The two apartments in Amsterdam
Already on July 6, 1942, Anne Frank is hiding in the back building of the company Opekta situated in Amsterdam. Consequently, she writes only a small part of her diary entries in her old home at 37, Merwedeplein in Amsterdam. In the three weeks recorded before she goes into hiding, she seems to spend most of her time at home or at her school, the Jewish Lyceum.
Even though Anne does not describe her old home in detail, it is obvious in her entries that she lived in a rather spacious and well-furnished apartment. For example, her wealthy family had their own balcony.
Description of the secret annex
The secret annex is situated at the back of the building of the Dutch Opekta company at 263, Prinsengracht in Amsterdam. It is the main setting for all diary entries from July 8, 1942, to August 1, 1944. Another company and a carpentry shop are located to the right and to the left of the building.
No other people are present outside working hours, so that in the evenings and on weekends, the residents of the secret annex can also spend time in the front of the building of the Opekta company. A floor plan of the front and back houses is included in Anne Frank's diary.
The secret annex is located on the second and third floor of the office building, it even has its own attic. Both annex floors are connected by steep stairs, the attic is accessible via a ladder. In the first weeks, only a simple gray door separates the secret annex from the rest of the house.
A little later, however, Bep Voskuijl's father builds a bookcase in front of it, which “swings out on its hinges and opens like a door” (9%), to hide the entrance of the secret annex. This way, the secret annex should remain hidden in case of a possible house search.