I visited Anne Frank's house in Amsterdam in the 80's. It is one of the most visted places in all Europe.

Not sure I'll read the novel but one should read her diary.
The whole idea is ridiculous. Anne Frank was a lesbian.

"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!"
The first few editions of her diary had an edited out section she wrote describing her vulva. It sort of made sense, since her dad was the one who had her diary published, but I believe some current editions (that go in libraries in schools, of course) still censor that part of her diary.
Hey!! Great idea for HUMP!!!!

Who want's to do it?
Isn't it like ferociously illegal to write about teenagers having sex any more?
@2, if just wanting to kiss and touch and see naked and have romantic relationships with other women made you a lesbian, well, my sex life would be a lot simpler.
Dan will never overcum his Catholic upbringing.
Or move past it.
@6 I'm so confused. What else could that possibly make you?
Crap like this
is the reason
Joy Behar won't have you back on her show,
I am also yearning for an explanation from @6. Tell me more about your complex sex life!
I don't think the issue here is necessarily sex-negativity, or at least that it's not sex-negativity for everyone. I know that's the lens you look through the world at, but there are other factors at play here.

Anne Frank's diary is a clear record of everything she wanted and did not get to experience because she was murdered by the Nazis. That probably included sex, given that she lived in a tiny attic with her family and Peter's family and the logistics get highly improbable.

"Fictionalizing" her story to give her more happiness and a fuller life than she got does come across as problematic to me, especially in the context of how recent the Holocaust is, how important her diary is as a true primary source and how many people are invested in denying the Holocaust ever even happened.
Holy crap, had no idea Anne Frank was a lesbian.
The main reason I hope Anne was virginal was her age. She had just turned fifteen at the end of the diary and died before she turned 16. That is a little early for sex. I certainly hope she had physical closeness and intimacy because all humans need that, but I think she was probably better off without sex just because of her age.
@8 & 10 - Bisexual maybe?
don't give up hope, Dan- even if Peter didn't nail her there's a good chance one of the guards at Bergen-Belsen did....
Maybe @6 is trying to imply that Ms. Frank may have been bisexual or something, but I don't remember any passages regarding the "hot piece of Hebrew man meat" that she was living with, or her desire to "touch naughties" with a boy to prove they were friends.
@13: One generation or so earlier, and Anne would almost be considered a spinster if she wasn't married with children at 16.
My grandmother was married and had a baby at 16 and this was around the same time Anne Frank lived. She married my grandfather in 1942. This wasn't very unusual for the time. Even now 15 or 16 isn't very unusual for first sexual experiences. We have a very screwed up notion that teens with sexually mature bodies and raging hormones should repress everything their bodies tell them in a way we don't expect from adults.
@8 &10, I just think if a woman professes sexual desire for women, that woman is slightly more likely to be bisexual than lesbian.

However, I understand that there's a great deal of personal experiential bias in this opinion, and that it's not borne out by data on people's self-reports of their sexuality. I apologise in advance if anyone feels like this minimizes or dismisses their experiences.
It would be natural for a girl and boy of their ages to feel some sort sexual stirring and attraction, that is unless propiniquity for such an extended period led to dislike. As crowded as the inhabitants of the annex were there were still opportunities for meaningful looks and perhaps some physical contact like hand-holdng or even a furtive kiss. As for attraction to another girl, when the sexes are separated at school, same-sex crushes are quite normal and don't always lead to lesbianism, homosexuality or bisexuality. Memoirs of the late nineteenth and early 20th centuries are full of such anecdotes.
I played Peter in a play way back in eighth grade. The play was closely based on Anne Frank's diary, but was still a fictionalized version of it. My memories are fuzzy, but I thought there were some intimate moments between Peter and Anne, even if they were only emotionally intimate.

I'll probably skip the novel, but I do hope Peter and Anne got to experience some shared joy in their lives which were cut too short.

@11: I don't claim that this makes me an authority, but I am the child of a Holocaust survivor.

Anne Franks story has already been "fictionalized" to some extent simply because, as others have pointed out, her diaries were edited for publication.

In my own family certain members prettied-up the facts of their release from the camps, creating wild stories of daring escapes.

I doubt that people are going to read "Annexed" and have it change their minds on the suffering of Anne Frank or the atrocities of the Holocaust.
@ 17, agreed with keshmeshi. It's a common misconception that women were married off in their mid-teens at every point in history before the 20th century.

In fact, given Anne Frank's position, a generation, a century or even two centuries before her own time she would have most likely gone to school until she was 16 or 17, been "introduced" into society around that time, been courted for a number of years (particularly since she would have been waiting for a good prospect to come around), then married in her early 20s.

In fact, the early 20s was a common age for women to marry in most walks of life in western Europe and European colonies from the mid-1700's onward. Poor women and their husbands-to-be typically worked to gain enough income before marrying. More wealthy people played courting games to up their chances of making a good match. Really, women didn't marry in their mid teens unless a REALLY GOOD prospect came their way, the parents wanted a particular marriage to go down to get the girl out of the house or they eloped with someone they just happened to fall in love with at that age.

Really, the norm of marrying that young had not held true since the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and even then it wasn't abnormal for a girl to reach her twenties before being married off.

