People who Knew about the Secret
Those marked "helper" are people who were brought into the secret and helped on a regular basis during the period in hiding.
Mr. Kugler - helper - worked there as Otto's right hand man|
Mr. Kleiman - helper - worked there as close associate of Otto's - appointed director of company
Kleiman's brother - in on the secret, helped with the preparations
Mrs. Gies - helper - worked there as all around help, loyal friend
Mr. Gies - helper - Miep's husband, gets ration cards, visits almost daily
Miss Voskuijl - helper - secretary, all around help
Mr. Voskuijl - in on the secret, carpenter and head warehouseman working there, Bep's father
Mr. v. Hoeve - figured it out, probably very early on -- greengrocer around the corner who guessed they were hiding Jews, he was doing the same
Mr. v. Maaren - figured it out in 1944 - thieving warehouseman working there who was vocal in noticing that there were other people using the warehouse
Events While in Hiding - making noise, robberies, etc. -
Things that could have called attention to the secret annexe and its members.
(Note: Critical Edition  pages are noted with the
diary entry date(s). At times Anne mentions things days or even weeks after
|5 July 1942|
Frank receives a "call-up" notice, an official postcard ordering her to report to "labor
services in Germany." She is to bring winter clothes. She is one of
thousands of young German Jews sent such a notice in what is the first round of call ups
in the Netherlands. Due to this, the Franks decide to go into hiding within 24 hours.
Even so, the Germans often used bounty hunters to track down Jews who did not appear for
deportation: the outstanding call up notice will hold some lingering danger.
In the evening, Mr. v. Pels notifies Miep and Jan. The two arrive at the Franks to collect the remaining items, wearing large old raincoats: they hide the things in bags under the coats and in the pockets (to be carrying packages in the open would have been more suspicious than it was to be noticed in raincoats in that night's dry weather). They make multiple trips, dropping off the items at home, where they are a Jewish woman's boarders. (The items will be gradually taken to the annexe in the days ahead.)
Through much of this evening, the Franks' own boarder is hanging around. He is also Jewish but is not in on their secrets. The Franks drop many hints to him to leave and he finally leaves at 10 P.M.) CE89 p. 208 (8 July); AF:BTD p. 45; HLOF p. 96, 331; and AFR p. 93-4, 105.
|6 July 1942|
|In the morning rain, the Franks move into the Secret Annexe. They travel by foot and bicycle, and wearing layers upon layers of clothes (to be able to carry more clothes). Except for Margot, their coats still have yellow stars on them. They enter through the front door and are shown upstairs. Only Margot arrives before the office is open because she came by bicycle with Miep (it is illegal for Jews to have bicycles at that point). In the annexe, the first thing Anne and Otto set to work doing is making curtains and putting them up. The rest of the day, Anne and Otto "unpacked boxes, filled cupboards, hammered and tidied." pg 209-11, 215, 217 (8, 10, and 11 July 1942), and AFR p. 93-7.|
||7 July 1942|
|Anne and Otto have a second full day of work: "Daddy improved the poor blackout, we scrubbed the kitchen floor, and were on the go the whole day long once more." p. 216 (10 July 1942)|
|13 July 1942|
|The v. Pels family moves in, between 9:30 and 10 A.M. This is one day ahead of schedule: because there are so many raids going on, they thought it best. p. 219 (14 Aug) and AFR p. 108.|
|August||Mr. Voskuijl is let in on the secret, is delighted to help, makes the bookcase entrance to the secret annexe. pg 230 (21 Aug).|
|22 Aug 1942|
|The van Pels have a quarrel so loud, that Anne guesses that it must have been heard houses away. pg 232.|
|29 Sept 1942|
|Anne reports that on Saturday afternoons, she and Margot take bath water to the front office where the curtains are closed at that time. While one is washing up, the other peeks through a curtain chink to people-watch. This is clearly a risk they regularly take, but Anne is looking for a new place to wash. (p. 257-8)|
||15 Oct 1942|
|They aren't warned about a carpenter doing work near the bookcase entrance and had not been taking that level of precaution. pg 279-80 (15 Oct, 20 Oct).|
||9 Nov 1942|
|While moving sacks of beans up to the attic, one sack bursts. There were no strangers in the house, but it was very loud. pg 301 (9 Nov). (Noticed via the notes of a critic, pages 94-5 of The Critical Edition .)|
