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First edition of Anne Frank’s Het Achterhuis given to a Dutch couple

Object | Accession Number: 2018.613.2 a-b

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    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    One of two copies of the first edition of Anne Frank’s “Het Achterhuis” (“The Secret Annex”), given to Miep and Jan Gies by Anne’s father, Otto Frank. The book includes the original dust jacket and protective clamshell case, and was one of 1500 copies printed in the first run. Anne Frank was a German Jewish girl who immigrated to Amsterdam, Netherlands, with her parents, Otto and Edith, and older sister, Margot. Germany invaded the Netherlands on May 10, 1940. Under German occupation, antisemitic restrictions were enforced, and Otto set up a hiding place in the attic of his business. The family moved into their hidden rooms on July 6, 1942, and were later joined by four others. Otto’s most trusted employees, including Miep and Jan Gies, immediately agreed to help them, at great risk to their own safety. While in hiding, Anne documented her thoughts and the group’s daily activities in a diary. In late March 1944, she began editing her diary and notebooks, with the goal of publishing it after the war. After two years, the hiding place was raided on August 4, 1944. The group was arrested and imprisoned in Westerbork transit camp. On September 3, they were all deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center in German-occupied Poland. In late October 1944, Anne and Margot were transferred to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. Both Anne and Margot died of typhus in March 1945. Anne’s father, Otto, was the only member of the group to survive the Holocaust. He returned to Amsterdam on June 3, 1945, and moved in with Miep and Jan Gies. After learning of Anne’s death, Miep gave Otto Anne’s diary, notebooks, and papers that she had salvaged from the annex in 1944. Two years after the war, Otto found a publisher for the diary, and the first edition, titled “Het Achterhuis,” was released in the summer of 1948.
    Title
    Het Achterhuis
    Subtitle
    dagboekbrieven van 12 Juni 1942 - 1 Augustus 1944
    diary letters from 12 June 1942 - 1 August 1944
    Alternate Title
    The Secret Annex
    Date
    publication:  1947
    Geography
    publication: Amsterdam (Netherlands)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ryan M. Cooper
    Markings
    a. interior spine, printed, black ink : Die Vergeltung [Retribution]
    Contributor
    Author: Anne Frank
    Subject: Anne Frank
    Editor: Otto H. Frank
    Subject: Otto H. Frank
    Publisher: Uitgeverij Contact
    Printer: Ellerman Harms N.V
    Original owner: Miep Gies
    Original owner: Jan A. Gies
    Biography
    Anne Frank (1929-1945) was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, to Otto (1889-1980) and Edith (nee Holländer, 1900-1945). She had an older sister, Margot (1926-1945). Her father, Otto, worked for the family's banking business, founded in 1896 by his father. Although both Otto and Edith were Jewish, they raised their daughters in a secular household. Even as a young child, Anne had a lively and strong-willed personality, which contrasted with her sister’s reserved nature.

    On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany. Under Hitler, authorities quickly began suppressing the rights of Jews, and boycotting their businesses. Shortly after, Otto and Edith moved their family to the Netherlands. Edith’s family remained in Germany, while Otto’s mother and siblings immigrated to Switzerland, France, and England.

    After arriving in Amsterdam, Otto’s brother-in-law, Erich, helped him start a franchise of the Opekta company. Among his new employees were Johannes Kleiman (1896-1959), Victor Kugler (1900-1981), and Miep Santrouschitz (later Gies, 1909-2010). He also hired Bep Voskuijl (1919-1983) in 1937. Anne remained with her grandmother in Aachen until February 1934.

    The family moved into an apartment south of the city, in an area with many Jewish immigrants from Germany and Austria. In May, Anne began kindergarten at the local Montessori school. The Franks became close with their employees, and often hosted people at their home on Saturday afternoons. While living in Amsterdam, Anne enjoyed a carefree childhood, and the Franks regularly traveled to Switzerland to spend holidays with their family.

    In Germany, Edith’s family suffered from the ramifications of the Kristallnacht pogrom of November 1938. Her brothers were able to immigrate to the United States, and in March 1939, her mother, Rosa (1866-1942), immigrated to the Netherlands and moved in with the Franks. Otto started a second business, Pectacon, which sold herbs and spices. In 1939, he hired Hermann van Pels (1898-1944), a German-Dutch Jew who was knowledgeable about meat and sausage herbs. In 1941, he hired Johan Voskuijl (Bep’s father, 1892-1945), as Opekta’s warehouse manager.

