Anne Frank's diary returns to Amsterdam

By Jessica Elgot, April 29, 2010

The surviving manuscript of Anne Frank’s diary has been returned to the once secret annexe in Amsterdam where she and her family hid from Nazi occupation for two years.

The 15-year-old diarist died of typhus at Belsen concentration camp, but her diaries became a worldwide sensation.

Now the manuscript will form part of a permanent display, opened by Holland’s Queen Beatrix, to celebrate 50 years of the Anne Frank House as a museum, and to mark 65 years after Anne’s death.

The museum receives over a million visitors a year. The museum previously held only Anne’s first diary, which she received for her 13th birthday, but none of her other diaries or scrapbooks.

Gillian Walnes, chief executive of the Anne Frank Trust, was at the ceremony along with 60 delegates from Anne Frank organisations across the world, from Japan to Guatemala. The delegates were invited to tea at the Royal Palace with Queen Beatrix after the unveiling.

She said: "The new space will make the museum and even more memorable experience. To see the diaries, actully written and edited by Anne, who wished for them to be published, was incredibly poignant."

She added: "Everyone who was there for the launch was mesmorised."

The museum is also launching an online virtual tour of the annexe, hidden behind bookshelves on 263 Prinssengracht.

The tour lets visitors zoom in on the beds, kitchen and the displays in the tiny rooms where Anne and her family, and four other residents, hid from the Nazis.

Museum director Hans Westra said: “All Anne's diary entries are now back in the house where they were written, and can be seen by visitors from today onwards.”

"The writing talent of Anne is finally getting the acknowledgement that it deserves in the museum."

Last updated: 3:45pm, April 30 2010