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The Diary of Anne Frank (2009 miniseries)

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The Diary of Anne Frank
GenreHistorical drama
Written by Anne Frank (diary)
Deborah Moggach
Directed by Jon Jones
Starring Ellie Kendrick
Tamsin Greig
Geoff Breton
Iain Glen
Felicity Jones
Music by Charlie Mole
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes5
Producer(s)Elinor Day
Running time150 min.
Production company(s)Darlow Smithson Productions [1]
Original network BBC One
Original release5 January (2009-01-05) 
9 January 2009 (2009-01-09)

The Diary of Anne Frank is a BBC adaptation, in association with France 2, of The Diary of a Young Girl originally written by Anne Frank and adapted for television by Deborah Moggach. [2]


It was shown from 5–9 January 2009 in five half-hour episodes. [3] Representatives of the BBC have said that they "hope [that] this drama will bring Anne [Frank] alive to viewers of all generations." [4] A DVD of the series was released on 12 January 2009. It also aired on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Public television in the United States on 11 April 2010, as part of its Masterpiece series. [5] The American broadcast was cut from 150 minutes to 100 and broadcast in one evening instead of over five evenings.


Amsterdam 6th June 1942

English actress Ellie Kendrick portrayed Anne Frank. Ellie Kendrick.jpg
English actress Ellie Kendrick portrayed Anne Frank.

The series begins in June 1942, in wartime and Nazi occupied Amsterdam. Annelies Marie Frank, a teenage Jewish girl, is celebrating her 13th birthday - amongst her birthday presents, she is given a red diary. Days later, call up papers arrive for her 16-year-old sister Margot and her parents, Otto and Edith, decide to hasten their plan to go into hiding to ensure that the family does not get separated.

The next morning, 6 July 1942, the Franks head to Otto's pectin and spice company. They proceed up to a Secret Annex at the back of the building. Only the trustworthy office staff, such as Miep Gies, know of their existence and have agreed to help them survive. In the annex they must obey strict rules, remaining completely silent during working hours. Otto and Edith sleep in one room, with Margot and Anne next door in another. At the very top of the building is a disused attic for storing food. This soon becomes Anne's getaway, as she is able to gaze outside at a chestnut tree and the tower of the Westerkerk.

At first, Edith and Margot find the confinement hard to bear, while Otto and Anne sew material together to make black-out curtains. They are soon joined by their Jewish friends Mr and Mrs van Daan and their teenage son Peter. Their arrival liven things up, but also brings tension, especially since Peter brought his pet cat. She continues writing her diary.

October 1942

It is now October 1942. In the secret annex, the achterhuis , the toilet is blocked and her father, Otto, is forced to try and unblock by hand. Their helpers in the offices downstairs call a plumber, and the family are terrified that he will need to come up to the annex.

Anne finds Mrs. van Daan increasingly hard to bear, as she orders her around and criticises her in a way that her liberal parents never do. But overall they are getting used to their time together, and the strict routine by which they must live. Otto begins to oversee their school studies so that they won't be behind after the war. During an air raid, Anne is so scared that she runs to her father for comfort.

One day Anne invites Miep and her husband Jan to dinner and to stay overnight in her room. When they agree, Anne draws up a special menu in their honour, which Mrs van Daan cooks for them. But Miep brings bad news, which she tells only the Franks, that the van Daans' apartment has been ransacked and all their property confiscated. Also another person arrives to stay at the annex, a dentist called Mr Dussel, who will sleep in Margot's bed.

November 1942

It is now November 1942. The routine in the rear annex is now well established - as are the squabbles. Otto is shocked to discover that the building has had to be sold. They fear that the new owner will demand access to the annex and they will be discovered. The lease won't be exchanged for months yet, so for now the threat is over.

When Miep arrives she tells them their helpful grocer has gone missing. Miep also gives Mr Dussel the latest letter and food parcel from his fiancé - this annoys Anne as she thinks he is putting them at greater risk. Her parents agree but do not want to intervene. That evening Anne helps to wash her mother's hair and for once they are close. Soon it is Hanukkah and everyone in the annex gathers for the ceremony around the dinner table.