    Germany invaded the Netherlands on May 10, 1940. Under German occupation, the country became subject to the Nuremburg laws, which excluded Jews from citizenship, and mandated the separation of Jews and non-Jews. When the German administration required all Jews to register their business and assets, Otto managed to prevent the Nazis from seizing his company. Johannes Kleimann became the managing director of Opekta. Victor Kugler and Miep’s husband, Jan Gies (1905-1993; they married in July 1941), took over Pectacon under the name Gies & Co., with Jan as the supervisory director and Victor as manager.

    Edith’s mother died in January 1942, following a prolonged illness. In April, Dutch Jews were required to start wearing the yellow Star of David. As restrictions continued to tighten, and antisemitism grew, Otto set up a hiding place in the attic of his business, which was later dubbed “the Secret Annex.” Johannes Kleimann helped him furnish it, and Johan Voskuijl built a bookcase to hide the entrance.

    In June 1942, Anne received a diary as a present for her 13th birthday. She began documenting her family’s lives in addition to writing stories and essays. German authorities began deporting Jews from the Netherlands, via the Westerbork transit camp. On July 5, Anne’s sister, Margot, received a summons to report to a labor camp in Germany. The following day, the family moved into the Secret Annex. The following week, Hermann van Pels, along with his wife and son, Auguste (1900-1945) and Peter (1926-1945), joined them. In November, they added an eighth person, Fritz Pfeffer (1889-1944), a German Jewish dentist who became part of their social circle in 1940. Otto’s employees agreed to help them, risking their own safety. The helpers brought supplies, and worked to ensure that the business operated as usual, so as not to draw suspicion. Anne continued to write about her thoughts and their daily activities while in hiding, hoping to become a writer one day.

    In late March 1944, a radio broadcast urged Dutch citizens to keep anything that would document life under German occupation. This inspired Anne to begin editing her diary and notebooks, with the goal of publishing it after the war. She was able to copy over almost two-thirds, revising and editing her diary entries as she went along.

    After two years of hiding, the annex was discovered by the authorities. The group was arrested on August 4, 1944, and taken to Westerbork transit camp. While there, Otto performed forced labor, while Edith, Margot, and Anne were forced to take old batteries apart for reuse. On September 3, they were all deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center in German-occupied Poland. The men and women were separated on the train platform after they arrived. Anne, Margot, and Edith were able to remain together for two months, before Anne had to be moved to the isolation block. Margot accompanied her there.

    In late October 1944, Anne and Margot were selected for a labor detail, and transferred to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. The camp was overcrowded, and the sisters initially had to sleep in tents, which provided little shelter from the German winter. Food rations were meager, and poor sanitary conditions led to the outbreak of numerous diseases. The girls continued to weaken until they developed fevers and had to be placed in the sick barracks. Both Anne and Margot died of typhus in March 1945, and were buried in mass graves. Bergen-Belsen was liberated by British forces on April 15, and contained 60,000 prisoners at the time.

    Anne’s father, Otto, was the only person from the Secret Annex to survive the Holocaust. He returned to Amsterdam on June 3, 1945, and moved in with Miep and Jan Gies. After learning of Anne’s death, Miep gave Otto the diary, notebooks, and papers that she had salvaged from the Annex. Two years after the war, Otto found a publisher for the diary, and the first edition, titled “Het Achterhuis,” was released in the summer of 1948.
    Otto Frank (1889-1980) was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, to Michael (1851-1909) and Alice Betty (nee Stern, 1865-1953) Frank. Otto had three siblings, Robert (1886-1953), Herbert (1891–1987), and Helene (later Elias, 1893-1986). Michael owned a bank, and the family lived a privileged lifestyle, practicing a liberal form of Judaism. The Frank children received a quality education, took music lessons, and attended the theater and opera with their parents.

    After Otto graduated from high school, he spent a year at the University of Heidelberg and then moved to New York City for an internship at Macy’s department store. When Michael died in 1909, Alice took over the bank. Otto returned to Germany in 1911 to support his mother. He enlisted in the army in 1915, and worked in an analysis unit during World War I. By the end of the war in 1918, he had attained the rank of lieutenant and was awarded the Iron Cross for his service. After the war, Otto and his brothers joined the bank.

    Otto married Edith Holländer (1900-1945) in Aachen on May 8, 1925. They settled in Frankfurt, and had two daughters, Margot (1926-1945) and Anne (1929-1945). In 1931, Otto’s sister, Helene, moved to Basel, Switzerland. There, her husband Erich Elias, established a branch of the pectin manufacturer Opekta-Werke (a subsidiary of Pomosin). In 1932, Otto’s brother, Herbert, immigrated to France.