|12 Nov 1942|
|Mr. Pfeffer is told that there is a place for him to hide and that he should move by Saturday. He wants to straighten out his affairs and to move on the next Thursday. pg 303-4, 309-10 (10 Nov, 12 Nov, 13 Nov).|
|16 or 17 Nov 1942|
Mon or Tues
|Mr. Pfeffer moves into the Secret Annexe. pg 310-311 (17 Nov).|
||Feb 1943||Anne mentions that one morning an architect came to have a look at the entire house because the buildings' owner wants to sell the place. There had been no warning of this visit but Kleiman successfully puts him off by saying he misplaced the key. Luckily, they aren't bothered about it again, even after the place is sold (22 April). They could have been discovered because of this event. CE89 p. 338 (27 Feb).|
||24 March 1943|
|At about eight at night, an eight year old boy (named Weinberg) and his friend (probably Mr. Voskuijl's son) climb into the warehouse to see what they can find there. Peter v. Pels hears a barrel fall, and he and Mr. Frank go down and hear two door slams. The boys had heard a toilet flush and ran out of the warehouse, probably with some spices. They don't tell anyone for years. pg 347-50 (25 March), pg 44. I believe I got the rest of the information from the Anne Frank Remembered video.|
||31 March 1943|
There is a very long meeting in the private office (right below the Frank's room
see floor plan),
to discuss the new Opekta deliveries with the directors of the Pomosin works from
Frankfurt (p. 352: 1 April). Anne tells how anxious her father was about how the meeting
would go. Otto, Margot, and Anne take turns listening in, with ears to the floor. Anne falls
asleep while she and Margot listen.
CE89 p. 15 sheds more light on the meeting: There was a dispute with the authorities over whether the Opekta, Amsterdam business had any Jews with control. "The visit was probably concerned with this subject." (Also, relating to Otto's anxiousness, Pomosin had already wrongly claimed ownership of Opekta, Amsterdam in 1941 [and did so again here], which didn't hurt Otto during the occupation but he surely was concerned about whether he'd lose the business after the war.)
The danger is clear: people from Frankfurt, possibly some Nazis, were in the room below. Knowing that Otto Frank was missing and questioning whether he still had some control from his unknown location, they had reason to be on the look out and may have heard noises. Coming in and out of the office, someone may have even snuck up the staircase to the landing with the bookcase and listened.
||Spring 1943||Mr. Voskuijl takes ill and Gies & Co. hires Mr. v. Maaren to be the new head warehouseman. They discover v. Maaren is stealing flour and things.|
||early June 1943||They notice that someone unsuccessfully tried the doors from the outside. pg 371 (16 July).|
|16 July 1943|
|A robbery. Outside, the door is left ajar, cash and ration coupons are missing. The doors had been forced. pg 371-2 (16 July).|
|August 1943||A patient tells his homeopath (Dr. Bangert) that there are Jews hidden at 263 Prinsengracht. Who was this patient and who else had he told? HLOF p. 120.|
|4 Aug 1943|
|Anne mentions a, probably somewhat quiet, alarm clock (which elsewhere she writes is kept under a pillow). It goes off at unasked for times. pg 384 (4 Aug). (Noticed via the notes of a critic, pages 94-5 of The Critical Edition . However, in a 1978 letter, Otto wrote [in German], "...the small alarm clock that rang at 6:45 in the morning, could never have been heard by someone standing outside the annex." [English translation sent by an Anne Frank researcher])|
|5 Aug 1943|
|Using a vacuum cleaner at 12:30 when everyone at the warehouse is gone. pg 385 (5 Aug). (Noticed via the notes of a critic, pages 94-5 of The Critical Edition .)|
|!||10 Aug 1943||An S.S. car bumps into Miep and she shouts at them. She was carrying with her a package for Pfeffer. In it was a forbidden book (it was critical of Mussolini). Anne rightly speculates that had she been taken to their headquarters, it could have been trouble (p. 394: 10 Aug). Miep describes this incident in her book, Anne Frank Remembered (p. 157-8). There was a lot of noise on the street so the Nazis probably could not make out what she was saying. Miep did not know about the package's contents until she got to the annexe and was told.|
