Two Pages of 'Dirty Jokes' Uncovered in Anne Frank's Diary

Tim Sloan, AFP/Getty Images
Tim Sloan, AFP/Getty Images

Written while she was in hiding during World War II, Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl is one of the most intimate accounts we have of life for European Jews during the Holocaust. It's also the journal of an ordinary adolescent girl—one who dreamed about crushes, was curious about her body, and made jokes about sex. As the Chicago Tribune reports, new analysis from Dutch researchers reveals two pages of what Frank described in her diary as "dirty jokes" that had been impossible to read until now.

A 13-year-old Anne Frank filled the pages on September 28, 1942 while living with her family in a secret annex in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands. Even under those stressful circumstances, she was able to keep her sense of humor. She wrote jokes like, "Do you know why the German Wehrmacht girls are in Holland? As mattresses for the soldiers." And, “A man had a very ugly wife and he didn't want to have relations with her. One evening he came home and then he saw his friend in bed with his wife, then the man said: `He gets to and I have to!!!"'

On the same pages as the dirty jokes, she included musings on sexual development, prostitution, and contraception. She wrote that a young woman's first period is "a sign that she is ripe to have relations with a man but one doesn't do that of course before one is married."

At some point during her two years in the annex, Anne decided to tape brown adhesive paper over the passages, presumably to save herself embarrassment in case anyone found her diary. It wasn't until 75 years later that researchers at the Anne Frank museum were finally able to decipher the text hidden beneath the covering. To do so, they photographed the back-lit pages and scanned them with image-processing software.

"Anne Frank writes about sexuality in a disarming way. Like every adolescent she is curious about this subject," Anne Frank House executive director Ronald Leopold said in a statement. He said that the texts "bring us even closer to the girl and the writer Anne Frank."

The first edition of Anne Frank's diary was published by her father in 1947, two years after she died in a Nazi concentration camp. It's since sold more than 30 million copies and has been translated into 67 languages. Due to copyright issues, it's unclear if the newly revealed text will make it into future editions.

[h/t Chicago Tribune]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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Florence’s Plague-Era Wine Windows Are Back in Business

A wine window in Florence's Via Santo Spirito.
A wine window in Florence's Via Santo Spirito.

Many bars and restaurants have started selling takeout cocktails and other alcoholic beverages to stay in business—and keep customers safe—during the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, 17th-century Florentines are surely applauding from their front-row seats in the afterlife.

As Insider reports, a number of buildings in Florence had been constructed with small “wine windows,” or buchette del vino, through which vendors sold wine directly to less affluent customers. When the city suffered an outbreak of plague in the 1630s, business owners recognized the value of these windows as a way to serve people without spreading germs. They even exchanged money on a metal tray that was sanitized with vinegar.

Wine not?sailko, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Things eventually went back to normal, and the windows slowly fell out of fashion altogether as commerce laws evolved. This year, however, they’ve made a comeback. According to Food & Wine, there are currently at least four in operation around Florence. Osteria delle Brache in Piazza Peruzzi is using its window to deliver wine and cocktails, for example, and the Vivoli ice cream shop, a go-to dessert spot since 1929, is handing out sweet scoops and coffee through its formerly dormant aperture.

Apart from the recent resurgence of interest, the wine windows often go unnoticed by tourists drawn to the grandeur of attractions like the Uffizi Gallery and the Florence Cathedral. So in 2015, locals Matteo Faglia, Diletta Corsini, and Mary Christine Forrest established the Wine Window Association to generate some buzz. In addition to researching the history of the windows, they also keep a running list of all the ones they know of. Florence has roughly 150, and there are another 100 or so in other parts of Tuscany.

They’re hoping to affix a plaque near each window to promote their stories and discourage people from defacing them. And if you want to support their work, you can even become a member of the organization for €25 (about $29).

[h/t Insider]