Some Jewish children gave away their toys when they had to report for transport or went into hiding. Marbles were a child’s prized possession. The night before they were transported, a few children in the South of Amsterdam were known to have said: ‘Let’s just toss them!’ They threw their marbles out the window, hoping other children in the neighbourhood would gather them up.
Shortly before going into hiding on 6 July 1942, with her parents and sister Margot in the Secret Annex on Amsterdam’s Prinsengracht, Anne Frank also left a few prized possessions behind. She gave her tea set, the book Nederlandsche sagen en legenden (Tales and Legends of the Netherlands) that she’d also received on 12 June as a birthday gift and this metal tin of marbles to her neighbourhood friend Toosje Kupers.
Anne was concerned that her treasured marble collection would fall into the wrong hands, so she asked Toosje to keep them for safe until her return.
Toosje Kupers had kept her promise to Anne. The marbles, tea set and book were still safe. She offered to return Anne’s treasures to her father, but Otto Frank told her to keep them.
Otto Frank was the only one of the Frank family to survive the concentration camps. After the war, Toosje Kupers saw Anne’s father several times. When Anne Frank’s diary was published in 1947, Otto Frank personally gave Toosje a copy.