The office kitchen and toilet

The people in hiding got the hot water for their Saturday baths from the office kitchen. Anne took her tub to the office staff's toilet. The people in hiding did their laundry in the office kitchen as well. The helpers used the kitchen for simple experiments with Opekta and spices.

Anne’s need for privacy

The Secret Annex was crowded. Anne had to share a room with Fritz Pfeffer, and there were few moments when she could really be alone. This video shows how Anne created her own private moments.

A rare treat: strawberries in the Secret Annex

In early July 1944, John Broks, a representative of Opekta, succeeded in buying over 24 crates of strawberries at an auction. Though dusty and covered with sand, they were a rare treat in those war times. The purchase was not without risk, because in Amsterdam, batches of strawberries were frequently seized in order to curb the black market.

The crates were divided fairly among the office staff, the people in hiding, and Broks himself. Broks was not aware of the people hiding in the Secret Annex, though.

‘Yes, but, are we really still in hiding then? [...] this must be what it feels like when you can finally show yourself to the world again.’

As soon as the warehouse staff went home for lunch, the outside door was locked and the helpers and people in hiding together cleaned the strawberries in the office kitchen and in the Secret Annex. Part of the strawberries were used to make jam.

It was a funny feeling, stepping into the crowded office kitchen. The next few days, the people in hiding ate almost nothing but strawberries: strawberries with porridge, strawberry sandwiches, and strawberries with sugar. They saved the jars of jam for later, to have something sweet in the months to come.