Anne Frank's diary – complete, original – is on display for the first time
The various pieces of Anne Frank's diary are finally being exhibited together in the Amsterdam building where she wrote them.
The complete surviving manuscript of Anne Frank's diary is now on display, for the first time, at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. Frank's original red plaid diary has long been exhibited at the museum, but that book was only one of three in which she wrote her thoughts during the 25 months that she and her family hid from the Nazis in a concealed apartment in the building that is now the Anne Frank House.
The rest of Frank's diary – which spilled over into two exercise books and other sheets of paper – had been kept at the Netherlands War Documentation Center. From now on the entire diary – along with some short stories by Frank and a notebook of quotes that she collected – will remain at the Anne Frank House.
It is now 50 years since the Anne Frank House opened its doors as a museum. Last year marked both the 65th anniversary of the day the Frank family was discovered hiding and what would have been the 80th birthday of Frank. All these anniversaries have stirred fresh interest in the Jewish teenager whose diary has become a global classic.
Headlines about Anne Frank over the course of the last year have included the surfacing of a 20-second film of her, the announcement that Disney has acquired the rights to make a new movie version of "The Diary of Anne Frank," and the death this past January of Miep Gies, known worldwide as a protector of the Frank family.
Comparisons to Anne Frank were also made in 2008 when "The Journal of Hélène Berr" became an overnight publishing sensation in France. Berr was a young Jewish women living in Paris at the time of the Nazi occupation. Although she never went into hiding, her diary tracks the escalating horror and increasing persecution that she and her parents suffered as Jews living under a Nazi regime.
This week, Mary Bos, a surviving schoolmate of Frank's (who is mentioned by name in Frank's diary) flew to Amsterdam from the US to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Anne Frank House. Bos, who is now 81 and known as Mary Bos Schneider, has a picture of herself and Frank at Frank's 10th birthday party. On the photo, Frank wrote: "Think of your school girlfriends in the past. When you think of that, and these last years, think then Mary also of me."
On the day that Frank wrote those words, no one could possibly have imagined the meaning that they would someday assume. But once again this week, that is what the world is doing – remembering the past and thinking of Anne Frank.
Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor's book editor.