|Mid-September||Van Maaren is in the office, which strands Kugler in the secret annexe until he cautiously ventures away by an unusual route and in his socks. If curious Mr. v. Maaren noticed Bep whispering up the stairs or noticed Kugler sneaking around from the back house, it would have made him even more curious. (Although Anne wonders what people on the street would think if they noticed him putting on his shoes, I think she went through the trouble of explaining the route he took through the house to show how he avoided doing so. A detailed discussion of this.) Anne also notes how the office people use frequent and assorted excuses for going out back. pg 405-6 (16 Sept).|
|16 Sept 1943
|Mr. v. Maaren is suspicious about the back part of the building, is told it's part of next door. pg 405 (16 Sept).|
|29 Sept 1943||The last major raids in Amsterdam, which apparently included the Jewish Council. (HLOF p. 332)|
|Mr v. Pels loses his last 100 guilders one night while in the warehouse. The next Monday morning, v. Maaren returns the wallet: empty. He insists on finding out who the owner was. CE89 p. 409 (17 Oct 1943 [LS p. 213]); AF:B p. 218|
||29 Oct 1943|
|The v. Pels fight, yelling, over money. pg 410 (29 Oct).|
||3 Nov 1943|
is that the stove will be lit at half past 7 instead of half past
5 on Sunday mornings. I think it's a risky business. What will the neighbors think of our
Anne also mentions everyone's ongoing occasional peeks from the annexe curtains. "'No one can see, no one can hear, no one pays any attention,' is easily said, but is it the real truth?" p. 413 (3 Nov).
|8 Nov 1943|
|Someone insistently rings the doorbell after office hours (but still pretty early because Bep is still there eating with them). Who thinks that someone would be there? p. 415 (8 Nov [LS p. 227]).|
6 Dec 1943
|Resounding laughter in the evening during St. Nickolas celebration. pg 425 (6 Dec). (Noticed via the notes of a critic, pages 94-5 of The Critical Edition .)|
|early 1944||Anne mentions that, starting "some months ago" (before June), she has been gazing out back at night, via the private office and kitchen windows. p. 676-7 (13 June 1944)|
|23 Feb 1944|
|While the warehousemen are out of the building for lunch hour, Peter chops wood up in the attic, near an open window. pg 497-8 (23 Feb). (Noticed via the notes of a critic, pages 94-5 of The Critical Edition .)|
||29 Feb 1944|
|Another robbery. No forced entry. The projector is missing and it's clear that the robbers left before they had finished. Seems likely they were alarmed by some sound from the secret annexe and also that they had seen v. Pels come downstairs to investigate. pg 502 (1 March).|
||9 March 1944|
|During supper, someone knocks on the wall from next door. pg 522 (10 March).|
||10 March 1944|
|Mr. M., the man related to their supply of potatoes, butter, and jam, is arrested. pg 522 (10 March).|
||14 March 1944|
|Mr. Brouwer and Mr. D., their ration coupon forgers (and suppliers of fats) are caught and sent to prison. pg 527 (14 March).|
|16+17 March 1944|
|Kugler receives a call-up notice and must report to labor (digging) in six days. He quickly gets a certificate from a doctor and thereby gets off having to go. pg. 537, 542.|
|23 March 1944|
|Due to Mr. Brouwer's new child, he and Mr. D. are released. But later it seems the annexer's have lost them again. pg 535, 557 (23 March). Miep Gies' (p. 175) book sheds a little more light: after the two were arrested, Jan managed to get five new ration cards to feed the eight in hiding.|
|late March 1944||A German firm (Omnia) run by Dutch Nazis interrogate Jan about his landlady's son (Max) and the furnishings in the place. (It had been Jan who hid Max, which the Nazis did not know even Miep did not know.) They arrange a time to pick up the woman's things, but the Nazis never show up. This is probably because the Nazis found Max and his wife they were picked up in the spring of 1944. A further danger involved here is that the owner of their building is an NSB member. Still another alarm at this time was that the man they were keeping in hiding in their apartment was questioned by authorities during a roundup at the racetrack and he truthfully gave their address! To be on the safe side, he disappears, but the Nazis never came looking for him, so he returns to hide there, before Easter. (AFR p. 175-9; AF:B p. 258)|
|8 April 1944|
|There is an evening raid on a building "just a few doors down" from 263 Prinsengracht. (One of raiders there, Willem Grootendorst, would also raid the annexe on 4 August. see HLOF p. 119. Note: Anne reported in her 11 April entry that they heard "heavy firing" at about 2 A.M. on this date, but the original Dutch reveals this was anti-aircraft fire, not shots from a violent raid.) (CE89 p. 590)|
||9 April 1944|
