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Anne Frank

Anne Frank biography
Collectie Anne Frank Stichting Amsterdam - Public Domain

Anne Frank biography

She was born in Frankfurt, on June 12, 1929, under the name of Annelies Marie Frank, but is better known as Anne Frank. She was a German girl of Jewish descent, recognized worldwide by her Diary, an edition of her intimate diary where she left inscribed her experiences of the almost two and a half years she spent hiding with her family and other people from the Nazis in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) during the Second World War until they were captured and taken to different concentration camps.

Ana was the second daughter of Otto Heinrich Frank and Edith, a family of German Jews. His father had participated as Lieutenant of the German Army in the First World War and had an older sister: Margot.

In 1933 she moved with his family to Amsterdam (The Netherlands) after the arrival of Hitler to power and with him, the Nazi persecution. It is in that city where his father managed to start a business and where she delivered the newspaper when she turned thirteen.

But the threat of war in Europe increased and her father tried to emigrate along with her and all her family to England or the United States, but such attempts were unsuccessful. Until September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland, starting the Second World War. In this way, laws against the Jews began to be imposed that led to the prohibition of their presence in more and more places, causing the establishment of exclusive schools for Jews and that employers like Otto lose their businesses.

“How wonderful it is that nobody has to wait a moment before beginning to improve the world!” Anne Frank

In 1940, during the Second World War, after the German invasion of Holland and suffering the consequences of anti-Semitic laws, Anne and her family managed to hide in isolated and abandoned back rooms (which in her diary called Achterhuis or “Secret Annex”) of a Prinsengracht office building, a canal on the western side of Amsterdam, where they remained hidden from July 9, 1942 to August 4, 1944, when they were discovered and trapped by the Gestapo.

There were eight people who remained hidden: their parents, Otto and Edith Frank; she, her sister Margot; Fritz Pfeffer, a Jewish dentist (named after Albert Dussel in his Diary), and the van Pels family (identified as van Daan in the Journal), formed by Hermann and Auguste Van Pels and Peter plus the couple’s son.

During those two years, Anne dedicated herself to writing her diary, in which she described her fear of living in hiding, her rising feelings for Peter, her conflicts with her parents, and her vocation as a writer, which led to months before being discovered, she began to rewrite her Diary with the idea that it would be published once the war was over.

But the fateful August 4, 1944, Ana, her family, and companions were found, arrested and taken to Westerbork a concentration camp in the Northeast of the Netherlands, by Grüne Polizei and on September 2, a month later, all the family was transferred by train to one of the most terrible places that World War II produced: the Auschwitz concentration camp. This trip took three days, while in Amsterdam, Miep Gies and Bep Voskuijl, two of the people who protected them when they were hiding, knew what had happened and in those rooms that Anne and the others occupied for a while, they found and kept the Diary along with other papers belonging to Anne.

Since the capture, it was thought that the family had been betrayed by a Gestapo collaborator. However, there are investigations that claim that the occupants’ discovery was casual, since the SS agents were investigating crimes of illegal employment in that building, and the persecution of Jews was not really their goal.

“A person can feel lonely, even when a lot of people love them” Anne Frank

Only Otto, Anne’s father, managed to get out of the Holocaust alive. It was to him that Miep gave him the Journal, which he edited in order to publish it under the now recognized title “Diary of Anne Frank” which has been printed in 70 languages.

For their part, Anne, Margot, and Edith Frank, the van Pels family and Fritz Pfeffer did not survive the Nazi concentration camps (although Auguste van Pels died during the trips between concentration camps). Margot and Anne spent a month in Auschwitz II-Birkenau and were subsequently sent to Bergen-Belsen, where they died of typhus in March 1945, shortly before liberation.

The Memorial in honor of Ana and Margot Frank is located in the place where the common grave was located, corresponding to the barracks where their lives became extinct in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

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