Researchers have uncovered two new pages from Anne Frank’s diary, revealing “dirty” jokes and her thoughts on sex education and prostitution.
The pages, which were covered over with brown paper, have now been unmasked by researchers using digital technology. The entries were written on 28th September 1942, less than three months after the 13-year-old Anne and her family went into hiding from the Nazis.
On a page with a handful of crossed-out phrases, Frank wrote: "I'll use this spoiled page to write down 'dirty' jokes". One of the jokes reads: "Do you know why the German Wehrmacht girls are in the Netherlands? As mattresses for the soldiers."
In a passage on sex, Frank discussed how a young woman gets her period at around 14 years old, saying that 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, she wrote: “All men, if they are normal, go with women, women like that accost them on the street and then they go together. In Paris they have big houses for that. Papa has been there.”
According to Ronald Leopold of the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam, Frank writes about sexuality in a "disarming way". He added: "Like every adolescent she is curious about this subject."
Similarly, Frank van Vree, director of the Netherlands' Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, said: "Anyone who reads the passages that have now been discovered will be unable to suppress a smile. The 'dirty' jokes are classics among growing children. They make it clear that Anne, with all her gifts, was above all also an ordinary girl."
Writing about the decision to publish pages that Frank clearly wanted to keep hidden, the museum said that her diary, which is a Unesco-registered world heritage document, held significant academic interest and that the pages "do not alter our image of Anne".
"Over the decades Anne has grown to become the worldwide symbol of the Holocaust, and Anne the girl has increasingly faded into the background," it said in a statement. "These - literally - uncovered texts bring the inquisitive and in many respects precocious teenager back into the foreground."