    On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany. Under Hitler, authorities began suppressing the rights of Jews, and boycotting their businesses. Shortly after, Otto and Edith moved their family to the Netherlands. Otto’s brother, Robert, immigrated to England. In October, Alice left Germany, and joined Helene in Basel.

    After arriving in Amsterdam, Otto’s brother-in-law, Erich, helped him start a franchise of the Opekta company. Among his new employees were Johannes Kleiman (1896-1959), Victor Kugler (1900-1981), and Miep Santrouschitz (later Gies, 1909-2010). He also hired Bep Voskuijl (1919-1983) in 1937. The Franks were close with their employees, and often hosted guests at their home. In March 1939, Edith’s mother, Rosa (1866-1942), immigrated to the Netherlands and moved in with the Franks.

    Otto started a second business, Pectacon, which sold herbs and spices. In 1939, he hired Hermann van Pels (1898-1944), a German-Dutch Jew who was knowledgeable about meat and sausage herbs. In 1941, he hired Johan Voskuijl (Bep’s father, 1892-1945), as Opekta’s warehouse manager.

    Germany invaded the Netherlands on May 10, 1940. Under German occupation, the country became subject to the Nuremburg laws, which excluded Jews from citizenship, and mandated the separation of Jews and non-Jews. When the German administration required all Jews to register their business and assets, Otto managed to prevent the Nazis from seizing his company. Johannes Kleimann became the managing director of Opekta. Victor Kugler and Miep’s husband, Jan Gies (1905-1993; they married in July 1941), took over Pectacon under the name Gies & Co., with Jan as the supervisory director and Victor as manager.

    In January 1941, the German authorities mandated the registration of all Jews residing in the Netherlands. Otto wanted to move his family to the United States, but was unable to collect the necessary paperwork. In April, Dutch Jews were required to start wearing the yellow Star of David. As restrictions continued to tighten, and antisemitism grew, Otto set up a hiding place in the attic of his business, which was later dubbed “the Secret Annex.” Johannes Kleimann helped him furnish it, and Johan Voskuijl built a bookcase to hide the entrance.

    In the summer of 1942, German authorities began deporting Jews from the Netherlands, via the Westerbork transit camp. On July 5, Otto’s daughter, Margot, received a summons to report to a labor camp in Germany. The following day, the family moved into the Secret Annex. The following week, Hermann van Pels, along with his wife and son, Auguste (1900-1945) and Peter (1926-1945), joined them. In November, they added an eighth person, Fritz Pfeffer (1889-1944), a German Jewish dentist who became part of their social circle in 1940. Otto’s employees agreed to help them, risking their own safety. The helpers brought supplies, and worked to ensure that the business operated as usual, so as not to draw suspicion. Although Otto had officially turned his business over to his non-Jewish employees, he continued to be involved as much as possible. He would listen in on meetings through the floorboards and work in the office after the staff had left. With eight people hiding in a confined space, conflict often arose, and Otto did his best to maintain peace.

    After two years of hiding, the annex was discovered by the authorities. The group was arrested on August 4, 1944, and taken to Westerbork transit camp. While there, Otto performed forced labor, while Edith, Margot, and Anne were forced to take old batteries apart for reuse. On September 3, they were all deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center in German-occupied Poland. The men and women were separated after they arrived, and Otto, Hermann, and Fritz were assigned to forced labor. Otto initially worked in a gravel mine, then was later transferred to a crew that built roads outside of the camp. Hermann was killed in the gas chambers in October 1944. Peter was assigned a job in the camp post office, and was occasionally able to get Otto extra food. At one point, Otto was severely beaten, and was only admitted to the sick barracks after intervention by some of his fellow inmates.

    In January 1945, Auschwitz was evacuated in advance of the Soviet arrival. Those able to walk were sent on a forced march, including Peter, but Otto had to remain in the sick barracks. He weighed 115 pounds and was too weak to join the march. Soviet forces entered the camp on January 27, 1945. Otto was nursed back to health, and then left for the Netherlands on February 23. While on the journey, he learned Edith died in the sick barracks at Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 6, 1945, three weeks before the camp was liberated.

    Otto arrived in Amsterdam on June 3, and moved in with Miep and Jan Gies. The following month, he learned his daughters had died in Bergen-Belsen. Auguste van Pels died in April 1945 on a transport to Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp in German-occupied Czechoslovakia. Fritz Pfeffer died in December 1944 at Neuengamme concentration camp. Peter van Pels died in the Mauthausen subcamp, Melk, in May 1945, only a few days after liberation. Otto was the only one of the eight who hid in the Annex to survive the Holocaust.

