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Secret annexe
Fritz Pfeffer
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Anne and Fritz as room-mates
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Anne and Fritz as room-mates

From 16 November 1942 Fritz Pfeffer is the eighth person in hiding in the secret annexe. From this time Anne Frank has to share a room with him, while Margot sleeps in her parents’ room. At first Anne really likes Mr Pfeffer, but later she can’t stand him. In her diary she calls him Albert Dussel. In German, ‘Dussel’ means ‘idiot’ or ‘donkey’. We don’t know what Fritz thought of Anne…

‘Just as we thought, Mr Dussel is a very nice man. Of course he didn’t mind sharing a room with me; to be honest, I’m not exactly delighted at having a stranger use my things, but you have to make sacrifices for a good cause, and I’m glad I can make this small one. The first day Mr Dussel was here, he asked me all sorts of questions – for example, what time the cleaning lady comes to the office, how we’ve arranged to use the bathroom and when we’re allowed to go to the lavatory. I patiently explained all this to Mr Dussel, but I was surprised to see how slow he is to catch on. He asks everything twice and still can’t remember what you’ve told him. Maybe he’s just confused by the sudden change and he’ll get over it. Otherwise, everything is fine.’

The Diary of Anne Frank, 19 November 1942

‘As if I don’t hear ‘shh, shh’ enough during the day because I’m always making ‘too much’ noise, my dear room-mate has come up with the idea of saying ‘shh, shh’ to me all night too. According to him, I shouldn’t even turn over. I refuse to take any notice of him, and the next time he shushes me, I’m going to shush him right back. He gets more exasperating and egotistical as the days go by. Except for the first week, I haven’t seen even one of the biscuits he so generously promised me. He’s particularly infuriating on Sundays, when he switches on the light at the crack of dawn to exercise for ten minutes.’

The Diary of Anne Frank, 22 December 1942

‘Yesterday was Dussel’s birthday. At first he acted as if he didn’t want to celebrate it, but when Miep arrived with a large shopping bag overflowing with gifts, he was as excited as a little child. His darling ‘Lotje’ has sent him eggs, butter, biscuits, lemonade, bread, cognac, spice cake, flowers, oranges, chocolate, books and writing paper. He piled his presents on a table and displayed them for no fewer than three days, the ridiculous old fool!’

The Diary of Anne Frank, 1 May 1943

Anne Frank Guide
This day in history
Today: 22 January 2019
Then: 22 January 1941

British and Australians take Tobruk in North Africa

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