The Real Start of the Anne Frank Diary
Many writers, including this one, would not be pleased to have a first draft quoted and criticized, but then most will not have extensively revised their work afterwards, falsely called it a diary and had over 31 million copies of it sold (total claimed in the Guardian, 5 July 2002). Since what has been published is claimed to be a diary the text will be treated as such, and what follows is what was originally set down. This is pages 1 to 28 of the Autograph Album, otherwise known as Part 1, Version a of the manuscript.
The following excerpt is important because a) it is the true diary; b) it details AMF’s 13th birthday, supposedly a significant event at the start of the diary; and c) very few fragments of this text appear in the published Diary. Those passages which appear in the normal Diary of Anne Frank, and with the correct date, are italicized.
Gorgeous photograph isn’t it!!!!1
I hope I shall be able to confide in you completely, as I have never been able to do in anyone before, and I hope that you will be a great support and comfort to me.
Anne Frank. 12 June 1942.2
Sunday 14 June 1942.
I think the next few pages will all have the same (page) date, because I still have a lot to tell you.
I’ll start with the moment I got you, or rather saw you lying on my birthday table, (because the buying, when I was there as well, doesn’t count.)
On Friday, June 12th, I woke up at six o’clock, and no wonder; it was my birthday. But of course I was not allowed to get up at that hour, so I had to contain my curiosity until a quarter to seven. Then I could bear it no longer, and went to the dining room, where I received a warm welcome from Moortje (the cat).
I closed the communicating doors of course. Soon after seven went to Mummy and Daddy and then to the sitting room to undo my presents, the first to greet me was you, possibly the nicest of all. Then on the there were a bunch of roses, a plant, and some peonies, and more arrived during the day.
From Mummy and Daddy I got a blue blouse, Variety, which is the latest party game for adults, something like Monopoly, a bottle of grape juice, which to my mind tasted a bit like wine, and which has now begun to ferment and I may have been right, since wine is made from grapes after all; then a puzzle; a bottle of peek-aroma “with acorns” (I got that later, I mean “the acorns”; a jar of ointment; a 2½ guilder banknote; a token for two books; a book from Katze, the Camera Obscura, but Margot has got that already, so I swapped it; a plate of home-made biscuits, baked by me, of course, for I’m very keen on baking biscuits at the moment; a little dish of molasses candy, but it is horribly sticky; a bowl of “truffles,” from Daddy; a little plate of Marie biscuits; a letter from Grandma, right on time, but that was an accident, of course; and a home-made.
Then I came home at five o’clock, because I had gone to gymnastics, (although I am not allowed to do it because my arms and legs go out of joint) and I chose volleyball for my classmates as my birthday game. Later they all danced in a circle around me and sang “happy birthday to you.” When I got home Sanne Ledermann was already there, and I’d brought Ilse Wagner, Hanneli Goslar and Jacqueline van Maarsen along with me from gymnastics, because they are in my class. Hanneli and Sanne used to be my two best friends, and people who saw us together always said there they go Anne, Hanne and Sanne.3 I only got to know Jacqueline van Maarsen at the Jewish Secondary School and she is known as my best friend. Ilse is Hanneli’s best friend, and Sanne goes to a different school, where she has her friends.
Five of us formed a club called “the little bear, minus 2” or t.l.B-2 for short. That was because we thought the little Bear had 5 stars, but we were wrong there, because it has seven stars, just like the great Bear; minus 2 therefore means that Sanne is the leader and Jacque is the secretary and that we (Ilse Hanneli and I) are left to make up the club. It’s a ping-pong club.
I was given a lovely book on the occasion namely Tales and Legends of the Netherlands by Joseph Cohen, but unfortunately they gave me the second part, and so I swapped the Camera Obscura for Tales and Legends of the Netherlands part 1, including a book from Mummy, for it is very expensive. I got 6 beautiful carnations from Hello. Hello is a second cousin or a first cousin once removed of Wilma de Jonge, and Wilma de Jonge is a girl who takes our tram and who seemed very nice at first and actually is quite nice, but she talks all day long about nothing but boys and that gets a bit tiresome.
Hello has a girl friend Ursula or Ursul for short.
But I am his real girl friend odd isn’t it!
