Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Scholars restore pages on sexuality that Anne Frank erased from diary

Showing the new pages at Tuesday’s press conference Showing the new pages at Tuesday’s press conference
Adrian Cunningham | 16 May, 2018, 09:33

The Anne Frank House Museum said at a presentation that it, and several Dutch historical institutes, were able to reproduce the lost pages after years of study by shining a light through them and photographing them in high resolution.

While experts don't know why she covered up the four jokes and 33 lines about sex education, Frank mentions in her diary concern that others might read her personal thoughts. "They bring us even closer to the girl and the writer Anne Frank". This time, advanced imaging technology revealed the text beneath the pages.

She covered her racy words under a layer of brown paper to hide them from prying eyes.

Ronald Leopold, executive director of the Anne Frank House, said of the hidden pages, "Anne Frank writes about sexuality in a disarming way".

It's not clear when Frank wrote each portion of the newly discovered text.

"The only element that might be interesting from the point of view about her development as a writer and as a teenager is the fact that she's creating, kind of, fiction" he said.

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She also described a young woman getting her period around age 14 as "a sign that she is ripe to have relations with a man but one doesn't do that of course before one is married". "As mattresses for the soldiers".

Peter de Bruijn, one of the partners in the diary research and a senior researcher at the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, said the uncovered text is significant because it shows Frank's first attempt at writing in a more literary tone.

Anne frequently edited and re-wrote her diary entries during the long months in hiding, especially in 1944 after the Dutch prime minister in exile asked in a radio broadcast that people keep records about life during the occupation.

The story is set in 1942 when a 13-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their Amsterdam home and went into hiding following the Nazis' occupation of Holland. The Anne Frank House did not release the text itself along with the announcement. The first was written in a series of small notebooks, from her 13th birthday on June 12, 1942, until August 1, 1944, and was intended strictly for herself.

Anne died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945, aged 15. He had his daughter's diary published and it has since been translated into dozens of languages and become a worldwide bestseller.

The house where the Franks hid has been turned into museum, making it one of Amsterdam's most visited attractions.