Visitors to the Anne Frank Museum may observe the bookshelf being restored: The extension consists of a living room that serves as a bedroom for the other family sheltering with the Franks' father and mother. There is one bedroom for Anne and her sister, another for her parents, and a very little one for the other family's boy. A bathroom and a kitchen are also part of the annex.
The museum guides describe it as "a small room with a kitchen nook, a couch, and some chairs. It has windows but no door. This was where the Frank family spent most of their time during the day while hiding from the Nazis."
They also mention that there is a bookcase in the annex filled with books that were found in the house after it had been seized by the Nazis. These include novels written by Jewish authors such as Emile Zola and Alexandre Dumas fils. There are also books on theology, history, and travel. They also find notes that Anne's father has made regarding which books should be taken out of the library to avoid attracting attention from Nazi guards.
Finally, the guide mentions that there is a blue chair in the annex that may have belonged to Anne's mother. She is sitting in it when the family is discovered by the Nazis in August 1944.
An interesting fact not mentioned in the guide book is that the room used by the Frank family as an annex to their secret room was originally intended for servants.
This is Hermann and Auguste van Pels' bedroom, which also served as a living room and kitchen for Anne and the others. The bookshelf at the Anne Frank House is one of the few original things that remained after those in hiding were apprehended. It contains many volumes by famous authors who wrote novels about subjects such as love, war, and justice. These include works by William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Leo Tolstoy.
In addition to the books on her own shelf, Anne had some help reading these authors from her father. He was a professor of history who taught himself English so he could read these authors and more in their original languages. The Anne Frank House website notes that "of all the possessions saved by the Franks, only two items are still here today: a copy of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and a book by Anne's father, Otto Frank."
The housekeeper's room was next to the bedroom. Here you can see shelves with uniforms for the helpers who worked with the Frank family during the war. Helga Dahn was a friend of the Franks who helped them hide for several years before they went into hiding themselves. She returned to Germany after the war ended but later married a man who owned a shop nearby the house where she lived with her husband and son.
Anne described the Secret Annex in her diary as having multiple small rooms and narrow passageways. Anne shared a room with Fritz Pfeffer, while Otto, Edith, and Margot shared another, according to the Anne Frank Guide. The fourth room was used by Peter van Pels.
In addition to these four people, Otto's father also had a room in the annex. He stayed there sometimes when he came to visit his son and daughter-in-law. Sometimes several other people were able to stay there too, such as when Mr. Kraler needed a place to stay because of his job as a supervisor at Shell.
The rooms were very small, about 1 meter by 1.5 meters (3 feet by 5 feet), and they didn't have any windows. There were some chairs and beds but not much else except for a toilet and a bathtub in the middle of the room that everyone had to share. There were no locks on the doors, so anyone could enter at any time.
Fritz and Anne got the idea for the Secret Annex from the example of two other young Jews who lived in the same building as them. They too had no access to their own house or apartment and had to share common facilities with other people. The first one was called "Otto" and the other one "Peter."