Onstage: Who Censored Anne Frank?

By Wieder, Judy | The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine), December 23, 1997 | Go to article overview

Onstage: Who Censored Anne Frank?


Wieder, Judy, The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)


The December 4 opening of James Lapine's new Broadway production of the 1955 award-winning play The Diary of Anne Frank has renewed interest in an old controversy. For many years questions have circulated about certain edited passages in Frank's real-life diaries. The answers lie in Amsterdam, the city in which Frank hid from the Nazis--and where The Advocate was finally able to get to the bottom of the mystery.

"Wednesday, January 5,1944... Once when I was spending the night at Jacque's, I could no longer restrain my curiosity about her body, which she'd always hidden from me and which I'd never seen. I asked her whether, as proof of our friendship, we could touch each other's breasts. Jacque refused. I also had a terrible desire to kiss her, which I did. Every time I see a female nude, such as the Venus in my art history book, I go into ecstasy. Sometimes I find them so exquisite I have to struggle to hold back my tears. If only I had a girlfriend! "

Initially the above entry was edited out of Anne Frank. Diary of a Young Girl, the compelling first-person account of what life was like for a Jewish teenager hiding from the Nazis. When the famous diaries, written in Dutch and translated into 55 languages, were published again in 1986, the passage--articulating Anne's feelings for another girl's body--was restored. What happened?

For years rumors circulated that it was Anne's father, Otto Frank, who, upon returning from Auschwitz as the sole survivor of his family, edited his daughter's diaries before they were published. This particular passage was just one of the revelations he allegedly censored.

However, according to Dineke Stam, an out lesbian who has worked at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam for seven years, these rumors about Otto Frank are false. "It was actually Anne herself who did this," Stam explained in an exclusive interview in Holland. …

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