Researchers Discover Dirty Jokes in Anne Frank's Diary

They were written on the only 2 pages that were covered up
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 15, 2018 1:57 PM CDT
Researchers Discover Dirty Jokes in Anne Frank's Diary
A video shows the text underneath two taped off pages from Anne Frank's diary during a press conference at The Anne Frank Foundation's office in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Tuesday, May 15, 2018. Left standing is the foundation's director Ronald Leopold.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Only two pages of Anne Frank's diary remain unread—or, remained. The Anne Frank House on Tuesday revealed that it had managed to read the pages, which a then 13-year-old Anne wrote on Sept. 28, 1942, and subsequently covered over with brown masking paper, keeping the pages' contents a tantalizing mystery for decades. It turns out the pages contained four jokes about sex that Anne herself described as "dirty." "I'll use this spoiled page to write down 'dirty' jokes," Anne wrote, then went on to list them; the Anne Frank House didn't specify what the jokes were, and because of copyright issues, it is unclear whether the passages will be incorporated into new editions. But the institution did share some of what it says were 33 lines about sex education and prostitution also on the pages.

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." To reveal the words, researchers photographed the pages, backlit by a flash, and then used image-processing software to decipher the words, which were hard to read because they were jumbled up with the writing on the reverse sides of the pages. "Anyone who reads the passages that have now been discovered will be unable to suppress a smile," said Frank van Vree, director of the Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies, per the AP. "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."

(More Anne Frank stories.)

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