25 June 2022 marks the 75th anniversary of the first edition of Het Achterhuis, as the diary of Anne Frank is called in Dutch. This calls for a temporary exhibition at the Anne Frank House.
The book was published in the Netherlands in 1947, just over five years after Anne’s thirteenth birthday, when she received her diary. She had come up with the Dutch title of the book herself: Het Achterhuis (‘The Secret Annex’). Looking back, Otto Frank wrote: ‘How proud Anne would have been if she had lived to see this. For on 29 March 1944, she wrote: “Just imagine how interesting it would be if I were to publish a novel about the Secret Annex.”’
In the exhibition, museum visitors follow what happened from the first publication to the present day. Some of the objects and documents on display have to do with the first American edition (1952), the Broadway production (1955), and the film directed by George Stevens (1959). Accompanying the American edition, for instance, we show the telegram from first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who wrote the foreword; we have the script used by Joseph Schildkraut, who played Otto Frank in the play; and we have the Oscar that Shelley Winters received for her role as Auguste van Pels in the film.
The exhibition also contains several works of art from our own collection. To conclude, we give an impression of Anne Frank’s presence on social media in a specially created video. Even 75 years after that first publication, her life and diary are still a source of inspiration.
The exhibition is located at the end of the museum route. In addition to her first, red-checked diary, Anne Frank’s other original writings are also displayed at the museum.