Food shortages are getting worse and Bep Voskuijl from the office now comes up to the annex for lunch every day. Anne asks Mr Dussel to let her use their shared bedroom for the agreed time but he isn't ready to give up the desk and they row. Otto talks to Dussel and persuades him how important writing is to Anne. Mr Dussel also begins to learn Spanish for his life post-war.

June 1943

It is June 1943 and Anne is dreaming about her fourteenth birthday party. Suddenly she wakes up and remembers she is in the annex. Her family give her whatever they can, but the only present that really excites her is a bar of chocolate.

Also, the families are wearing out their clothes and don't have the money to replace them. In fact, the van Daans have little money left and argue about whether they should sell Mrs van Daan's fur coat. Otto measures Anne and Margot against the wall and finds that Anne has grown three inches in the last year. They learn on BBC radio of the capitulation of Italy (September 1943).

Anne is growing into a young woman and is amazed by the changes happening to her body and emotions. Her periods have started and she is becoming aware of her feminine sexuality. She has even started to look differently at Peter. When Peter comes up to the attic she tells him that she sees him differently now and apologises for having teased him in the past. He invites her to accompany him down to the warehouse to collect the potatoes. However, one day on his potato run, Peter forgets to unlock the front doors, forcing the employees to break in. Later, in response to her feelings, Anne writes her parents a hurtful letter.

May 1944

It is May 1944 and the Franks are woken up by the sound of intruders downstairs. When the noises seem to stop, Otto and Peter go downstairs to lock the front door so as not to attract the police, but they discover that the burglars are still there and flee back to the annex. The next morning Mr Kugler informs them that the burglars took a lot of valuables and that they must be more careful.

The tension and the summer heat start to get to them and they continually snap at each other. Food shortages are getting worse and the authorities have confiscated all radios. Luckily, Mr Kleiman secretly gives them a replacement. As the bombing raids get worse, Anne takes to running up and down the annex stairs to block out the sound. But they try to keep their spirits up and are thrilled when Miep finds some butter to bake a small cake for Edith's birthday.

Finally, their worst nightmare comes true when the SD and Dutch plain-clothed police raid the warehouse (4 August 1944). As all of the Jews are being led away one by one end title reveal each of their fates. In the final scene, Miep finds Anne's notebooks scattered across the floor and reaches down to pick them up.


The Diary of Anne Frank began filming in October 2007, in the UK. [6]



One reviewer, Michael Fox of, wrote: [7]

Sixty-five years on, and despite her legendary stature, Anne Frank still comes across as a willful, normal teenager with unrealistic — and tragically unrealized — dreams of her future. She attaches supreme importance to her own whims and needs, demands immediate satisfaction and musters barely an iota of tolerance for what she perceives as the stunted, compromised world of adults.
As it unfolds, however, the British television adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank increasingly and irresistibly frames its subject’s willfulness as a determination to establish an identity, and a place of significance, in the soon-to-come postwar world... It is the pitiless snuffing of this potential — the dream destroyed when the Gestapo breached her family’s Amsterdam refuge in 1944 after two long years in hiding — that is, and has always been, the piercing tragedy of Anne Frank’s life.
Solidly engrossing and vigorously paced, The Diary of Anne Frank takes place almost entirely (after the first five minutes) in the secret annex above Otto Frank’s warehouse and office. It confines itself to the events recorded by our unintentional heroine — which is to say that younger viewers unfamiliar with the Nazis’ systematic, continent-spanning implementation of the Final Solution aren’t provided with a great deal of detail.
Anne Frank has long been an icon to Jews and a symbol of the Holocaust to non-Jews, but I suspect mainstream audiences will view this version a bit differently. In the current era, when children die in every corner of the world and "ethnic cleansing" has become part of our vocabulary, Anne’s story provokes associations with racism, persecution and lost promise that go beyond Nazis and Jews.
This production also has a more contemporary feel thanks to a shockingly candid scene where Anne acknowledges the changes in her body and admits her confusion over puberty. This was one of the passages regarding Anne’s sexuality that Otto Frank removed before the diary’s original publication in 1947, and which were restored in an edition published well after his 1980 death.

