In The Footsteps of Anne Frank, 1958 (p. 32-3), Ernst Schnabel stated that Anne’s first diary book was bought by her father at their neighborhood bookshop, but Schnabel did not reveal who told him that. The English version of Müller’s Biography of Anne stated the same thing. Again, no source for this information was given. Now, the recently updated edition of that biography (available only in Dutch for now) removed that information. Further casting doubt on the information, in Anne’s original diary entry for 20 October 1942, she implied that the diary came from a department store chain, Perry’s, which had a store downtown. (In Dutch, J is pronounced like a Y.)
“Perhaps I’ll ask Bep if she can go and see sometime if Perrij’s still sell diaries, or else I’ll have to use an exercise book, because my diary is getting full, what a pity!”
Anne did end up moving on to writing in the remaining blank pages of school exercise books. Maybe she never asked Bep, or maybe, it being wartime, the shops did not have diaries or the helpers could not afford it. Also, for whatever reason, the entry above was edited out of published versions of Anne’s diary (except, of course, the Critical Edition, which is where I got that quote from).
I added a brief page about Perry’s. The Frank family’s neighborhood bookshop was called Blankevoort, two Amsterdam residents told me. These days it is called Jimmink.
I’m told the new edition of Müller’s Biography of Anne contains a lot of newly uncovered information. Hopefully it will come out in English! [It came out in English in the US on 11 June I’m reading it. SM]
Thanks to my NL contact for the 1930s information and photos about Perrij’s, plus the Blankevoort confirmation. Also thanks to the Amsterdam resident who brought up the question.