Sometimes, emotions run high in the Secret Annex.

Tension and arguments

Hermann and Auguste van Pels's Room In the evening all eight people in hiding and sometimes helper Bep Voskuijl too eat at the large table in this room.
  • Print

Eight people, living in extremely cramped quarters, in a stifling Secret Annex… the tension is unbearable. The people in hiding live in continual fear of being discovered.

Anne writes:

'My mind boggles at the profanity this honorable house has had to endure in the past month… To tell you the truth, I sometimes forget who we're at odds with and who we're not. The only way to take my mind off it is to study, and I've been doing a lot of that lately.'

Arguments

In the beginning, the atmosphere in the Secret Annex is very pleasant, but the first conflicts quickly arise. The people in hiding have to stay indoors around the clock. They must also be extremely quiet during the day when people are at work in the warehouse downstairs. Because the waste pipes for the toilet run right through the warehouse, the toilet is flushed as little as possible.There is a lot of tension, probably due to the oppressive nature of the hiding place and their constant fear of being discovered. They often quarrel among themselves. Anne describes this in much detail in her diary.

AFS_A_OFrank_III_001.004.jpgWe thought that by living together with the family of my business partner's family life would be less monotonous, but we had not considered how many difficulties would arise due the combination of characters and opinions.

Otto Frank

Anne is struggling

Otto notes about Anne: "It was clear right from the beginning that life in hiding would be far more difficult for the spirited Anne than for us. We were aware of how much she would miss her many friends from school. Margot, who was much more mature, would accept with the situation quicker. As often as she can, Anne pours out her heart to her diary: “The nicest part is being able to write down all my thoughts and feelings, otherwise I'd absolutely suffocate.”

Writing table Anne often sits at this little table in her room to write in her diary (Photo of the refurnished secret annex: Allard Bovenberg).

Margot Frank is called up She has to go to a labour camp in Germany

On 5 July 1942, Margot Frank is called up, along with thousands of other Jews in Amsterdam...

More...

In hiding No one knows how long they’ll have to stay hidden

From Monday July 6, 1942 the Frank family goes into hiding...

More...
Boekenkast

The hiding place A bookcase hides the entrance

The hiding place at 263 Prinsengracht is relatively spacious. There is enough room for two families.

More...

Tension and arguments Sometimes, emotions run high

Eight people, living in extremely cramped quarters, in a stifling Secret Annex… the tension is unbearable...

More...

Daily activities Reading and studying help pass the time

The people in hiding are on a tight schedule.

More...

The war rages on The helpers, and the radio, deliver updates

'Today I have nothing but dismal and depressing news to report...

More...