Anne Frank’s former home20 Apr 2016 11:30
The Anne Frank House and the Ymere housing corporation have announced their intention of reaching an agreement on the ownership of the former home of Anne Frank on the Merwedeplein square in Amsterdam. The two organisations have now begun the formal transfer process. The Frank family lived in the apartment at Merwedeplein 37 II from December 1933 to July 1942. It was here that Anne Frank first wrote in her diary, which she was given for her thirteenth birthday on 12 June 1942.
Partnership Ymere - Anne Frank House
Ymere bought the property in 2004, and restored the building in its original 1930s style in partnership with the Anne Frank House. Because the management of the building on the Merwedeplein is no longer compatible with Ymere’s mission - providing good, affordable housing for people with a limited income - the housing corporation decided to sell the building. Ymere board member Eric van Kaam says: “We want the ideals of Anne Frank to be preserved, but as a housing corporation we don’t see this as our role in society. We are glad to leave this to the Anne Frank House, in whom we have found an outstanding takeover partner.”
The restored interior of Merwedeplein 37 II.
The Anne Frank House organisation finds it important that the former home of Anne Frank is preserved and properly managed. Ronald Leopold, executive director of the Anne Frank House, says: “The Frank family’s former home on the Merwedeplein is inextricably linked with the legacy for which the Anne Frank House is responsible, the hiding place on the Prinsengracht and the original manuscripts of Anne Frank.”
Dutch Foundation for Literature
Since 2005 the apartment has been rented to the Dutch Foundation for Literature, and serves as accommodation for writers from around the world who cannot work freely in their own countries. The Anne Frank House thinks this is a fitting purpose for Anne Frank’s former home, and that it should be retained. It is a place devoted to freedom, tolerance and freedom of expression. Ronald Leopold: “The Anne Frank House has been involved with the Frank family’s former home on the Merwedeplein for years, and we would like to continue this involvement from another position. Together with other partners and stakeholders, we would like to see how we can do greater justice to the general historical importance of the home without detracting from its current use as a residence for overseas writers.”
The only existing film footage of Anne Frank, made at the Merwedeplein during the wedding of her neighbor on 22 July 1941.