    While trying to rebuild his life, Otto contacted Elfriede (Fritzi) Geireinger (1905-1998), a former neighbor whose daughter he had met while in Auschwitz. Fritzi and her daughter, Eva (later Schloss, b. 1929), had survived the Holocaust, but her husband and son had not. Otto stayed with the Gies’ until 1952, when he immigrated to Basel, Switzerland. The following year, he and Fritzi married.

    During their time in hiding, Anne wrote about her experiences in papers, notebooks, and a diary. Miep saved them when the Annex was raided and gave them to Otto. Two years after the war, Otto had the diary published, and the first edition, titled “Het Achterhuis,” was released in the summer of 1948. Otto regularly corresponded with readers of Anne’s diary, and became friends with some. He devoted the rest of his life to fighting for human rights and organized international youth conferences.
    Hermine Santrouschitz (later Miep Gies, 1909-2010) was born in Vienna, Austria, to Karoline Santrouschitz, a member of a poor Catholic family. Following World War I, food was scarce and the family suffered from malnourishment. At a young age, Miep contracted tuberculosis, and in December 1929, a relief program for Austrian children allowed Miep’s family to send her to the Netherlands for foster care and recovery. Miep was taken in by the Nieuwenburg family, who originally lived in Leiden, but moved to Amsterdam in 1924.

    When she was 18, Miep began working in an embroidery workshop as a typist. During this time, she met and became romantically involved with Jan Gies, a bookkeeper. After six years with the company, The Great Depression caused her to lose her job. She found a new position as a representative for Otto Frank (1889-1980), a Jewish businessman who had emigrated from Germany in early 1933 with his wife and two daughters. Miep worked in customer service, answering phones and mail.

    The German army invaded the Netherlands on May 10, 1940, and immediately set up an SS administration. Under German occupation, the Netherlands became subject to the Nuremburg laws; which excluded Jews from citizenship. On July 16, 1941, Miep married Jan Gies, who had become a social worker. Their wedding was attended by Otto and his daughter, Anne (1929-1945), Hermann (1898-1944) and Auguste (1900-1945) van Pels, and Miep’s other colleagues, Johannes Kleiman (1896-1959), Victor Kluger (1900-1981), and Bep Voskuijl (1919-1983). When the German administration required all Jews to register the assets of their businesses, Jan helped Otto to prevent the Nazis from seizing his company. Jan and Victor Kugler established a new company, Gies & Co., which took over Pectacon. Jan became the supervisory director and Victor served as the manager.

    In the summer of 1942, German authorities began deporting Jews from the Netherlands. On July 6, Otto Frank moved his family, including his wife, Edith (1900-1945), and daughters Margot (1926-1945) and Anne (1929-1945), into a hiding place he and some of his employees had set up in an empty section of the business, which was later dubbed “the Secret Annex.” The following week the van Pels and their son, Peter (1926-1945) also moved into the annex, followed by an eighth person, Fritz Pfeffer (1889-1944) in November. Jan, Miep, and Otto’s employees agreed to help them, risking their own safety. The helpers brought supplies, and worked to ensure that the business operated as usual, so as not to draw suspicion. Miep took charge of acquiring meat and vegetables to feed those in the Annex, and brought them library books whenever she could. In addition to protecting those in the Annex, Miep and Jan helped their Jewish landlady and her grandchildren find a hiding place. They also hid Kuno van der Horst, a 23-year-old student who refused to sign a Nazi loyalty oath, in their home until he was able to move back with his mother.

    After two years of hiding, the annex was discovered by the authorities. The group was arrested on August 4, 1944, and those hiding were arrested and later deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center in German-occupied Poland. Miep went to the Gestapo headquarters and tried to bribe an officer to get them released, but was unsuccessful. She was able to recover some personal belongings from the Annex, including Anne’s notebooks and papers, which Miep kept in a desk drawer. Jan and Miep did not hear about any of the hiders, until after the Netherlands was liberated in the spring 1945. Otto Frank was the only one of their group to survive the Holocaust, and returned to Amsterdam on June 3. He lived with Jan and Miep for the next seven years. In 1950, their only son, Paul, was born. On March 8, 1972, Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel, recognized Jan and Miep as Righteous Among the Nations.
    Jan Gies (1905-1993) was born to Cornelis and Wilhelmina (nee Steenge) Gies, and grew up on the south side of Amsterdam. He was the youngest of four siblings: Rosina Wilhelmina (1892-?), Cornelis (1895-?), Fenna Geslena (1899-?) and Johanna Augusta (1904-?).