Everyone thinks I’m in love with Hello, but that is absolutely untrue. Aunt Helene brought me a puzzle; aunt Stephanie a lovely little brooch; aunt Leny a marvelous book Daisy’s travel adventures, and a bracelet from Anne with a kiss; Mr. Wronker a box of Droste and a game; Mrs. Lederman a roll of acid drops; Mrs. Pfeffer a roll of acid drops; Mr. van Maarsen a bunch of sweet peas;
Peter van Pels a bar of milk chocolate, Mrs Pfeffer and Mr. Wronker flowers as well and so I was thoroughly spoiled. This afternoon I also got something from the children in my class. Yesterday evening we showed a film “The lighthouse keeper,” with Rin-tin-tin; and we’re going to have it this afternoon again, lovely!!!!
I shall still get the Myths of Greece and Rome with my own money. Another book from Mr. Kohnke and at Blankevoort’s a box for storing Variety. Now I must stop next time I’ll have so much to write in you again, that is to tell you, bye-bye, we’re going to be great pals.
Daisy’s mountain holiday is really a very beautiful book; I was deeply moved by the story about the girl who was so rich and yet so good and who died at the end, but that was inevitable and precisely what makes it so beautiful.
This morning in my bath I was thinking how wonderful it would be if I had a dog like Rin-tin-tin. I would call him Rin-tin-tin too and he’d be at school all the time with the caretaker or if the weather was good in the bicycle shed. I have made a rough sketch of my underground palace, as I call it to myself. I hope that this wish of mine will be fulfilled one day, but there would have to be a miracle then, since it doesn’t usually happen that food and money and things like that are supplied all the time and that you can set sail even to America or that you can just disappear under the ground and then live there, it’s too beautiful to be true. Mummy always wants to know who I’m going to marry, but I don’t think she’ll ever guess that it’s Peter, because I managed without blushing or flickering an eyelid, to get that idea right out of their minds.4 I am fonder of Peter than I have ever been of anyone else, and I keep telling myself that it’s only to hide his feelings that Peter goes round with all those girls; he also probably thinks that Hello and I are in love, which is quite untrue, because he is just a friend or as Mummy puts it one of my beaux.
Monday 15 June 1942.
I had my party on Sunday afternoon, my school friends thoroughly enjoyed Rin-tin-tin I was given a little brooch by G.; Leny also gave me a brooch; E.S. a bookmark; J., Nanny van Praag and Eefje, a book called good morning milkman; Henny and Betty also gave me a book Lydia’s troubles. I shall now say a few things about our class and our school, beginning with the pupils. The pupils in class 1LII.
1.) Betty Bloemendaal, looks rather poor, but that’s what she is I think, she lives in Jan Klasenstraat in West and none of us knows where that is. She is very clever at school, but that’s because she works so hard, since cleverness isn’t all it seems.
She is a fairly quiet girl.
2.) Jacqueline van Maarsen, considered to be my best friend, but I’ve never had a real friend, I thought at first that Jacque would be one, but it turned out badly.
She’s always having little secrets and going off with other girls such as J.R.
3.) D.Q., is a very nervous girl, who always forgets things and gets one detention after another. She is very kind-hearted especially towards G.Z.
4.) E.S., is a girl whose dreadful tittle-tattle is beyond a joke. When she asks you something she’s always fingering your hair or fiddling with your buttons.
They say that E. can’t stand me, but I can manage to put up with that all right since I don’t think she’s all that likeable either.
5.) Henny Mets, is a nice, cheerful girl, except that she talks much too loudly, and is very babyish when she plays in the street. It’s a great pity about Henny’s friend Betty, who has a really poisonous effect on her, since she’s a horribly mean and dirty-minded girl.
6.) J.R., you could write whole chapters about her. J. is a swanky, whispery, nasty, boastful, underhand, hypocritical girl. She has got right round Jacque which is a real pity.
J. cries at the slightest little thing, is really petty, and on top of everything else horribly affected.
Miss J. always has to be right. She is very rich and has a wardrobe full of gorgeous dresses, but they’re much too old for her. She thinks she’s very beautiful, but she is just the opposite. She has a perky but cheeky (chutzpahish) expression. J. and I can’t stand each other.
7.) Ilse Wagner is a nice, cheerful girl, but she is very fussy and can go on and on about something for hours e.g. when she has wet feet, first she decides to come back to my place and then she wants to go home. Then instead of going home and putting on dry stockings, she comes with me but never stops going on about it. Ilse is very fond of me, she is very clever but lazy.
8.) Hanneli Goslar is a bit of a strange girl, she is shy on the whole and very cheeky at home, but quite unassuming with other people.
She blabs everything you tell her to her mother.
But she has an open mind and I respect her a lot particularly recently, continued next time.
