Something that’s often overlooked in discussions about Anne Frank’s diary is that she was a teenage girl. Her writing gave us a view into what it was like to be Jewish in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, hiding from the Gestapo, until their family was eventually caught and sent to Auschwitz. But Anne Frank was a teenage girl and there are plenty of bits of her diary that depict her as such that tend to be downplayed or removed from the copies we’re given to read as school children.
Just as an example, Anne Frank, in various entries, talks about masturbating, looking at her vagina, realizing she didn’t actually urinate from her clitoris and about kissing and her sexual attraction to both boys and girls she had known.
There are a few pages that Anne had covered with adhesive brown paper that no had been able to read before, but after decades of trying, the Anne Frank House museum has finally deciphered what is on those pages, and it’s a bunch of dirty jokes and insights on prostitution and sex.
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.”
One of her jokes was this: “Do you know why the German Wehrmacht girls are in Holland? As mattresses for the soldiers.”
She also related this joke: “A man had a very ugly wife and he didn’t want to have relations with her. One evening he came home and then he saw his friend in bed with his wife, then the man said: ‘He gets to and I have to!!!’”
Okay, so she’s not exactly Lenny Bruce. Comedy was different then, and, oh yeah, she was hiding in a crawl space while being hunted by Nazis. Cut the girl a little bit of slack.
If you’re very quiet, you can hear the sound of mothers in the Midwestern United States pissing themselves with anger as they try to have these scandalous passages re-censored. Anne Frank’s diary is the topic of censorship, such as a 2013 incident where a Michigan woman complained it was “pornographic” because of a passage where Frank talks about what a vagina looks like. She was definitely not mad that the theme of the book was “Nazis are bad,” though. We just can’t have teenagers knowing vaginas exist.
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