born in Frankfurt, Germany. She would go on to make an indelible mark on history through her remarkable diary.
Life Under the Shadow of Nazi Persecution
Anne’s diary is a poignant testament to her family’s ordeal, hiding from the oppressive Nazi regime in Germany. As the Nazis, led by Adolf Hitler, rose to power, Anne’s father, Otto Frank (1889–1980), a German businessman, decided to move his wife and two daughters to Amsterdam. In 1941, following the German occupation of the Netherlands, Anne had to switch from a regular school to a Jewish one. Her 13th birthday on June 12, 1942, marked the beginning of her diary.
A Heartfelt Connection with Her Diary
“I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support,” Anne wrote in her diary.
Confronted with her sister Margot’s impending deportation (rumored to a forced labor camp), the Frank family went into hiding on July 6, 1942, in the rear annex and warehouse of Otto Frank’s food products business.
With the assistance of non-Jewish friends, including Miep Gies, who clandestinely delivered food and supplies, the Frank family and four other Jews—Hermann and Auguste van Pels and their son Peter, and Fritz Pfeffer—endured life in secrecy.
During this challenging period, Anne diligently recorded her thoughts in her diary, painting a vivid picture of daily life in hiding. She shared the frustrations of a typical teenager and the fears of discovery.
In her diary, she explored ordinary adolescent concerns and her dreams for the future, including aspirations of becoming a journalist or writer. The final entry in Anne’s diary was dated August 1, 1944. A mere three days later, the Gestapo discovered their concealed sanctuary, acting on a tip from a Dutch informant.
A Heartbreaking Fate in Bergen-Belsen
The Frank family was transported to Westerbork, a transit camp in the Netherlands, and from there to Auschwitz in German-occupied Poland on September 3, 1944, in the last transport from Westerbork to Auschwitz. Anne and Margot were subsequently transferred to Bergen-Belsen the following month. Anne’s mother passed away in early January, just prior to the evacuation of Auschwitz on January 18, 1945. According to Dutch government records, Anne and Margot succumbed to a typhus epidemic in March 1945, only a few weeks before the liberation of Bergen-Belsen.
In 2015, researchers unveiled new findings, including archival data analysis and firsthand testimonies suggesting that Anne and Margot might have perished in February 1945. Meanwhile, Otto Frank was discovered in the care of a hospital in Auschwitz when liberated by Soviet forces on January 27, 1945. Anne’s diary endures as a poignant reminder of the Holocaust’s atrocities and the enduring spirit of a young girl whose words continue to resonate with millions worldwide.