'Dirty jokes' revealed on mystery pages of Anne Frank's diary

Brenda Watkins
May 16, 2018

Anne Frank once taped over two pages in her diary with brown sticky paper, leaving a small puzzle as to what material the Jewish teenager, who had no idea of how famous her diary would later become, wanted to exclude.

Dutch researchers deciphered the writing on 2 pages of Anne's diary dated September 28, 1942. less than 3 months after she and her family went into hiding from Nazis in an Amsterdam house.

"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.

Experts said the newly discovered text, when studied together with the rest of her diary, reveals more about Anne's development as a writer than it does about her interest in sex.

Researches managed to uncover the text using digital techniques, by shining light through the pages and photographing them in high resolution.

Thanks to modern image processing technology, the writing from 1942 was uncovered, and four "dirty jokes" appeared.

The deciphering was done by researchers from the Anne Frank Museum, the Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands.

The house where the Franks hid was turned into a museum that is one of Amsterdam's most popular tourist attractions.

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Regarding sex, Frank talked about how when a young woman gets her period around the age of 14, it is a "sign that she is ripe to have relations with a man but one doesn't do that of course before one is married".

"Like every adolescent she is curious about this subject", said Ronald Leopold, executive director of the Anne Frank House, on Tuesday.

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.

"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.

In 1944, the Frank family was discovered, arrested and sent to separate concentration camps.

Her diary, written during her time in hiding, is one of the most moving testimonies of the war, and more than 30 million copies have been sold. Anne Frank and her sister Margot died at Bergen-Belsen in 1945.

Her father Otto was the only member of the family to survive the war.

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