Anne Frank’s Manuscripts

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The Huygens Institute for Netherlands History (Huygens ING) and the Anne Frank House have agreed to cooperate on a new scientific and historical research project into Anne Frank’s manuscripts. The study will focus on Anne Frank’s development as a writer and the events she describes in her diary.

Research

Anne Frank’s manuscripts will be examined with the expert help of the Huygens ING and using innovative technology. The historical background research will be carried out by the Anne Frank House. The NIOD (Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies) will also contribute to the study. This will provide a better understanding of Anne’s development as a writer and more information about the events she described.

When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived!

Anne Frank, 5 April 1944

Textual

Anne Frank's texts will be fully analyzed, including deletions, corrections, stains, etc. Which excerpts did Anne select from her diaries to write her '… novel about the Secret Annex’ as she called – on 29 March 1944 – the book she hoped to publish after the war?  Which passages did she choose not to include, which did she revise and in what way? How did Anne change from a candid, keeper of a diary at the age of 13 into an inspired literary talent at the age of 15?

Historical

In addition to the textual analysis, the historical aspects, interconnections and the backgrounds of the texts will be studied. What did Anne write about her life prior to and during the hiding period and what is known about this from other primary sources? How was the housekeeping in the Secret Annex arranged; how were the supplies and finances organised? What do we know about the helpers, the neighbourhood, the schooling Anne, Margot and Peter followed in hiding? How and when did Anne hear about the razzias (raids) and the extermination camps?

This research project will take several years. The results will be published online in Dutch and English for use by secondary school and university students, as well as for other interested parties.

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