The Diary of Anne Frank is a Forgery
Holocaust Deniers Say:
Anne Frank's diary is a forgery. It was really written by her father, Otto Frank, after the war.
The history of the Secret Annex
In 1933, Frank family moved from Germany to Amsterdam, Holland to escape the Nazi regime. But in May 1940 Germany invaded Holland and they were trapped once again. In July 1942 the Frank family (Otto, Edith, Anne, and Margot) went into hiding at Otto Frank's place of business. Four other people joined the Franks in the Secret Annex: Hermann, Auguste, and Peter van Pels and Fritz Pfeffer.
On August 4, 1944 someone betrayed the Franks and their friends to the Dutch Nazis, and they were arrested.
On September 3, 1944 the Franks and the others were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Anne and Margot were transferred from Auschwitz-Birkenau to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where both died of typhus within a few days of each other and a few weeks before liberation. Anne was 15 years old.
The others all perished in various camps. Only Otto Frank survived and returned to Amsterdam after the war.
What is the Diary of Anne Frank?
The diary consists of three books - not one - and over 300 loose sheets of paper. It covers the period of Anne's life from June 12, 1942 to August 1, 1944. (The Franks were arrested on August 4, 1944).
Anne received the red-plaid covered diary for her thirteenth birthday in June 1942, and she began writing in it before she and her family went into hiding. Anne filled at least two, and probably more, black-covered school notebooks while in hiding. Only two of them survived.
After the Franks and their friends were arrested, Miep Gies found Anne's writings and saved them. Upon his return after the war, she gave them to Otto Frank who collapsed all the materials together into one narrative. He also edited out parts that discussed Anne's relationship with her mother (which was difficult) and other entries dealing with Anne's budding sexuality. Modern editions now include all the material originally edited out by her father.
Anne's diary was first published in Dutch in 1947 and in German and French in 1950. The first English edition was published in England and the United States in 1952. Since then it has been translated into over 55 languages and published around the world. Plays and movies have also been written based on her diary.
What the Holocaust deniers say about the authenticity of Anne's diary
In 1975 Richard Harwood, in his Holocaust denial pamphlet called Did Six Million Really Die?, called the diary a "propaganda legend . . . just one more fraud in a whole series of frauds perpetrated in support of the 'Holocaust' legend and the saga of the Six Million."1 In 1975, David Irving, whom the High Court in London declared to be a Holocaust denier, racist and antisemite, wrote in the introduction to one of his many books on Hitler, that the diary was a "forgery."2 Otto Frank protested to Irving's publisher and the passage was omitted when the book was reprinted. Frank also asked the publishers for damages to be paid to the Anne Frank Foundation in Amsterdam.
In 1996 Irving said that Anne's diary had become "a source of substantial profits to her sorrowing father Otto Frank, who became wealthy from the sales of her purported diary..." Irving also admitted that he has never read the whole diary - "life was too short for that" - but still wondered how a teenage girl could have written that "maturely."3 Irving called Anne Frank's diary "a novel."
In 1978, Dittlieb Felderer, an Austrian Holocaust denier, wrote a viciously antisemitic pamphlet called Anne Frank's Diary: A Hoax in which attacked Anne's character. In chapters called "Teenage Sex" and "Sexual Extravaganza" Felderer examined Anne's love affair with Peter calling it the "first child porno." He dismissed the diary as a "colossal hoax" in which the "Germans . . . are made out as veritable beasts."4
The truth about the authenticity of Anne Frank's diary
In November 1980 the Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation received all of Anne's original papers as sitpulated in Otto Frank's will. They conducted a definitive expert analysis of the diary using state-of-the-art technology. Their report, which is published as The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition, is 719 pages long. The State Institute conclusively determined that the diary currently published as the "definitive" version is not a "novel" or a "literary fraud" but it is an accurate presentation of the original material and that all of the materials were written by Anne.
The truth about whether the diary exhibits a level of maturity far beyond a teenage girl
Anne matured dramatically over the 25 months she spent in hiding - something Irving might have noticed if he had taken the time to read the whole book. From a typical 13-year-old girl consumed with gossip about friends and school, Anne slowly turns, before the reader's eyes, into a mature young woman far beyond her 15 chronological years.
The last entries in the diary are radically different from the first. Consider this typical entry, two days after she started the diary:
"During recess I passed out cookies to my teachers and my class . . . I went to gym with the rest of my class. As it was my birthday, I got to decide what game my classmates would play, and I chose volleyball. Afterward they all danced around me in a circle and sang "Happy Birthday." (June 14, 1942)
Contrast that with one of her final entries: "'Deep down, the young are lonelier than the old.' I read this in a book somewhere and it's stuck in my mind. As far as I can tell, it's true. . . Anyone who claims that the older folks have a more difficult time in the Annex doesn't realize that the problems have a far greater impact on us. We're much too young to deal with these problems, but they keep thrusting themselves on us until, finally, we're forced to think up a solution, though most of the time our solutions crumble when faced with the facts. It's difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams, and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. . . . It's utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions." July 15, 1944
Otto Frank compiled and edited his daughter's writings but he remained true to the essence of his daughter's writings.
The physical testing of the diary materials show that Anne Frank was undeniably the author of the diary.
The charge that the writing was too mature for a teenaged girl does not hold up. Anne changed during the 25 months she spent in hiding and her diary entries document that change.
1. Richard Harwood, "Did Six Million Really Die?" http://www.zundelsite.org/english/harwood/Didsix01.html#1.
2. "David Irving, Hitler and His Generals" (Berlin: Ullstein Verlag, 1975), introduction, p. III as cited in Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation, The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition (New York: Doubleday, 1988): p. 91 fn 53.
3. "David Irving answers a student asking for his views on the Anne Frank diary," http://www.fpp.co.uk/Auschwitz/docs/controversies/AnneFrank/Jules150286.html
4. Ditlieb Felderer, Anne Frank's Diary: A Hoax (Institute for Historical Review, 1979): introduction, pp. 3, 10, 64.