Annelies Marie Frank, more famously known as Anne Frank, was a German-born Jewish girl famous for her unfiltered accounts of her hardships and tumultuous life under the Nazi regime in World War 2. Anne Frank was born on June 12, 1929, in Frankfurt, Germany, to Edith Hollander and Otto Heinrich Frank. Anne Frank and her family were hiding in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands, and Anne Frank kept a record of their everyday life hiding in an Amsterdam attic. Many consider her a symbol of hope and great regret during a time when humanity was most inhumane.
After Hitler and the Nazi Party came into power, Anne Frank and her family moved out of Germany into the Netherlands. By 1940, their family was trapped in the country by the Nazi occupation. She and her family lost their citizenship in 1941, and they became stateless. As more and more Jews were getting sent into concentration camps, Anne Frank and her family decided their best course of action was to hide behind a concealed room. Anne Frank then began chronicling their daily life in a journal that had been given to her as a gift.
She and her family were found and arrested in August 1944. Anne and her sister, Margot, were sent to the Auschwitz concentration camps, where it’s believed that both of them died around February or March of 1945 from typhus, along with 17,000 other Jews. Otto was the only one who saw the end of the war. He returned to Amsterdam, where two of his assistants kept Anne Frank’s diary. They wanted to fulfill Anne’s wish to become a writer. In 1947, Anne Frank’s diary was published. The story of a young Jewish girl suffering the atrocities of the Nazis quickly spread, and now, Anne Frank’s diary is considered one of the most important pieces of literature of modern times.
Many became captivated by her story and wanted to learn as much as they could about the young lady. Her diary getting published surely meant that everyone would get an insight into this little girl’s head. There are reports that her diary was heavily edited before publication, omitting passages that made references to her sexuality. Thanks to this omission, people began asking the question, “Was Anne Frank Gay?” Let’s take a closer look at the contents of her diary to determine the answer.
VOTE: What was Anne Frank’s Sexuality?
Anne Frank’s Relationships
Anne Frank was only 12 years old when she and her family went into hiding. She would die at the young age of 16. Though she didn’t have many romantic relationships, there were a few mentioned in her diary. There is speculation that her diary was heavily edited or that a chunk of her accounts were lost. Regardless, Anne was a young woman on the cusp of adulthood who was only beginning to understand her emotions. Here are some of her notable relationships.
Anne Frank and Peter van Pels (1942)
In July of 1942, the van Pels and the Pfeffers joined the Franks in hiding. Peter van Pels was a 16-year-old boy whom Anne had formerly dismissed due to his shyness. When the van Pels and the Pfeffers moved in, Anne was quick to write about them in her diary, posing concerns about their selfishness with food. Anne wrote how members of the two other families were insufferable, calling them foolish.
It wasn’t until she entered a kinship with Peter that things changed. The two teenagers quickly formed a bond, and soon enough, their friendship developed into a romance. Anne had written that Peter was her first kiss. She had also expressed concerns regarding how she felt about Peter. She wasn’t sure if she was genuinely in love with him, or if her emotions were a product of their proximity to each other as housemates. Unfortunately, she wrote that her feelings toward Peter eventually faded.
Anne Frank and Elizabeth “Bep” Voskuijl (1942)
Elizabeth “Bep” Voskuijl was a typist working in the building where the Franks, van Pels, and Pfeffers were hiding. She was one of a group of “helpers” aiding the Jewish families by giving them food, updating them on the war, and tending to their needs. Bep was well aware that what she was doing could be punishable by death, but she worked closely with Otto and was a close friend to Anne.
Though Bep’s relationship with Anne was believed to be platonic, some still surmise that there could have been a hidden romantic side. Bep was 10 years older than Anne, and, according to Bep, Anne was more curious about her life and her relationship with her fiance. When the Franks were arrested, Bep went into hiding but returned to help collect and safe-keep Anne’s diary.
Censored Sections of Anne Frank’s Diary
Later editions of Anne Frank’s diary contained passages that made reference to her sexuality, exploration of her genitalia, thoughts on menstruation, and latent feelings of attraction towards other people. Otto may have opted to edit out most of these passages as a way to preserve Anne’s integrity. Some of the omitted passages also include hateful and regretful comments by Anne towards her mother and sister.
Was Anne Frank Gay?
No, Anne Frank was not gay. However, there is a lot of speculation about the omitted parts of her diary. Many people also consider Anne Frank’s entries about her sexuality an integral part of her being, while others say her sexuality shouldn’t be brought into discussion. Some people maintain Anne Frank is bisexual, but others say she wasn’t.