Annelies Marie Frank was born on June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt Am Main, Germany. She was a happy baby, and the second child of Edith and Otto Frank. Otto had even been decorated as a German officer during World War I. But what Anne didn’t know was the terrible political climate outside the boundaries of her rich, green backyard.
Anne Frank and her sister, Margot
Anne, Margot, and their father
Pretty soon, Otto thought it became way too dangerous for the Frank Family to live in Germany. As German as they felt, they were also Jewish. And with Hitler and his army, Jewish, was very dangerous to be. In 1933, the Franks moved to The Netherlands.
One of the last photos of the Franks in Germany.
The Jewish Star of David.
Adjusting to New Life
For Anne, it was very easy to make friends. She loved school, and talked a lot. She also had a trick of dislocating her shoulder for a good scare out of her teachers and classmates. Her best friends were Hanneli Goslar, Jacqueline Van Maarsen, and Sanne Lederman. The original three friends were called Hanne, Sanne, and Anne. The three (including another friend) had a club called “The Little Dipper”. She also had six other friends in the club including herself, and then they found out that the Little Dipper had five stars instead of seven, so they named the club, “The Little Dipper Minus Two”.
Anne was very chatty, like it was told. In fact, she was often told by her teacher to write short stories in school, that were often humorous, and protection towards her teacher and classmates. One day, she was told to write an essay on “The Traits of a Qauckenbush”. She explained that she couldn’t help herself because it was a feminine trait, and that her mother talked twice as much as she did. She kept right on talking, and was given another story to write called “Quack, Quack, Quack!!”. It talked about three girl geese and the father who ate their heads off for talking too much. This story was her most humorous, and she still kept on talking. This was her last and final essay her teacher gave her.
Anne got good grades, but her biggest problem was algebra. She totally loathed it. She also liked to flirt a lot, but only her mother wished she could’ve been smarter and got better grades like Margot, but Anne knew she could never measure up.
Anne was still happy with her way of life, along with the rest of the Frank’s. One dreadful day in 1941, the Nazis invaded Germany.
Also in 1941. Anne met a decent sixteen-year-old boy. His name was Hello Silverberg. She was into him, and he was into her. They also hung out a lot together. One day, Anne and Hello stayed out passed the Jewish curfew, which was 8:00 P.M. Since Jews were forbidden to do so, they could be arrested. So when Anne got home, her father was devastated. He told Anne she would now have to be home by ten to eight. She agreed and they still hung out, until one dreadful day in July of 1942.
On June 12, 1942, it was Anne’s birthday. She woke up very early to open up her presents in 37 Merwedeplein. The first gift she opened was a red and white checkered diary. She also got a blue blouse, flowers, chocolate, and more, but the diary caught most of her attention. She screamed with excitement, running to her father, hugging him.
Her first entry:
“I hope I shall be able to confide in you completely, as I have never been able to do in anyone before, and I hope that you will be a great support and comfort to me.”
One dreadful afternoon of July, there was a knock at the door. Anne hoped it was her beau, Hello Silverberg, but it was not. It was a Nazis order for Margot Frank to report to a German labor camp the next day. Anne was frightened, but did not know who the order was for, so Margot and Edith decided it was best to not tell her the truth. Margot told her that it was Pim’s (nickname for Margot and Anne’s father)order. Anne was wailing. “Of course he’s not going.” Margot said. (quoted in Anne’s diary a little later.) While the Females of the Frank household prayed that Otto would return, they didn’t open the door for anyone else the next day. They also didn’t know that at the time when the Nazis invaded Holland, contacted his assistant employee assistant, Miep Gies, about going into hiding that day.
The Franks done as they were told. Then Margot told Anne that it was actually her call-up notice. This very much did not help Anne’s whelping. The next morning, they were told to go early in the morning, to a hiding place. Anne later wrote, “ Into hiding- where would we go, in a town or the country, in a house or a cottage, when, how, where…?”
Anne also described what she was taking with her: “ These were the questions that I was not allowed to ask, but I couldn’t get them out of my mind. Margot and I began to pack some of our most vital belongings into a school satchel. The first thing I put in was this diary, then hair curlers, handkerchiefs, schoolbooks, a comb, old letters; I put the craziest things with the idea that we were going into hiding. But I’m not sorry, memories mean more to me than dresses.” The next morning, the Frank family arrived at their destination.
