Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Hattie Nash

Mystery pages of Anne Frank's diary reveal dirty jokes

Mystery pages of Anne Frank's diary reveal dirty jokes

There are over 40 million copies printed in 70 languages all detailing the inner thoughts of the "inquisitive and in many respects precocious", Jewish 13-year-old, who was kept in hiding/captivity with her family during Nazi occupation of Amsterdam.

The Anne Frank Foundation announced the discovery Tuesday, saying it helps to explain her adolescent interest in sexuality.

Or so it seemed until now.

Using digital technology on two pages in Frank's diary, researchers were able to uncover text hidden behind brown paper the teenage girl pasted over the pages in her notebook in what appears to be an attempt to hide the content.

It's unclear why she made a decision to cover up these specific pages, but she mentions throughout her writings she was anxious about people reading her private thoughts.

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"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.

Then she filled a page with words about how a young woman starts to menstruate around age 14, "a sign that she is ripe to have relations with a man but one doesn't do that of course before one is married". On prostitution, Frank noted that "in Paris they have big houses for that". It turns out the pages contained four jokes about sex that Anne herself described as "dirty".

He said the jokes "make it clear that Anne, with all her gifts, was above all also an ordinary girl".

The family went into hiding in July 1942 and remained there, provided with food and other essentials by a close-knit group of helpers, until August 4 1944, when they were discovered and ultimately deported to Auschwitz.

When the husband asks the naked man what he's doing there, Anne wrote, the naked man answers: "Believe it or not, I'm waiting for the tram".

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Leopold said the newly deciphered material provides an early example of how Anne "creates a fictional situation that makes it easier for her to address the sensitive topics that she writes about".

Mr Leopold added that Anne wrote about the subject elsewhere in diary pages that already have been published.

In 1942, the family went into hiding in secret rooms at the back of her father Otto Frank's office building. After two years, they were discovered and sent to Nazi concentration camps, where Anne died of typhoid in 1945.

Researchers were at pains to point out that it is not the first time that Frank wrote about sex in her diary.

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