The Story of Anne Frank

The+Story+of+Anne+Frank

Alexis Kushnir, Journalist

Anne Frank was born on June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt Germany. She is the best known human tragedy of the second world war. Anne and her family emigrated to Holland in 1934 after Hitler´s Nazi regime came to power. Then in 1940 Germans occupied Holland.

 

After Germans took power over Holland, they introduced anti-Jewish laws. Jews above the age of six had to wear a yellow star with the word ¨Jew¨ embroidered so they could be identified. They also couldn’t use the trams or ride in cars and had to be indoors by eight o’clock every night. They couldn’t go to entertainment places and could only go shopping for two hours in the afternoon. Children were forced to attend special Jewish schools.

 

In 1942, Nazis rounded up Jews in Germany and the occupied countries and sent them to camps where they would either be gassed to death or made to work in cruel conditions. On June 12, 1942, Anne celebrated her thirteenth birthday. Her main present was a diary and the first thing she wrote about is growing up a teenager in a period of world history. On June 29th, all Dutch Jews without exception, were going to be sent to labor camps-which usually meant death camps.

 

One night, an officer of the Nazis rang the Franks family doorbell and required Anne´s sister (Margot) to go to SS headquarters. The family knew they needed to go into hiding soon. The hiding place was in a ¨secret annex¨ at Mr Franks work. Then on July 9th, they headed up to their hiding place. During office hours so no one became suspicious, they couldn’t do anything or make any noise. Curtains also needed to be closed at all times.

 

Anne lived with eight inmates and it was very easy for an argument to break out. She would write in her diary her emotions about living in that environment. All children continued their school work with the help of Otto Frank (Anne´s father) and the other adults. Later, she became closer with her inmate named Peter who was two years older than Anne. They started developing romantic feelings for each other.

In March 1944, a minister of the Dutch Government made a broadcast saying when the war ended, diaries and letters would be collected. Of course, Anne was thrilled about this. In the spring of 1944 it seemed certain that British and American troops would launch an invasion of mainland Europe to drive Germans out of the occupied countries. Life in Holland became very difficult. Food was scarce and crime increased. On June 6, 1944, news broke out that Holland and the rest of occupied Europe had been waiting for-invasion across the English Channel by British and American troops and their allies, aimed at liberating Europe and destroying Nazi Germany.

 

On the morning of August 4th, heavy footsteps came towards the annex door. When the door opened, a sergeant in the German SS and three armed members of the Dutch Security Forces came in with Mr. Kleiman and Mr. Kugler, both arrested for helping the Jews hide. The eight people in the annex were also arrested and valuables taken. Miep Gies saw the leaves of Anne’s diary and gathered it and locked them away in her office drawer. In October 1944, Anne and Margot had been sent to Bergen-Belsen, a camp in Germany where infections spread rapidly. Both girls caught diseases and died in February or March 1945. Their mother Edith died in January 1945, but the father survived and was liberated when the Russian army marched into camp that month. Otto went to stay with Miep Gies and her husband. Miep gave Otto the diary and he decided that it should be published. After this, Anne became known around the world for her story. 

 

Sources: Witnesses To War