Anne Frank’s Marbles To Go On Display In Rotterdam

Just before going into hiding, Anne Frank gave a tin of marbles, a tea set and a book to a friend of hers for safe keeping. Anne used to always play with Toosje Kupers when she was living in her neighborhood in Amsterdam, with her family and asked her friend to look after her toys.

Shortly after, the story that everybody knows began. Anne and her family began a 25 months of terrible experiences while hiding from the Nazis in cramped quarters. Her diary has become a very famous book, a tale in her own words about the Jewish persecution. It was published in English after she died and it was entitled  “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl,” a memoir which over the decades has moved millions of readers in the world.

Seven decades later, the colorful marbles of Anne Frank have come to light and will be exhibited for the first time in Rotterdam, at a Second World War exhibition.

Teresien da Silva, who is the head of collections at the Anne Frank House museum, told CNN that Anne gave her toys to her friend for safekeeping and that her friend was looking after them until Anne’s return, just that he never came back. She died of typhus in Bergen-Belsen, shortly before the concentration camp was liberated in 1945.

After the war, Anne’s friend offered the toys to Otto Frank, who was Anne’s father, but he told Kupers she could keep the items. About a year ago, when she was moving out of her old house, she discovered the toys for the first time after a very long time. After searching her attic and finding the toys, she immediately called da Silva and they were shocked to find out the marbles survived for so many decades and that they have been looked after so well. Therefore, the woman donated everything she had from Anne to the Anne Frank House. These were the marbles, the book and the tea set.

The book has already been displayed at the Anne Frank House Museum, a book the girl received on her birthday, when she turned 13 and also the tea set, according to Teresien da Silva, the CNN Edition reports.

The marbles, however, are set to be displayed in Rotterdam, alongside 99 other items, which together with Anne’s marbles would make up The Second World War in 100 Objects exhibition and which will open this week.

“For children during that time, marbles were a treasure. They worked very hard to win them,” said da Silva.


Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE