Jokes found in Anne Frank’s diary

Off-color hu­mor, plus a can­did ex­pla­na­tion of sex un­cov­ered

Albuquerque Journal - - NATION & WORLD - AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

AMSTERDAM — Re­searchers us­ing dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy de­ci­phered the writ­ing on two pages of Anne Frank’s diary that she had pasted over with brown mask­ing pa­per, dis­cov­er­ing four naughty jokes and a can­did ex­pla­na­tion of sex, con­tra­cep­tion and pros­ti­tu­tion.

“Any­one who reads the pas­sages that have now been dis­cov­ered will be un­able to sup­press a smile,” said Frank van Vree, di­rec­tor of the Nether­lands In­sti­tute for War, Holo­caust and Geno­cide Stud­ies. “The ‘dirty’ jokes are clas­sics among grow­ing chil­dren. They make it clear that Anne, with all her gifts, was above all also an or­di­nary girl.”

Anne, age 13 at the time, wrote the two pages on Sept. 28, 1942, less than three months af­ter she, her fam­ily and an­other Jew­ish fam­ily went into hid­ing from the Nazis in a se­cret an­nex be­hind a canal-side house in Amsterdam.

Later on, pos­si­bly fear­ing pry­ing eyes or no longer lik­ing what she had writ­ten, she cov­ered them over with brown pa­per with an ad­he­sive back­ing like a postage stamp, and their con­tent re­mained a tan­ta­liz­ing mys­tery for decades.

It turns out the pages con­tained four jokes about sex that Anne her­self de­scribed as “dirty” and an ex­pla­na­tion of women’s sex­ual de­vel­op­ment, sex, con­tra­cep­tion and pros­ti­tu­tion.

“They bring us even closer to the girl and the writer Anne Frank,” Ron­ald Leopold, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Anne Frank House mu­seum, said Tues­day.

Ex­perts on Anne’s mul­ti­mil­lion-sell­ing diary said the newly dis­cov­ered text, when stud­ied with the rest of her jour­nal, re­veals more about her de­vel­op­ment as a writer than it does about her in­ter­est in sex.

PETER DE­JONG/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

A video shows the text un­der­neath two taped off pages from Anne Frank’s diary dur­ing a press con­fer­ence at The Anne Frank Foun­da­tion’s of­fice in Amsterdam, Nether­lands, Tues­day

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