May 18, 2018

Dirty jokes found in Anne Frank’s diary

Filed under: History,Literature by Orangemaster @ 2:21 pm


Using digital technology, Dutch researchers have deciphered the writing on two pages of Anne Frank’s diary, which have ‘naughty jokes, candid explanation of sex, contraception and prostitution’. The pages were pasted over with brown masking paper and remained a mystery for decades.

Experts claim that these new bits reveal more about Anne’s development as a writer than it does about her interest in sex. Other known passages about her coming of age and her body were censored by her father Otto before the diary was first published in 1947, but were eventually included in subsequent publications.

On prostitution, Anne 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.”



March 1, 2018

Germans pass on naming train after Anne Frank

Filed under: History by Orangemaster @ 2:30 pm


German railway company Deutsche Bahn has decided not to go ahead with plans to name one of their Intercity trains after Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl who was deported by train to the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944 and whose diary is world-famous. Frank was German until 1941 when she became stateless while living in Amsterdam.

Last September, Deutsche Bahn asked people to suggest names for trains, and along with Anne Frank, they suggested first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Konrad Adenauer and scientist Albert Einstein. Both Jewish and non-Jewish organisations pounced on the railway company with ‘this is a terrible idea, don’t do it’ and the original reply from the railway company was ‘Anne Frank stands for tolerance and reconciliation’.

Following the criticism, Deutsche Bahn is going to go the ‘IKEA’ route and give the trains names of German rivers and mountains.

A lot of companies and organisations seem to get Anne Frank wrong: as a Halloween costume, an espace room or even as a Spanish musical.


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October 17, 2017

American shop sells Anne Frank costume

Filed under: General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 10:59 am


American online shop has been lambasted on social media for selling an Anne Frank outfit as a Halloween costume, with the catch phrase “we can always learn from history”. In the United Kingdom, the costume is being sold as a “World War II refugee”, which also seems awkward, but less questionable.

The clincher is that the costume, featuring a blue trenchcoat, dark green beret and a brown satchel, has a plain brown price tag pinned on the coat’s lapel, alluding to Jews and possibly others being deported. If you make the coat beige and wear white socks with a blue beret, they you’ll look like one of the girls of the French resistance (not the communist one!) from the British series ‘Allo ‘Allo!, whose catch phrase is “Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once”.

The American website pulled the Anne Frank costume, saying it should have been sold as a school play costume rather than a Halloween one.

(Link:, still from ‘Allo ‘Allo!)

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December 30, 2016

Branko’s favourite postings of 2016

Filed under: Bicycles,Food & Drink,General,History by Orangemaster @ 1:30 pm

It’s that time of year again where we look back and tell you about some of the things we wrote about, and this year we had one clear theme that stood out and that, sadly, was ‘tastelessness’.

First the weird junk food combos:

Spring: the discodel

Summer: frikandel ice cream

Winter: smoked sausage and kroket

Dear Dutch snack bars, please follow our neighbouring countries and sell halloumi, and stop mixing crap already.

Next up, we have a tasteless escape room with Anne Frank as a theme.

The entire year saw some tasteless bashing of Ukraine. What did Ukraine ever do to us? Oh yeah, they gave back stolen Dutch paintings to a museum to show how classy they are.

As well, we found out in 2016 that supermarkets sell fertilised eggs, chicks prove it, we saw a food bank snub the poor over a Facebook like and had a good laugh at this organic fries truck stuck at a junk food chain drive.

And then to move towards some more classy bits, here’s the bicycle tunnel built in a single weekend in Utrecht, police training eagles to attack drones and a woman as the world’s first ever Professor of Fatherhood.

To finish off, here’s a story that went from classy to tasteless, an elderly woman sews bags from abandoned umbrellas, but then a few months later is pushed off her mobility scooter and robbed of her gold chain.

We’ll leave it at that, thanks for all your comments, and a reminder that next year is our 10th year anniversary in February, so I guess we should think about doing something special.

Happy New Year!

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March 18, 2016

Anne Frank themed escape room in Valkenswaard

Filed under: General,History,Weird by Orangemaster @ 10:39 am


Noord-Brabant, one of the Dutch provinces that unwillingly served as a doormat for invading troops during WWII, now has its very own Anne Frank themed escape room advertised with “Hide before the Germans find you!”.

Located in an old WWII bunker, ‘Het Achterhuis’ (‘the shed’ or ‘back room’ and also the original Dutch title of ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’) is the theme of this espace room, and its 19-year-old owner Thijs Verberne swears it has an educational purpose. The Valkenswaard escape room lets you ‘walk in Anne Frank’s shoes’ and fuelled by fear of being sent to the camps you need to find a way to get out of it that I bet doesn’t involve writing in your diary.

