Anne Frank was born on June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany. Anne is now famous for the diary that she wrote. In 1934, when Anne was about 5 years old, her family fled to Holland. They fled like many others because the Nazi regime was in power. They soon realized after living in Holland for a while they didnt flee far enough.
She got her diary Kitty on her 13th birthday. It was bound in red and white checkered cloth, and had a lock. In her diary the young girl wrote about school, her daily life in Amsterdam, and other things like classmates.
The Jews were treated horribly. All the Jews above the age of 6 had to wear a yellow star with the word Jew embroidered in the middle. They had a curfew so that they had to be in the house by 8 oclock PM. They couldnt ride the Trams, ride in cars or have any entertainment. They could play no sports or take any photos. They could only shop for two hours a day in the afternoon. Some shopkeepers wouldnÕt even sell to them at all. Jews werent allowed to have some jobs. Some Jewish kids couldnt go to school with the other children, but had to go to a special Jewish school.
One day Otto, her father, mentioned to Anne that the family would have to go into hiding. Three days after that conversation an officer of the SS, a Nazi, went up to the house and gave them a call-up notice that said that Annes 16 year old sister Margot must go to SS headquarters. They all knew that meant she would be going to Westerbork, a concentration camp, soon. Now was the time for Otto to put his plan in action.
Otto was a partner in a company that milled spices, based in a warehouse near a canal in a part of the city that had a lot of factories. Behind the warehouse was a room that you couldnt see from the outside. It had no door to the street and the only entrance was in the warehouse through a fake bookcase that was movable. This was there little Secret annex."
The Franks, Otto , Edith, Margot, and Anne, and Hermann van Pels (Ottos business partner), his wife Auguste, and their 16 year old son Peter hid together in their Secret annex. In her diary Anne changed the name of the van Pels to van Daan and the wifes name to Petronella. It was very boring to be in hiding and they had to be very quiet. They couldnt run or jump. It was very tedious to be in hiding. Anne spent time writing in her diary and reading books.
The only people who knew where they were hiding were the two men who ran the warehouse, Victor Kugler and Johannes Kleiman. Two secretaries named Miep Gies and Bep Voskuijl also knew where they were hiding. The seven hideaways would not of have survived without theses four helping hands. They would bring food to them with the knowledge that, if they were caughthelping the Jewish hideaways they would be killed.
Anne and Margot's room in their annex
After four agonizing months of bickering and fighting they allowed an eighth person to join the hideaways. He was a dentist called Fritz Pfeffer. Anne changed his name to Albert Dussel in the diary. Anne probably did not care for him because she used to share a room with Margot but then shared it with him. She described him as a fussy middle aged man who was an embarrassment.
In March 1944 a minister of the Dutch Government talked on the radio about the war. He said that diaries, letters, and other things about the war would be collected and published once the war was over. That raised Annes hopes up and over the next few weeks she went over her work improving it. Just imagine how interesting it would be if I were to publish a novel about the secret annex, she wrote.The title alone would make people think it was a detective story.
On July 15, 1944 the 8 hide a ways heard some stomping and yelling down stairs. A sergeant in the German SS and three armed members of the Dutch security forces arrested Mr. Kleiman and Mr. Kugler for helping the Jews hide and arrested all 8 hideaways. The two secretaries were not arrested. Miep Gies and Bep Voskuijl went up into the secret annex after every one left and saw what was left. One thing that was left was AnneÕs diary, scattered all over the floor were the pages.Miep Gies gathered them up and locked them away in a office drawer.
Miep Gies (seated) and Bep Voskuijl
The two men who helped them went to prison. The fugitives were sent to the transit camp at Westerbork. Then they were put on the last train to leave Holland for the death camp at Auschwitz in Poland. Soon after they arrived they gassed Hermann van Pels. August, his wife, died soon after in a concentration camp the following spring. The van Pels son, Peter, was one of the hundreds of Auschwitz prisoners forced to march to Mauthausen in Austria on the so-called Death March in early 1945. Peter died a few days before the camp Mauthausen was liberated in February 1945. In December 1944 Fritz Pfeffer (Albert Dussel) died in a concentration camp.
In October 1944 Margot and Anne were sent to a camp in Germany called Bergen-Belsen. In Bergen-Belsen there was a epidemic of typhus. It spred rapidly. Margot and Anne Frank both caught the deadly deasese. They died in February or March 1945.
The only surviver of the 8 fugitives was Otto Frank. His wife died at Auschwitz in January 1945, all the van Pels died, and Otto and Ediths two young girls of 15 and an older girl died also. Otto was liberated when the Russian army marched into the camp later in January 1945.
Anne Frank was a very amazing, brave young girl. Her heart was very big. Its sad that such a nice young girl like her, died of typhus because of HitlerÕs beliefs. In June 1945 Annes father Otto found out that his two daughters and wife had died. He stayed with Meip Gies and her husband who had kept Annes diary. She gave it to Otto and he read it and wanted to publish it as Anne had wanted. He published it in 1955. Anne Franks diary has been sold throughout the world and translated into 55 different languages. Twenty-five million copys have been sold. Her diary today stands for a powerful symbol of the importance of human rights.
People | Places | Events | Glossary | Photo Album | Q and A | Home | Games