Tuesday 16 June 1942.
Hanneli or Lies as she is called at school, did something silly again to Ilse and Jacque, I don’t really know what to think of it.
9.) Nannie v. Praag-Sigaar, is a funny little, sensible girl, I think she is very nice. She is fairly clever as well, there isn’t much one can say about Nannie van Praag-Sigaar.
10.) Eerfe de Jong, is a wonderful girl I think. She is only just twelve years old, but is quite a lady. She acts as if I am a baby.
Eerfe is also very helpful, and so I like her a lot.
11.) G.Z. is probably the most beautiful girl in our class she has a darling face, but is pretty stupid at school, so that I really think that she’ll be kept down, which is something I don’t tell her of course. To my great astonishment G. wasn’t kept down after all.
12.) And finally of our 12 girls there is me, sitting next to G.Z.
There is a lot, as well as very little to say about the boys.
Maurice Coster is one of my many admirers, but is rather boring. Sallie Springer is terribly mean, and rumour has it that he’s gone all the way with a girl. Still, I think he’s great because he’s very funny.
Emiel Bonewit is G.Z.’s admirer but that doesn’t mean much to G.
Rob Cohen was also in love with me, but now I can’t stand him any more he is a hypocritical, lying, whining, crazy, boring little boy, who thinks he’s the cat’s whiskers.
Max van de Velde is a country boy from Medemblik, but very eligible as Margot would put it.
Herman Koopman has also got a filthy mind just like Jopie de Beer who is a terrible flirt and mad about girls. Leo Blom is Leo Blom’s bosom friend but is also infected with dirty-mindedness.
Albert de Mesquita comes from the 6th grade of the Montessori School and has skipped a class, he is very clever.
Leo Slager, comes from the same school but is not so clever.
Ru Stoppelmon is a small, funny little boy from Almelo, who joined the school later.
C.N. does everything he’s not allowed??????????????????????????
Jacques Kocernoot sits behind us with A. and we laugh ourselves sick (G. and I.)
Harry Schaap, is the decentest boy in our class, he is really nice.
Werner Joseph (ditto, ditto) but too quiet because of the times we live in so he appears dull.
Sam Solomon is just a brat from the slums, a bit of riff-raff.
Appie Riem is slightly orthodox but she’s a nasty piece of work too.
My own story
I was born on 12 June 1929 in Frankfurt a/M. I lived in Frankfurt until I was 4, then my father Otto, Heinrich Frank went to Holland to look for a post that was in June. He found something, and his wife Edith Frank-Holländer moved to Holland in September. Margot and I went to Aachen, to our grandmother Rosa Holländer-Stern, Margot went on to Holland in December, and I followed in February, and was put on Margot’s table as a birthday present.
Soon afterwards I joined the 6th grade of the Kindergarten of the Montessori School. I stayed there until I was 6, then I went up into the first form. I found myself in 1B with Mr. van Gelder, I stayed with him into the 4th form, then Mr. van Gelder left and Miss Gadron took over, after one year in the 5th with Miss Gadron, I ended up in 6C under Mrs. Kuperus the headmistress, at the end of the school year we had to say good-by, we both wept, it was very sad. But after the vacation I was back with Mrs. Kuperus, I was supposed to stay with her into the 7th year, but it didn’t turn out that way since I was accepted at the Jewish Secondary School where Margot was going too. My reports surprised every one, but perhaps they are not yet good enough to go up. In the summer of 1940 Granny Holländer fell very ill, (she was staying with us by then) she had to have an operation and my birthday didn’t mean much. It didn’t in the summer of 1940 either, for the fighting in the Netherlands was just over then.
Granny died this winter 1941-1942. And no one will ever know how much she is in my thoughts and how much I love her still.
The celebration of this 1942 birthday was to make up for everything then, and granny’s little light shone over it.
Friday 19 June 1942.
This morning I was at home, I slept a long, long time, then Hanneli came and we had a bit of a gossip, Jacque has suddenly become very taken with Ilse and behaves very childishly and stupidly towards me, the more I know her the less I like her.
Part of the handwritten original manuscript for these entries is reproduced on pp. 124-125 of the Critical Edition. The Critical Edition was the source of the above excerpt, and their translation from Dutch into English is mainly used.
The passage above is followed by six pages of photographs and captions, a letter from Otto Frank and several more entries dated 28 September 1942. On page 36 the diary proper continues with an entry originally dated 29 June 1942 but with the date amended to 30 June 1942.