Researchers have uncovered two pages of Anne Frank’s diary masked over with brown paper that contain jokes and musings about sex, prostitution and contraception.
Frank, who, along with her family, hid in a secret annex to avoid Nazi capture during World War II, became famous for chronicling her time in hiding in a diary. She wrote the recently discovered pages on Sept. 28, 1942 at the age of 13, about three months after the Frank family went into hiding, and later covered them up with brown paper, the Associated Press reports.
Now, through digital technology, researchers from the Anne Frank House museum and two other Dutch organizations have found that Frank hid four “dirty” jokes about sex and her perspective on sexual development, contraception, sex and prostitution.
Frank Van Vree, director of the Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, said the jokes are of the sort that are “classics among growing children.”
“Anyone who reads the passages that have now been discovered will be unable to suppress a smile,” he said. “They make it clear that Anne, with all her gifts, was above all also an ordinary girl.”
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.” On prostitution, Frank noted that “in Paris they have big houses for that.” Imagining that someone might ask her about “sexual matters,” Frank tries to provide answers to an imaginary friend.
Ronald Leopold, the executive director of the Anne Frank House, said the recent discoveries “bring us even closer” to Frank’s development as a writer. The passages show how she “creates a fictional situation that makes it easier for her to address the sensitive topics that she writes about,” he said.
“It’s a very cautious start to her becoming a writer,” Leopold told the New York Times. “It’s still very early stages.”
In 1944, the Frank family was discovered, arrested and sent to separate concentration camps. Anne Frank and her sister Margot died at Bergen-Belsen in 1945.