Anne Frank

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Early Life

Anne Frank was born in the year 1929 in the German city of Frankfurt am Main. Anne’s sister Margot was three years elder to her. At that time, Germany suffered from high unemployment rate and severe poverty. Adolf Hitler and his party were gaining popularity. Hitler blamed jews for all the problems in the nation. He made use of the widespread antisemitic sentiments in Germany. Anne’s parents, Otto and Edith Frank, decided to shift to Amsterdam. The hatred of Jews and the poor economic conditions were the primary reasons behind the decision. Her father founded a firm which traded in pectin-a gelling agent for producing jam.

Nazi Germany

anne frank

Anne actually liked being in the Netherlands. She quickly learned the language, made friends and joined a Dutch school. Her father worked round the clock to run his business successfully. Meanwhile, he tried to set up a company in England as well, but the plan did not work out. Things started getting better when he started selling herbs and spices in addition to the pectin.

Nazi Germany invaded Poland On 1 September 1939. Anne was just 10 years old then. Hence, the Second World War began. Nazi invasion of Netherlands occurred on 10 May 1940. The Dutch army surrendered within five days. Nazis introduced several laws and regulations for making the lives of Jews more difficult. They could no longer visit parks, cinemas, or even non-Jewish shops. Anne couldn’t move around freely anymore. Since Jews were prohibited from running their own businesses, her father’s company had to be shut down. Jewish children were supposed to go to separate Jewish schools.

Hiding in the Secret Annex

secret annex

Things were getting worse. Jews were forced to wear a Star of David on their clothes and rumors were spreading that they will have to leave the Netherlands soon. On 5 July 1942, Margot received suspicious call to report at a labour camp in Nazi Germany. Her parents were not convinced and sensed some danger. They knew the call-up was not about work and went into hiding the very next day so as to avoid persecution.  

Anne’s father had set up a hiding place at Prinsengracht 263 in the annex of his business premises by the spring of 1942.He colleagues helped him as well, for setting up the place. There were four more people staying with them. While staying at the secret annex, Anne was very quiet and afraid, the place was cramped.

Anne's diary

Anne was given a diary on her thirteenth birthday. While hiding, she wrote about her feelings, thoughts and other events in the secret annex. Writing was her favorite hobby during those tough days. Anne wrote short stories and even began writing a novel.

Appeals were made to preserve war diaries and documents. Anne’s individual diaries were converted  into one running story, called the Het Achterhuis (The Secret Annex).

Hiding place gets discovered

On August 4, 1994, Anne Frank and the other people in hiding were arrested. However Anne’s writing was preserved, helpers collected the documents before the Annex was emptied as per the Nazis orders.

Deported to Auschwitz

Anne Frank and the other arrested people were moved to a prison in Amsterdam, and then to the Westerbork transit camp. Later on, they were transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp. The train journey to the concentration camp took over three days. Several people including Anne were packed closely together in cattle wagons. There was hardly any food and water supply! There was only a barrel for a toilet.

Upon arrival at Auschwitz, around 350 people who were found unfit for doing heavy labor, were moved to the gas chambers and killed. Anne, Margot and their mother finally ended up in the labor camp for women. Otto, Anne’s father, ended up in the men’s camp.

Death of Anne Frank

death of anne frank

Anne Frank was deported to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp along with her sister Margot In early November, 1944. Meanwhile, their parents had to stay behind in Auschwitz. The conditions were pathetic in Bergen-Belsen camp. There was hardly any food, the cold and wet conditions gave way to several contagious diseases. Anne and Margot suffered from typhus. They both died owing to its effects in February 1945.

Anne’s father Otto somehow survived the war. He was freed by the Russians from Auschwitz. As he returned to the Netherlands, he discovered that his wife Edith and their kids had died.

Anne Frank's diary


Anne’s father was impressed by her writings. Otto realized that Anne had dreamt of becoming a writer/journalist and also wished to publish stories about life in the Secret Annex. 3,000 copies of Het Achterhuis (The Secret Annex) were printed in June 1947.

The book was an instant success and translated into 70 languages and adapted for stage and screen across the globe. The hiding place was converted into a museum called the Anne Frank House in 1960. Otto was closely associated with the activities at the Anne Frank House and the museum, until his death in 1980. He strongly believed that readers of his daughter’s diary would realize the pain of discrimination, racism, and hatred of Jews in the Nazi Germany.


Read more:Colour Blindness

Check your knowledge

  Answer) Frankfurt am Main.

Answer) The Het Achterhuis (The Secret Annex).

 Answer) Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

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