The Diary of Anne Frank

Anne Frank was one of the Jewish victims of Nazi persecution during the second world war. After Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands in 1940, increasingly severe anti-Jewish measures began in the Netherlands as well. The Frank family tried to escape by going into hiding. On July 1942, Otto Frank, Edith Frank-Hollander and their daughters Margot and Anne hid in a building on the Prinsengracht. They where later joined by Mr. and Mrs Daan, their sun Peter and Mr. Dussel. The building consisted of two parts : a front house and a back annex. Otto Frank's business was located in the front house. The uppermost floors of the back annex became the hiding place. After more than two years the group was betrayed and deported. Anne and Margot died of typhus in Bergen-Belsen in March 1945, only a few weeks before the concentration camp was liberated. Otto Frank was the only member of the group to survive.

During the hiding period Anne Frank kept a diary. In it she described daily life in the back annex, the isolation and the fear of discovery. Anne's diary survived the war: after the betrayal it was found by Miep Gies, one of the helpers. When it was confirmed that Anne would not be returning, Miep gave the manuscripts to Otto Frank. In 1947 the first Dutch edition appeared. Since then the diary has been published in more then 55 languages.


Edith Frank with Anne a day after she was born
Jewish and German

“My father, the most adorable father I've ever seen, didn't marry my mother until he was thirty-six and she was twenty-five. My sister Margot was born in Frankfurt am Main in Germany in 1926. I was born on June 12, 1929.”
Anne Frank

Edith Hollander married Otto Frank on May 12, 1925. The Frank family were in banking and manufacturing. In February 1926 their first child Margot is born followed by Annelies (Anne) three years later.

Anne Frank (Second from the left)
At Home in Amsterdam
"In the Netherlands, after those experiences in Germany, it was as if our life was restored to us. Our children went to school and at least in the beginning our lives proceeded normally... In those days it was possible for us to start over and to feel free."
Otto Frank
Margot and Anne often play on Merwedeplein in front of their house. They quickly make lots of new friends who are either Dutch or German. Many Jewish children from Germany live in the neighborhood. Edith Frank writes to Gertrud Naumann: “Margot is doing well in school and will go on to the third grade. She can now speak good Dutch." Anne likes going to the Montessori kindergarten and, later on, enjoys first grade at this same school just as much.

During those early years, Edith Frank does not really feel at home in the Netherlands. Miep Gies recalls: “Mrs. Frank missed Germany very much, more so than Mr. Frank. In conversations we had, she would often refer with melancholy to their life in Frankfurt.” Otto Frank is very occupied with his business, so he is frequently away from home.

Margot Frank