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Otto Heinrich Frank was a German businessman who later became a resident of the Netherlands and Switzerland. He was the father of Anne and Margot Frank and husband of Edith Frank-Holländer, and was the sole member of his family to survive the Holocaust. He inherited Anne's manuscripts after her death, arranged for the publication of her diary as The Diary of a Young Girl in 1947, and oversaw its adaptation to both theater and film.

<i>The Diary of Anne Frank</i> (1959 film) 1959 American film directed by George Stevens

The Diary of Anne Frank is a 1959 film based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, which was in turn based on the diary of Anne Frank. It was directed by George Stevens, with a screenplay by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. It is the first film version of both the play and the original story, and features three members of the original Broadway cast.

Miep Gies

Hermine "Miep" Gies, was one of the Dutch citizens who hid Anne Frank, her family and four other Dutch Jews from the Nazis in an annex above Otto Frank's business premises during World War II. She was Austrian by birth, but in 1920, at the age of eleven, she was taken in as a foster child by a Dutch family to whom she became very attached. Although she was initially only to stay for six months, this stay was extended to one year because of frail health, after which Gies chose to remain with them, living the rest of her life in the Netherlands. She died in 2010 at just over 100 years of age.

Anne Frank German-born diarist and Holocaust victim

Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank was a German-Dutch diarist of Jewish origin. One of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust, she gained fame posthumously with the publication of The Diary of a Young Girl, in which she documents her life in hiding from 1942 to 1944, during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. It is one of the world's best known books and has been the basis for several plays and films.

<i>The Diary of a Young Girl</i> Diary by Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl, also known as The Diary of Anne Frank, is a book of the writings from the Dutch-language diary kept by Anne Frank while she was in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The family was apprehended in 1944, and Anne Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945. The diary was retrieved by Miep Gies, who gave it to Anne's father, Otto Frank, the family's only known survivor, just after the war was over. The diary has since been published in more than 60 languages. First published under the title Het Achterhuis. Dagboekbrieven 14 Juni 1942 – 1 Augustus 1944 by Contact Publishing in Amsterdam in 1947, the diary received widespread critical and popular attention on the appearance of its English language translation Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Doubleday & Company and Vallentine Mitchell in 1952. Its popularity inspired the 1955 play The Diary of Anne Frank by the screenwriters Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, which they adapted for the screen for the 1959 movie version. The book is included in several lists of the top books of the 20th century.

Karl Silberbauer SS Nazi Officer, responsible for the arrest of Anne Frank and her family

Karl Josef Silberbauer was an Austrian police officer, SS member and undercover investigator for the West German Federal Intelligence Service. He was stationed in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam during World War II, where he was promoted to the rank of Hauptscharführer. In 1963, Silberbauer, by then an Inspector in the Vienna police, was exposed as the commander of the 1944 Gestapo raid on the Secret Annex and the arrests of Anne Frank, her fellow fugitives, and their protectors.

Margot Frank

Margot Betti Frank was the elder daughter of Otto Frank and Edith Frank and the elder sister of Anne Frank. Margot's deportation order from the Gestapo hastened the Frank family into hiding. According to the diary of her younger sister, Anne, Margot kept a diary of her own, but no trace of Margot's diary has ever been found. She died in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Fritz Pfeffer

Friedrich "Fritz" Pfeffer was a German dentist and Jewish refugee who hid with Anne Frank and her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. He perished in the Neuengamme concentration camp in Northern Germany. Pfeffer was given the pseudonym Albert Dussel in Frank's diary, and remains known as such in many editions and adaptations of the publication.

