Anne Frank's Diary & plans of Operation Sea Lion, The Wiener Library Collections.
Anne Frank’s Diary & plans of Operation Sea Lion.
Wiener Holocaust Library Collections

We are delighted to report on two recent long-term loans from the Lewis 2013 Trust. The Trust has been generously supporting The Wiener Holocaust Library for a number of years by placing nationally and internationally important Holocaust related materials within the Library. The Lewis Collection, as it’s known internally to us, lists around 40 items, including various rare antisemitic pamphlets, Informationsheft G.B. (Geheim!), a German invasion guide to Britain, postcards from the Lodz Ghetto and Ravensbruck, and the boardgame De wandelende Jood (English: The Wandering Jew).

The first item amongst these loans is a  first edition of Anne Frank’s diary published in Amsterdam in 1947. One of the most popular and widely read works in the world, Anne Frank’s diary has been published in sixty countries and translated into 70 languages. This edition preceded the English translation by five years and was published in a limited edition of only 1500 copies.

Anne Frank’s Diary

Anne Frank’s diary, originally entitled The Secret Annex, is the personal diary of Annelies Marie “Anne” Frank (1929-1945), a Jewish girl from Frankfurt who received a diary for her 13th birthday. Her family fled from Frankfurt to Holland in the wake of the Nazi persecution. A month after receiving the diary in July 1942, when the persecution of the Jewish population intensified, the Frank family went into hiding in a secret apartment at the top floor of a building in Amsterdam where Otto Frank, Anne’s father, used to work. On 4 August 1944, someone informed on the family, their hiding place was found, and the Frank family was deported to Westerbork and then Auschwitz – on the last train from Holland to the camp. Anne and her family – except for her father – died in the camps. For over two years, Anne shared her private feelings with her diary: loneliness, love, adolescent frustrations, fear of the war, and her relationship with her parents. After the war, her father returned to the secret apartment and found Anne’s diary. He published it in 1947 in this Dutch edition. The open, touching manner in which it was written turned this diary into a symbol of the Holocaust. It enables its readers to identify with this young girl and the events of the time, and it became one of the most important works of the twentieth century. The diary of Anne Frank is one of the most important literary work about the Holocaust, and one of the most famous literary works written by a Jewish person in the twentieth century. The Wiener Holocaust Library has a large collection of books, pamphlets, documents and periodicals related to Anne Frank. Search our online catalogue for “Anne Frank” as a Personal Name Keyword to find more.

Operation Sea Lion

The second loaned item is an almost complete set of plans designed to provide information for German forces invading Britain as part of Operation Sea Lion. Operation Sea Lion (German: Unternehmen Seelöwe), was Nazi Germany’s plan to invade the United Kingdom during the Second World War, following the fall of France. For any likelihood of success, the operation required both air and naval superiority over the English Channel, neither of which the Germans ever achieved during or after the Battle of Britain. Operation Sea Lion was postponed indefinitely on 17 September 1940 and never carried out.

These plans were published between 1941 and 1942 and contain illustrations of the coastline of the British Isles, including many coloured maps which depict the best places to land along the coast of the British Isles. The military geographical portfolios issued by the German High Command have the warning at the top of each folder “Nur für den dienstgebrauch!” (English: Only for internal use!) by the General Staff of the Army, Department of War Maps and Surveying, explicitly demonstrating that the folders were to be kept strictly under wraps until any actual invasion began. The booklets contain thousands of photographs of coastal locations, supporting text and folding maps. Photographs show features such as harbours, docks, beaches, promenades, aerial views of towns, coastal landmarks and typical inland scenery.


Winner’s Actions website.

Anne Frank House website.

Information provided by Mullock’s Ltd Auction House