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There's a problem loading this menu right now. Events from every corner of the old house had been recorded, from romance in the attic to theft in the warehouse. Once settled into the hiding place, the diarist could open a window in the attic for fresh air. There was a view of a chestnut tree, and the majestic Westerkerk church bells could be heard throughout the day.
Although the captive Jews spent most of their time in the annex, they made use of the full premises during evenings and weekends. At the other end of the building, facing the murky canal, one could peek through the office curtains to glimpse people roaming the Jordaan neighborhood, a hotbed of black-market activity. Also in the front-office, the Frank sisters were given filing work to do by Miep Gies and the other helpers.
The annex faced a courtyard shared by two-dozen buildings, making it difficult to conceal people indefinitely. Visitors cannot climb up to the attic today, but a strategically placed mirror helps them see the famous window from below. The chestnut tree died several years ago, and saplings were taken to plant around the world.
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Anne wrote, "After May , the good times were few and far between; first there was the war, then the capitulation and then the arrival of the Germans, which is when the trouble started for the Jews. On June 12, , Anne's 13th birthday, Otto gave her a red-and-white-checked notebook that she had previously picked out at a local shop.
Anne decided to use it as a diary. Her first entry reads, "I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support.
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In July , Germans began sending Dutch Jews to concentration camps. The family began making plans to go into hiding. The hiding place was at Prinsengracht, an area with many small companies and warehouses. On July 5, , Margot received a summons to report to a concentration camp. The Frank family went into hiding the next day, a few weeks earlier than planned. For two years, eight people lived in the Secret Annex, according to Muller.
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- Life in hiding?
In November , Fritz Pfeffer, a dentist and friend of the Frank family, moved in. Pfeffer is referred to as Albert Dussel in many editions of Anne's diary because she sometimes used pseudonyms. These individuals helped manage the business, which continued running in the front of the building, and brought food, other necessities and news of the outside world to the Jews in hiding.
The manager of the company warehouse, Johann Voskuijl, built a moveable bookcase that concealed the entrance to the Secret Annex. Anne wrote, "Now our Secret Annex has truly become secret. Kugler thought it would be better to have a bookcase built in front of the entrance to our hiding place.
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It swings out on its hinges and opens like a door. Voskuijl did the carpentry work. Voskuijl has been told that the seven of us are in hiding, and he's been most helpful. In her diary, Anne described the Secret Annex, saying it had several small rooms and narrow halls. Peter had his own small room, and Hermann and Auguste van Pels slept in the communal living room and kitchen area. There was also a bathroom, a small attic and a front office.
The front office and attic had windows that Anne peered from during the evenings. From the attic, she could see a chestnut tree, which inspired her to reflect on nature in her diary. The residents of the Secret Annex did a great deal of reading and studying to pass the time, including learning English and taking correspondence courses under the helpers' names, according to the Anne Frank House. The residents followed a strict schedule that required them to be silent at certain times so the workers in the office wouldn't hear them.
During the day, they flushed the toilet as little as possible, worried that the workers would hear. One of Anne's primary pastimes was writing in her diary.
She also composed short stories and a book of her favorite quotes. Anne wanted to be a professional journalist when she grew up. She kept several notebooks when in hiding. While her first and most famous was the red-checked notebook, when that ran out of space, she moved on to others, according to the Anne Frank House.
Anne made detailed entries throughout her time in the Secret Annex. She wrote, "The nicest part is being able to write down all my thoughts and feelings. Otherwise, I'd absolutely suffocate.
Many of Anne's entries were addressed to "Kitty. Anne was fond of the character, who was cheerful, funny and shrewd, said Bekker. While Anne did describe life in the Secret Annex, she also wrote extensively about her thoughts, feelings, relationships and personal experiences that had nothing to do with the Holocaust or the Franks' situation. We know from her diary that Anne sometimes disagreed with Margot, felt her mother didn't understand her and had a crush on Peter.
Sharing a room with Fritz Pfeffer, a middle-age man, was awkward for both Anne and Fritz, and Anne sometimes wrote about her struggles.
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