I think the misconception of marrying age holds over from perceptions people have of the past, i.e, it was all a disorganized mess full of people less sophisticated than we are. Not so.
I wonder what Jeff Mangum thinks of all this.
@22: Hey, thanks for that thorough and well-reasoned refuting of the exaggerated and sarcastic comment I made earlier; your contribution to the discussion was invaluably informative. Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.
NEWS ALERT: Catholics or Jews hardly have the corner on guilt and sexual hangups. Just ask any Mormon, Baptist or Methodist etc etc Religion almost always screws it up for people.

You can be so provincial sometimes......
Huh. If I'd been stuck in a tiny space like that at 15 with nothing to do but brood, and a boy near my own age, I'd have kicked his feet out from under him the minute we had 2 seconds of privacy. I remember being 15. The alien sex ray had hit by then, and that was pretty much all I thought about.

And a boy Peter's age? When boners seem to just appear at random throughout the day? Please. I hope they got some hot and nasty before they were shipped off to die. Poor kids. But I doubt they ever had enough privacy to get into it.
I've read Jane Austin and Edith Wharton, and I'm well aware of the courting rituals and games of the well heeled in the not too distant past. But most were not well heeled. Most were like my grandmother who was poor, worked hard, and went to the bathroom in a hole in the back yard. I know my own family history and the family history of my friends. My grandmother got married back in the 20's at the age of 15. This was not unusual. It doesn't mean she was unsophistocated or a mess, and I have never viewed her in this way. She raised 9 children that survived into adulthood while flat broke most of the time. One of those children was my mother. I'm proud of my grandmother. She was a strong woman who had sex with my grandfather at age 15, and married him, and had children with him. Good for her! Wish Anne had been given that chance.
For me, and I think for some others, the issue isn't about the sex, it's about fictionalizing the true life story of a Holocaust victim, the most famous one. Sadly, the world is full of Holocaust deniers and as all the eyewitnesses die off, the deniers will, I think, gain in strength. The worry is that the fiction will dilute the true story. Or that the fiction will someone give deniers a way of questioning the true story. I realize there are other opinions on fictionalizing Holocaust stories, but this is mine.
@29: that's a classic example of transferring what you personally know to be true with population wide data.

I can't find Dutch specific numbers right now, but for N America and parts of Western Europe average age at first marriage for a woman between 1921 and 1940 was around 25. This, of course, says nothing about average age for first sex.
@31 I said nothing whatsoever about averages or population wide data.
Since some of you are so interested in "data," but seem hard pressed to actually quote sources, I decided to have a look at what the U.S Census Bureau had to say on the subject.

Here's what I found:…

According to this chart, the median age of first marriage has increased significantly over the past 100 years.

In 2009 the median age of first marriage for males was 28.1, and for females 25.9.

In 1920 the median age of first marriage for males was 24.6 and for females 21.2.

Keep in mind these are medians. There were people getting married for the first time who were younger than these averages and people who were older. For instance, even though the average male in the U.S. doesn't get married for the first time until the age of 28, it is not at all unusual to encounter a young man who got married at age 22.

I have no idea if these numbers are accurate. They're just numbers on a page. The stories old people have told me, and the stories friends have told me about their older relatives, are more meaningful to me. They speak to actual human experience.

I feel like maybe there's a waiting period before you can write fanfiction about real people, though. I don't know, maybe that period is up. Maybe it's 50 years. I'd lean more towards 100 before it can be anything but tacky, myself.

Count me in, but only if it's a musical
@ smb: Yeah pretty much.

Also, unless scholars have absolutely no access to the original text of her diary, I really doubt she managed to get laid in that cramped annex and then didn't write about it. Come on, what teenager loses her virginity and doesn't put that in her diary?!
Remember that her father, Otto Frank, censored some things (mainly bad comments about Anne's mother, but also some rather more sexual comments) because they weren't appropriate for the mores of his time. Who knows?

(The original text has already been published, by the way, heavy with footnotes, corrections of Anne's mistakes -- she was a German writing in Dutch, so her text is full of Germanisms -- and a lot of scholarly research.)
A German writing in Dutch? She moved to Holland when she was four!
Also thanks to that one commenter for your in-depth explanation of what "median" means. Whatever would we do without you?
From The Definitive Edition of The Diary of a Young Girl (Doubleday; 1995; also available in Bantam paperback).

On Sunday, April 16, 1944, she writes "Remember yesterday's date, since it was a red-letter day for me. Isn't it an important day for ever girl when she gets her first kiss?" The kiss was from Peter (of course--there weren't a whole lot of other options), and about the experience she writes "It was so wonderful. I could hardly talk" and I can't tell you...the feelings that ran through me."

Her April 17 entry reads "do you think Father an Mother would approve of a girl my age sitting on a divan and kissing a seventeen-and-a-half-year-old boy? I doubt they would, but I have to trust my own judgment in this matter."

They settle down into a "dating relationship," which means that in the evenings, Anne dresses up and goes to visit Peter in his private room in the attic. The April entries are consumed with the details of their kissing, hugging, and emotional involvement.

Eventually, she feels compelled to confess what she is doing to her father. She does so in typically adolescent-awkward fashion, saying "Father, I'm sure you've gatherd that when Peter and I are together, w don't exactly sit at opposite ends of the room. Do you think that's wrong?" (May 2, 1944)

I could quote at much greater length, but get a copy of the diary and read it.

I'm with Dan on this one; if people are objecting to a somewhat sexualized portrayal of Anne and Peter, they are both betraying their own sex-negativity, and they are revealing their ignorance of the actual diary.

Please wait...

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