Anne Frank

For the English version of The Secret Annex Online, the voice-over was done by Tamsin Greig, a British actress known for her role as Edith Frank in the BBC series The Diary of Anne Frank, made in 2009. She has also acted in a great number of TV series and theater plays. For her role of Beatrice in ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ she won the prestigious  Laurence Olivier Award. Anne's voice was done by Ellie Kendrick, who, among other things, played Anne in the BBC series.

The Dutch version of the voice-over was done by Annet Malherbe, widely known for her role as Willemijn in the series 'Gooische Vrouwen', and also from regular theater appearances. The voice of Anne Frank was done by Nyncke Beekhuyzen, known for her roles in the TV series ‘Lotte’ and ‘Verborgen Gebreken’ (2010), among others.


Unique TV excerpts

AVRO TV network has made unique material available, which will be shown online for the first time in The Secret Annex Online. In these excerpts, the helpers look back at the war years and explain in detail how and why they helped the people living in hiding.

In collaboration with...

The Virtual Wing of the Anne Frank House was made possible in part by contributions from:

  • BankGiro Loterij
  • VSB Fonds
  • Ministerie VWS (The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport)
  • Mondriaanstichting (The Mondriaan Foundation)
  • Anne Frank Fonds (Anne Frank Fund)


Starting in 2008, a devoted team of professionals has worked hard to create the Secret Annex Online. A unique combination of technology and content now gives visitors to the website a vivid experience of the events during the years in which Anne Frank and the others lived in hiding. The concept, strategy and creation of The Secret Annex was the work of the Anne Frank House (Program Manager for the Virtual Museum: Ita Amahorseija) and LBi Lost Boys (Creative Director: Ellen Hooghiemstra). 


Other parts of the Virtual Museum
Late 2010 the project Virtual Museum was completed. The Virtual Museum consists of The Secret Annex Online, the portal at www.annefrank.org, Web 2.0 and the Timeline.


The following persons and companies have contributed to the creation:

  • Wim Vonk, A Sound idea: sound recording and mixing
  • Redman Institute: quality control of the production of the English version
  • Emilie Escher: scriptwriter  
  • Paul Dubbelman: animation of the audio stories
  • Centric: dedicated hosting and server maintenance
  • Verstegen: use of their photo studio and materials for, among other things, the story The Smell of Spices