|Yet another robbery (this is the last one). The annexe men go down and scare the robbers away. Mr. v. Hoeve happens to be outside and may have seen the men, but doesn't tell anyone. Sleegers (a night watchman in the area) also sees and gets a policeman to tour the house with him. The policeman rattles the bookcase/door. He says he'll make a report in the morning. This went on between 9:30 and 10:30 P.M. pg 591-9 (11 April).|
||10 April 1944|
|A man working at Keg (265 Prinsengracht,
the business next door)
notices Peter v. Pels' open window and asks about it. After that, Peter
keeps his window shut.
Also, the business hires Sleegers to watch their building like he does others'. "Now everyone is going on about whether Sleegers is reliable, whether the dogs will bark if they hear someone behind the door " pg 599 (11 April).
|15 April 1944|
|Kugler, v. Maaren, and the other workers
have to ask the Keg firm next door to force open the
kitchen window because Peter forgot to unbolt the front door.
Also there are conflicting statements about windows: "Our attic window is kept open a little bit now at night as well," versus "Following this morning's fright we won't be opening our windows any longer before 9 o'clock. Let's hope that [Otto] will not leave the windows ajar day and night any more even in the summer." Perhaps Anne wrote this entry in two parts. In any case, she left both statements out of her revised version and Otto also left them out for publication. (Included this bit because a snoop could have noticed windows moving or being sometimes ajar and it is implied that until this time, they were not so vigilant about the windows.)
(Also, unrelated to the people around the annexe, news is that "M & S" are picked up, which upsets Miep.) pg 604-6 (15 April).
|17 April 1944|
|(The front doors are strengthened with iron plates.) pg 613 (18 April).|
|21 April 1944|
|(Anne writes that v. Maaren is known to have stolen flour.) pg 616 (21 April).|
|25 April 1944|
|Van Maaren has been putting things (books, pencils, paper) on the edges of tables and such in the warehouse. (He also has been sprinkling flour on the floor before he leaves at night.) Then, when the annexe residents come in, they accidentally knock the pencils and such down, and their footprints are left in the flour. Then v. Maaren would come in the following the morning and find the footprints and note the fallen things. The annexers try to be careful after they're told about it. pg 618 (25 April), pg 29, 42-3.|
early May 1944
|Recently, they've hired a new charwoman, Mrs. Ans Broks, who is 60 and hard of hearing. She wants to eat her box lunch in the office kitchen below the hiding place every weekday at 2 P.M. (They probably put her off until the twenty-second.) Their hesitancy could make her curious. CE89 pg 639, 640, 652 (9 May, 19 May).|
||starting 22 May 1944|
|After putting her off the idea for more than a week, Mrs. Broks probably now eats lunch directly below the secret annexe at 2 P.M every day. Anne writes in anticipation of this: "Think of it! No one can come upstairs any more, the potatoes cannot be delivered, Bep can't have any lunch, we can't go to the w.c., we mustn't move and all sorts of other unpleasantnesses!" pg 639, 652 (9 May, 19 May).|
|Mr. v. Hoeve is picked up, the Nazis forcing his door. They seem to know exactly where to find the two Jews he has in hiding. Until now, he has been the annexers' potato and vegetable supplier their greengrocer who had been helping Bep get more food than they were allotted. He had guessed that Gies & Co. was hiding people. (This raid was a danger to the secret because his list of delivery addresses may have been discovered plus the danger of his being interrogated.) pg 659, 661 (25 May, 26 May); Frank House CD-ROM; FAF p. 72.|
|late May 1944||Because there is greater anti-Semitism in Holland these days, Miep recently wondered aloud if she has some anti-Semitism. Due to this thought, she fetches more stuff for them. (Included because it's possible she may have acted differently, thereby raising suspicions.) pg 656-7, 662 (22 May, 26 May).|
|16 June 1944|
|Anne writes that Mr. Kugler has received another call-up to go digging (this also happened in March). He is trying to get excused from it and presumably does because Anne does not mention it again. pg 679 (16 June)|
about late June
The wife of van Maaren's assistant (Hartog) tells
(who she works for as a housekeeper) about a rumor that Jews are
hidden in the Gies & Co. building. Mrs. Genot is not a problem,
but how many other people heard this rumor? At some point in July, she mentions
the matter to Bep, too.