    In December 1928, Jan married Maria Margaretha Geertruida Netten, the daughter of a book printer. He worked as a bookkeeper for a local textile company, where he met Miep Santrouschitz (1909-2010), who worked in the office at the same company. The two became romantically involved, though Miep lost her job in 1933 due to the economic crisis. She found a new position as a representative for Otto Frank (1889-1980), a Jewish businessman who had emigrated from Germany in early 1933 with his wife and two daughters. At some point, Jan also left the company, and became a social worker.

    Germany invaded the Netherlands on May 10, 1940. Under German occupation, the country became subject to the Nuremburg laws, which excluded Jews from citizenship, and mandated the separation of Jews and non-Jews. Jan’s divorce from his first wife was finalized in November 1940, and on July 16, 1941, he married Miep. Their wedding was attended by Otto and his daughter, Anne (1929-1945), Hermann (1898-1944) and Auguste (1900-1945) van Pels, and Miep’s other colleagues, Johannes Kleiman (1896-1959), Victor Kluger (1900-1981), and Bep Voskuijl (1919-1983). When the German administration required all Jews to register their business and assets, Jan helped Otto prevent the Nazis from seizing his company. Johannes Kleimann became the managing director of Opekta. Jan and Victor Kugler took over Pectacon under the name Gies & Co., with Jan as the supervisory director and Victor as manager.

    In the summer of 1942, German authorities began deporting Jews from the Netherlands. On July 6, Otto Frank moved his family, including his wife, Edith (1900-1945), and daughters Margot (1926-1945) and Anne (1929-1945), into a hiding place, which was later dubbed "the Secret Annex." Otto and some of his employees had set it up in an empty section of the business. The following week the van Pels and their son, Peter (1926-1945) also moved into the annex, followed by an eighth person, Fritz Pfeffer (1889-1944) in November. Jan, Miep, and Otto’s employees agreed to help them, risking their own safety. The helpers brought supplies, and worked to ensure that the business operated as usual, so as not to draw suspicion. In addition to protecting those in the Annex, Miep and Jan helped their Jewish landlady and her grandchildren find a hiding place. They also hid Kuno van der Horst, a 23-year-old student who refused to sign a Nazi loyalty oath, in their home until he was able to move back with his mother.

    Jan joined the resistance in 1943, and distributed illegal papers and obtained ration coupons for the group. His job as a social worker was useful for his activities in the resistance movement, allowing him to visit people freely and without raising suspicion.

    After two years of hiding, the annex was discovered by the authorities. The group was arrested on August 4, 1944, and those hiding were arrested and later deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center in German-occupied Poland. Jan and Miep did not hear about any of the hiders, until after the Netherlands was liberated in spring 1945. Otto Frank was the only member of their group to survive the Holocaust, and returned to Amsterdam on June 3. He lived with Jan and Miep for the next seven years. In 1950, their only son, Paul, was born. On March 8, 1972, Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel, recognized Jan and Miep as Righteous Among the Nations for risking their lives to save Jews persecuted by the Nazis.

    Physical Details

    Language
    Dutch German
    Object Type
    Books (lcsh)
    Genre/Form
    Diaries.
    Physical Description
    ix, 253 pages : portrait ; 19 cm
    a. Beige, hardcover book with dust jacket. The front of the dust jacket features a grayscale abstract image, with the title in large, white, script lettering across the center, the subtitle in small lettering along the bottom, and the author’s name across the top on yellow print. The back of the dust jacket is beige and has yellowed with age. The entire dust jacket is worn, with small tears along the edges. The cover has largely separated from the text block, attached only by the endpaper of the back cover. On the interior of the spine, where it has separated from the text block, is a strip of paper with printed text.
    b. Rectangular, clamshell box covered in an olive green synthetic material. The spine of the box has a small square of black synthetic leather, stamped with the author’s name and title in gold-colored foil. The box opens flat to reveal two large halves, separated by the spine. Each half has three, short sides and a tan-colored endpaper.
    Dimensions
    a: Height: 7.375 inches (18.733 cm) | Width: 4.375 inches (11.113 cm) | Depth: 1.000 inches (2.54 cm)
    b: Height: 8.375 inches (21.273 cm) | Width: 5.125 inches (13.017 cm) | Depth: 1.250 inches (3.175 cm)
    Materials
    a : paper, ink, cardboard
    b : cardboard, cloth, paper, synthetic leather, foil

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The book was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2018 by Ryan M. Cooper, an acquaintance of Otto Frank.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:20:58
    This page:
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