On Facebook there’s people totally into it and there’s a lot of disgusted folks as well. The espace room apparently looks like the Anne Frank’s house, the original of which is about 87 kilometres away in Amsterdam, although there are others around the country.

The city of Valkenswaard, which was always planning to do something with the bunker, will make sure the escape room is being run properly, although this sounds like something you would say to the media. The Anne Frank Foundation has not yet made any statements about the escape room.

UPDATE: The Anne Frank Foundation is not amused in the slightest.


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October 7, 2015

National holocaust monument becomes glass house

Filed under: Architecture,History by Orangemaster @ 6:38 pm


The green and white wooden house is one of the last remaining buildings at Kamp Westerbork, a WWII Nazi transit camp in Hooghalen, Drenthe where Dutch Jews, Sinti and Romani stayed and were readied for transport to Nazi concentration camps elsewhere. German Jewess Anne Frank passed through there as well in her final months before being transported back to Germany. The house was declared a national monument in 1994.

Intended as a memorial to WWII, the large glass box creates a vitrine-like enclosure around the clapboard residence of SS commander Albert Konrad Gemmeker. According to Oving Architecten from Groningen, it will both preserve the structure and be used to host educational events.

(Link:, photo

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April 1, 2015

Anne Frank died earlier than recorded

Filed under: History by Orangemaster @ 3:23 pm

Anne Frank and her sister Margot probably died a month earlier than previously recorded at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. According to Erika Prins, a researcher at the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam, her death was placed in February instead of March. Both girls died of typhus, with most typhus deaths happening some 12 days after the first symptoms.

Anyone who knows the story of Anne Frank often has the feeling that if she had held on a bit longer, she could have been liberated, which was never really the case, but now even less so.

“The new date of her death changes little about the tragic lives of Anne and her sister Margot, who went into hiding with their family in an Amsterdam canal house but were eventually betrayed, sent to Nazi concentration camps and died in the Holocaust along with millions of other Jews.”

Jews hid in many places across the country (in Dutch). You can also see Anne Frank on YouTube in a film fragment, the only time ever apparently. As well, many people think Anne Frank was Dutch, but she was German.

(Links:,, Photo of famous chestnut tree:

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April 10, 2014

The Anne Frank tree in Amsterdam is branching out

Filed under: History,Nature by Orangemaster @ 10:08 am

Back in 2010 the world famous Anne Frank chestnut tree had blown over and broke. In an effort to save something of this tree mentioned in Anne Frank’s diary, branches were take in order to try and grow saplings.

Today, one of the saplings is big enough to be planted, and its prestigious destination will be the Capitol in Washington, DC, the seat of the United States Congress. This is not the first time the United States has planted saplings from the Anne Frank tree; in fact 11 have already been planted throughout the country.

The sapling will be planted on the Capitol’s west front lawn on April 30.

(Link:, Photo:

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November 8, 2011

My name is Cohen at Jewish Historical Museum

Filed under: History,Photography by Orangemaster @ 12:46 pm

Starting on 25 November 2011, Amsterdam’s Jewish Historical Museum will feature the exhibition ‘Mijn naam is Cohen’ (‘My name is Cohen’), a series of portraits made by Amsterdam photographer Daniel Cohen with texts by unrelated Editor-in-Chief of magazine Vrij Nederland, Mischa Cohen.

They got together and found 25 people with the same last name, but of different generations, backgrounds, gender, views, Jewish and non-Jewish. Former mayor and politician Job Cohen is mentioned as is journalist Jisca Cohen thanks in part to whom I got to meet Daniel Cohen (unrelated to each other) and found out about his project first hand. I also know he plays a good game of football.

The quick and dirty version is that Amsterdam (aka Mokum, its Jewish name still very much in use by everyone) had lots of Jews and today for Holocaust reasons has very few.

(The picture of Anne Frank, the most ‘popular’ Jewish figure of Amsterdam who was German and not Dutch.)


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August 23, 2010

Breaking: Anne Frank tree in Amsterdam broken

Filed under: General,Nature by Orangemaster @ 2:03 pm

If we can believe these pictures (here and here), the world famous Anne Frank tree has blown over and is broken in two.

In 2007 we wrote about it being possibly saved by a judge and not cut down, but fate has decided otherwise.

The tree has been sick for years. It is famous for having been described in Anne Frank’s Diary.

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