pg 32; HLOF p. 335; AF:B p. 229.|
||probably 7 July|
and 8 July 1944
(between Thursday, 6 July
and Saturday, 8 July)
|Kitchen curtains closed but windows open, they are talking and loudly bustling while preparing strawberries and peas. Peter goes downstairs and is sent right back up because the accountant, van Erp, was down there. pg 685-8 (8 July).|
|summer 1944||(Anton Ahlers is bankrupt by now. HLOF p. 125, 129)|
|2 Aug 1944|
|Two Jews are arrested in the immediate area, on Prinsengracht. (Odd note: one of their betrayers is employed by Pieter Schaap, who had led the arrest of v. Hoeve on 25 May. However, Schaap was involved in a lot of arrests in Amsterdam.) HLOF p. 123, 319|
|4 Aug 1944
|Raid: At about
10:30 A.M., the green police raid the annexe on a
phone tip. They seem to know where the people
were hiding. However, because they had to wait an hour for a truck to come for
them, it may be that they did not know how many people were in hiding.
All eight annexers, plus Kugler and
Kleiman are taken
away. Someone had betrayed them.
that the betrayer was someone known as a reliable source of such tips.
There are some accounts saying there were 6-8 men in the raid team, but most say 3-4. Four have been identified: Karl Silberbauer, Maarten Kuiper, Willem Grootendorst, and Gezinus Gringhuis.
CE89 p. 21-3, 37; HLOF p. 126, 128, 131, 357 (note #21); The NOID's early 2003 report, "Who Betrayed Anne Frank?" also has some information about the raid (Microsoft .DOC file, 190K email me for a copy of it).
There were rewards given for turning in Jews - about a day's pay.
In the summer of 1944, the rewards were at their height: 320 guilders for eight people. (HLOF p. 125)
When the annexers would make too much noise, the protectors would warn them about it, Anne explained several times. And, except for robberies, when strangers were in the house, at least one protector was there as well, and was generally able to warn them.
Being accustomed to the quiet, surely even a rather normal tone of voice could feel loud to Anne.
When they'd let go and laugh and talk, it was at times that they felt were the safest.
It may seem that only events close to the date of the raid would be relevant, but that's not necessarily so. For one thing, someone could figure out their existence and sit on it or let it dwell in the back of their minds, only to later tell about them when circumstances were dire enough. Or some observation could have spurred further investigation. (For instance, robbers learned, in April 1944, that there were people there at night. They could have then carefully watched the building and tipped off authorities with what they discovered. Or they could have told other shady characters that people were there.) Another possibility is if someone recently moved into the area and noticed something that they did every day: taking down the blackout (and putting it up), the regular supply of food to Gies & Co., etc.
Primarily the diary, and the Critical Edition (1989), pages 94-5. Also (if I recall correctly): Anne Frank Remembered, (Disney Channel). The day's pay reward figure is from Anne Frank: Beyond the Diary, a Photographic Remembrance, page 45 (a week's pay was rewarded for betraying five Jews, therefore a day's pay for one Jew). For a WWII history timeline (for the Netherlands' Jews), see that appendix in The Hidden Life of Otto Frank. See the resources page for more about these books and some others.
Last Update: 9 July 2006