The Secret Annexthema_luchtfoto.jpg

The Secret Annex was an area in the top attic area of Mr. Frank's business. The door was hidden behind a bookshelf that was on hinges.

"The Annex is an ideal place to hide in. It may be damp and lopsided, but there's probably not a more comfortable hiding place in all of Amsterdam. No, in all of Holland."
Anne Frank writing in her diary on July 11, 1942.
The hiding place at 263 Prinsengracht is relatively spacious. There is enough room for two families which is unusual because parents and children who go into hiding are frequently separated from each other. Most hiding places are small spaces in damp cellars or dusty attics. People hiding in the countryside are sometimes able go outside, but only if there was no danger of them being discovered.

The Drawing of the Secret Annex
The attic of the Secret Annex

"Not being able to go outside upsets me more than I can say, and I'm terrified our hiding place will be discovered and that we'll be shot. "
Anne Frank

The people in hiding may not go outside; it is much too dangerous. The curtains of the Secret Annex may also not be opened during the day, otherwise one of the neighbors might see them. The small window in the attic provides the only chance for getting a breath of fresh air. At night, other windows are occasionally opened just a crack.

Anne's room
Peter's room

The moveable bookcase

“Now our Secret Annex has truly become secret… Mr. Kugler thought it would be better to have a bookcase built in front of the entrance to our hiding place. It swings out on its hinges and opens like a door."
Anne Frank

The hiding place is located in an empty section of the building owned by Otto Frank's company. While business continues, as usual, in the front part of the building, there are people hiding in the annex out back. Before too long, the entrance to the Secret Annex is concealed behind a movable bookcase.