Schol­ars re­store di­ary pages on sex­u­al­ity erased by Anne Frank

The Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - (Anne Frank Foun­da­tion)

AM­S­TER­DAM (JTA) — Re­searchers in the Dutch cap­i­tal have re­cov­ered two pages from one of Anne Frank’s di­aries that con­tain pas­sages on sex­u­al­ity.

The pages’ con­tent had re­mained un­known for decades be­cause Frank had erased them. They were also cov­ered by sheets of brown pa­per glued on top of them.

The pages were part of one of sev­eral di­aries penned by the Jewish teenage di­arist dur­ing her time hid­ing from the Nazis in Am­s­ter­dam, the city’s Anne Frank House wrote in a state­ment on Tues­day.

The Anne Frank House, a mu­seum lo­cated in Frank’s for­mer hid­ing place, did not quote di­rectly from the text it had re­cov­ered. The state­ment said that the pages in­clude four dirty jokes, some crossed out phrases and a text in which Anne Frank imag­ines her­self teach­ing sex­ual ed­u­ca­tion.

“Anne’s di­ary texts show that she had gleaned in­for­ma­tion on the sub­ject of sex­u­al­ity from her par­ents, es­pe­cially her fa­ther, from her friend Jac­que­line and from books,” the state­ment reads. “Anne did not let go of the sub­ject. Over 18 months later she em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of good and thor­ough sex ed­u­ca­tion, and she didn’t un­der­stand why adults were so se­cre­tive about it.”

Frank also noted that her fa­ther had told her about pros­ti­tutes.

The Anne Frank House said it used new “image pro­cess­ing tech­nol­ogy” to de­ci­pher the cov­ered pages.

The Franks were caught by the Nazis in 1944. Only Anne Frank’s fa­ther, Otto, sur­vived the Holo­caust. He edited and pub­lished her writ­ings in hid­ing af­ter the war, mak­ing Anne Frank one of the world’s most fa­mous Holo­caust vic­tims.

Anne Frank wrote the jokes on Septem­ber 28, 1942, just three months af­ter the fam­ily be­gan its two-year stay at the hid­ing place.

“Any­one who reads the pas­sages that have now been dis­cov­ered will be un­able to sup­press a smile,” said Frank van Vree, direc­tor of the In­sti­tute for War, Holo­caust and Geno­cide Stud­ies, which par­tic­i­pated in the de­ci­pher­ing of the pages. “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.”

The Huy­gens In­sti­tute of Nether­lands His­tory was also a part­ner in the pro­ject.

The Anne Frank House ad­dressed moral con­sid­er­a­tions in de­ci­pher­ing a text that its au­thor did not want read.

“The di­ary of Anne Frank is a world her­itage ob­ject with great his­tor­i­cal value, and this jus­ti­fies re­search into it,” the in­sti­tu­tion said.

The two pages are not the only time Frank jot­ted down dirty jokes or wrote about sex­u­al­ity, although in later pas­sages she treats the sub­jects more ma­turely.

As the months in hid­ing progress, her hand­writ­ing grad­u­ally ma­tured from the hes­i­tant block let­ters of a child to the flow­ing cur­sive style of an au­thor who is gain­ing con­fi­dence as she hones her writ­ing skills.

ANNE FRANK in 1940.

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