The Franks arrived at their new hiding place, until the war was over, or they were discovered. It was a three-story building above the store of Otto Frank. First, there was a big door that said “Employees Only” that was the entrance to the hiding place. (Later known as “The Secret Annex”.) One of the helpers of the Frank family put up a bookcase in front of the door.
On November 16, 1942, the van Pelses arrived. Anne thought they were good at first, and then thought they were insane. She mostly fought with Mrs. Van Pels. Anne often wrote about them in her diary, as the van Danns.
Auguste and Hermann van Pels
Peter van Pels
A couple of weeks later, a new fugitive was hidden, making this the eighth and last person in hiding. His name was Fritz Pffier, or in Anne’s diary, Alfred Dussel. He was a Jewish dentist who Anne thought was also once a sweetheart, but became annoying to Anne later.
Anne’s relationship with her mother was in poor shape. She had constant arguments with her, and never called her “Mom”, or “Mommy”. She called her “Mum”, “Mummy”, or “Momsy”, because Anne thought her mother wasn’t close. She also wrote about her in her diary, and once wrote she was beginning to hate her.
The years went buy, in a routine, mostly. Peter and Anne felt that their parents didn’t understand them, so they started to confide in each other. One day, Anne shared her first kiss with Peter, and they met often. But later, Anne found out she was no match for Peter. She couldn’t get much out of him, as much as she confided to him. But that didn’t worry her, she still had Kitty.
One peaceful morning at around 10:30 A.M. on August 4, 1944 , A large march came up the stairs of the Annex. It was Gestapo, who frightened the family. He asked for any valuables, and told the Franks and van Pelses to pack. Someone had betrayed the Franks and van Pelses!!
The Franks + van Pelses were scared, and taken to a downtown prison for a couple of days, and were sure this was just the beginning of the worst.
The Franks and van Pelses were headed to Westerbork, their first concentration camps. It would be the best camp anyone imprisoned could go to. But, they realized that it was actually a transit camp. Every Tuesday, thousands of trains were going to other concentration camps, while passengers did not know where they were going. But all they knew was to fear it. On one unlucky Tuesday, the Franks and the van Pels were headed for Auschwitz. As unlucky as they were, that was the last train to leave Westerbork before it was liberated.
When the families arrived to Auschwitz, it was much worse. There was a director who would say left or right, and the Franks were lucky that they took left. Hermann went the wrong way, the right, straight into the gas chambers. He was killed shortly after. What then made Anne scream was that she was separated from her father. They four women were taken into this room filled with stripped women, meaning they had to take their clothes and get uniforms. The women also had to have their heads shaved. But that didn’t hurt the 3 Franks that much, as long as they were together.
In November of 1944, Anne and Margot saw their mother for the last time. They were headed off for another concentration camp, Bergen-Belsen. This would be the worst for them. When they arrived, they were frightened, sick, and were tired. They were suffering from scabies, a rash caused by parasitic mites. As thousands of people laid over dead, the two sisters lost hope, as they grew weaker and weaker. Margot was one day two sick to get up. In between April-May 1945, Margot Frank died. Anne was slightly stronger, but truly knew she was alone. Without family, without her diary Kitty, she had nothing. Typhus epidemic grew wider, and Anne already had it, just to make her loose her will to live. But what she didn’t know was that her school friend, Hanneli Goslar, was over the fence of Bergen- Belsen. That made Anne a little happy, but still not enough to make her smile. Hanneli Goslar remembers: “ ‘I have nothing.’ Anne said. I threw her a package over the fence (filled with socks and fruit) and then I hear she’s crying. What happened? Another hungry lady grabbed the package, and ran away with it. We met two days later, and she caught the package…..but this was the last time we could speak.” A couple of days later, Anne Frank died.
The grave of Anne
and Margot Frank.
When the war was over, Otto Frank returned home. Auschwitz was liberated the 27th of January, but Otto decided to come after the war for a safe return. He knew Edith had died at a concentration camp, and had no news on the van Pelses. But all Otto wanted and had hope was for his two daughters.
Otto still searched for his two daughters, and then got the news from another person at Bergen-Belsen. The news that he’d been dreading finally happened: His two daughters were dead. A week later, he got a letter from the Red Cross with the same answer.
Red Cross’s Letter
When Otto told the dreadful news to Miep, she was saddened. But when the families were arrested, Gestapo threw Anne’s diary on the floor. When Gestapo left, Miep and Bep went to pick the diary up, so (they thought) Anne would be happy to have it back when she returned. Miep opened a drawer, and picked out Anne’s diary. She handed it to Otto, and said, “This is Anne’s legacy to you.”