Otto Frank gave the diary to the historian Annie Romein-Verschoor, who tried unsuccessfully to have it published. She then gave it to her husband Jan Romein, who wrote an article about it, titled "Kinderstem" ("A Child's Voice"), published in the newspaper Het Parool on 3 April 1946. He wrote that the diary "stammered out in a child's voice, embodies all the hideousness of fascism, more so than all the evidence at Nuremberg put together" His article attracted attention from publishers, and the diary was published in the Netherlands as Het Achterhuis in 1947, followed by a second run in 1950.
It was first published in Germany and France in 1950, and after being rejected by several publishers, was first published in the United Kingdom in 1952. The first American edition was published in 1952 under the title Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and was positively reviewed. It was successful in France, Germany and the United States, but in the United Kingdom it failed to attract an audience and by 1953 was out of print. Its most noteworthy success was in Japan where it received critical acclaim and sold more than 100,000 copies in its first edition. In Japan, Anne Frank quickly became identified as an important cultural figure who represented the destruction of youth during the war.