Passages in Question


A parent was uncomfortable with the two entries in Anne Frank’s Diary where Anne describes her genitalia and where she describes her feelings toward a female friend. The complaint was labeled as having “sexually explicit content” and “homosexual themes.”  The complaint was verbal, and there is no physical record. We searched through the Diary to find what passages best fit these descriptions. The first passage where Anne describes female genitalia is the only one in the Definitive Edition, and the second passage is one of the few times where Anne describes her feelings towards a female friend. Anne was a young teenager when she wrote this, so it is typical for a girl her age to begin exploring who she is both physically and emotionally. 


“…the time frame of the growth of Anne Frank is similar to that of all children growing up. That they’re wondering who they are, what are they, where do they fit in society and the greater world. So I’m not surprised that the Definitive version would have those kinds of deep, personal, thoughts and experiences and examinations, its not unusual.” – Mrs. Cadang-Kristan



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Anne Frank Diary, located at the Anne Frank Museum in Berlin. Pages 92-93

Vaginal Description: Friday, March 24, 1944. Second half

I’d like to ask Peter whether he knows what girls look like down there. I don’t think boys are as complicated as girls. You can easily see what boys look like in photographs or pictures of male nudes, but with women it’s different. In women, the genitals, or whatever they’re called, are hidden between their legs. Peter has probably never seen a girl up close. To tell you the truth, neither have I. Boys are a lot easier. How on earth would I go about describing a girl’s parts? I can tell from what he said that he doesn’t know exactly how it all fits together. He was talking about the “Muttermund,” [* cervix], but that’s on the inside, where you can’t see it. Everything’s pretty well arranged in us women. Until I was eleven or twelve, I didn’t realize there was a second set of labia on the inside, since you couldn’t see them. What’s even funnier is that I thought urine came out of the clitoris. I asked Mother one time what that little bump was, and she said she didn’t know. She can really play dumb when she wants to!

But to get back to the subject. How on earth can you explain what it all looks like without any models? Shall I try anyway? Okay, here goes!

When you’re standing up, all you see from the front is hair. Between your legs there are two soft, cushiony things, also covered with hair, which press together when you’re standing, so you can’t see what’s inside. They separate when you sit down, and they’re very red and quite fleshy on the inside. In the upper part, between the outer labia, there’s a fold of skin that, on second thought, looks like a kind of blister. That’s the clitoris. Then come the inner labia, which are also pressed together in a kind of crease. When they open up, you can see a fleshy little mound, no bigger than the top of my thumb. The upper part has a couple of small holes in it, which is where the urine comes out. The lower part looks as if it were just skin, and yet that’s where the vagina is. You can barely find it, because the folds of skin hide the opening. The hole’s so small I can hardly imagine how a man could get in there, much less how a baby could come out. It’s hard enough trying to get your index finger inside. That’s all there is, and yet it plays such an important role!

Yours, Anne M. Frank


Erotic Feelings Towards a Girl: Thursday, January 6, 1944

Unconsciously, I had these feelings even before I came here. Once when I was spending the night at Jacque’s, I could no longer restrain my curiosity about her body, which she’d always hidden from me and which I’d never seen. I asked her whether, as proof of our friendship, we could touch each other’s breasts. Jacque refused.

I also had a terrible desire to kiss her, which I did. Every time I see a female nude, such as the Venus in my art history book, I go into ecstasy. Sometimes I find them so exquisite I have to struggle to hold back my tears. If only I had a girlfriend!

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A page from Anne Frank’s Diary, dated September 28, 1942