Jan Gies

Jan Augustus Gies was a member of the Dutch Resistance who, with his wife, Miep, helped hide Anne Frank, her sister Margot, their parents Otto and Edith, the van Pels, and Fritz Pfeffer from Nazi persecution during the occupation of The Netherlands by aiding them as they resided in the Secret Annex.

Bep Voskuijl Dutch person who hid Anne Frank

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Edith Frank

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<i>The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank</i>

The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank is a 1988 television film directed by John Erman. It is based on Miep Gies's book Anne Frank Remembered. The film was broadcast as part of an ad hoc network, Kraft Golden Showcase Network. Playwright William Hanley received an Emmy for his script.

<i>Anne Frank: The Whole Story</i>

Anne Frank: The Whole Story is a two-part mini-series based on the book Anne Frank: The Biography by Melissa Müller. The mini-series aired on ABC on May 20 and 21, 2001. The series starred Ben Kingsley, Brenda Blethyn, Hannah Taylor-Gordon, and Lili Taylor. Controversially, but in keeping with the claim made by Melissa Müller, the series asserts that the anonymous betrayer of the Frank family was the office cleaner, when in fact the betrayer's identity has never been established. A disagreement between the producers of the mini-series and the Anne Frank Foundation about validity of this and other details led to the withdrawal of their endorsement of the dramatization, which prevented the use of any quotations from the writings of Anne Frank appearing within the production. Hannah Taylor-Gordon received both Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominations for her performance as Anne Frank, while Ben Kingsley won a Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance as Otto Frank, Anne's father.

The Diary of Anne Frank is a stage adaptation of the book The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. It premiered on Broadway at the Cort Theatre in 1955. Its script also primarily formed the basis of the 1959 film adaptation.

The Diary of Anne Frank is a 1980 American made-for-television biographical drama film which originally aired on NBC on November 17, 1980. Like the 1959 film of the same name, it was written by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett and directed by Boris Sagal. Unlike the 1959 film, the TV-film focuses more on character development than suspense, and is considerably shorter than the 1959 version.

The Diary of Anne Frank is 1987 BBC televised miniseries. It was based on The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, and it starred Elizabeth Bell, Janet Amsbury, Katharine Schlesinger and Emrys James.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl is an original radio play by author Meyer Levin (1905–1981). It was adapted from Levin’s original stage dramatization of the same name, adapted from The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank's diary. It aired on CBS on September 18, 1952, the eve of Rosh Hashanah, to critical acclaim, and again in November 1952.

Das Tagebuch der Anne Frank is a 2016 German drama film directed by German filmmaker Hans Steinbichler and written by Fred Breinersdorfer. It stars Lea van Acken as the titular character, Martina Gedeck, Ulrich Noethen, and Stella Kunkat. The film is based on Anne Frank's famous diary and tells the story of Anne Frank, the Jewish girl who went into hiding with her family in Amsterdam and became a victim of the Holocaust.

<i>Anne</i> (play)

ANNE is a 2014 play dramatising the story of Jewish diarist Anne Frank's period in hiding in the Secret Annex in Amsterdam during the Second World War. The play was the first major new adaptation of Frank's diary since the 1955 play, and was both authorised and initiated by the Anne Frank Foundation in Basel, the organisation set up by Frank's father Otto Frank to preserve his daughter's legacy and work. As such, Anne was the first adaptation allowed to quote literal passages from the diary. After a near two-year run in the Netherlands, the play closed in 2016, and had production runs in Germany and Israel. The play also formed the basis for the first German film adaptation of the diary.


  1. Anne Frank TV drama heads to BBC, BBC (15 October 2007)
  2. Miller, Lucasta (19 May 2007). "The home front". The Guardian .
  3. In the Dark: Deborah Moggach Archived 31 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine (1 June 2007)
  4. BBC (15 October 2007). "BBC Drama commission new production of The Diary Of Anne Frank" (Press release).
  5. "The Diary of Anne Frank - PBS Masterpiece Homepage".
  7. Retrieved 12 January 2012