Born on 12th June 1929, in Frankfurt located in Germany, Anne Frank is one of most acknowledged and renowned Jewish victims known for her extraordinary writing skills and during her life she has become one of the world’s favourite person among readers and her personality has been portrayed in a number of films and plays. She has acquired international fame posthumously after the publication of her diary written by her that documents her life experiences during her stay in Germany and her struggle being employed in German occupation in the state of Netherlands in the World War II era.
- Nick name: Anneke, Mrs. Quack Quack
- Date of birth: 12th June 1929
- Place of birth: Frankfurt, Germany
- Origin: Germany
- Profession: Author
- Known for: Her book The Diary of Anne Frank
- Website: http://www.annefrank.org/
Childhood and growing up years:
Ann Frank was born in the year of 1929 on June 12th in Frankfurt which is located in Germany. Anne was the second daughter born to the blessed couple of Edith Frank-Hollander and Otto Frank. She had another sister who was elder to her and was named Margot Frank. The family was liberal Jews and they did not strictly follow the traditions and customs of the section of Judaism. The community they were living in comprised of non-Jewish citizens of several religions. Her mother was a devout parent while her father was more interested in scholarly pursuits and he also had a large library. Anne’s parents always encouraged their children to read books. Anne Frank is one of the popularly discussed victims of the Holocaust. Although, she was born in the city of Frankfurt in Germany she spent most of her life in Amsterdam which is located in Netherlands but, by nationality she was considered a German until the year of 1941 as she lost her nationality due to anti-Semitic policies of the Nazi’s in Germany. In the year 1933, the family moved to Germany which was the same year when the Nazis had gained control over the country of Germany and by the beginning of 1940 the family was seen trapped in the state of Amsterdam by the Nazi group. As the litigation against the Jewish people grew by the year of 1942 in July, Anne Frank and her family went into hiding and were found rescuing in the office rooms of Anne Frank’s father’s office building. Two year later, the Jewish community was betrayed and relocated to concentration camps in which Anne Frank and her sister were transferred to the concentration camps that were situated in Bergen-Belsen. It was in these concentration camps that both of them out of typhus in the year of 1945 in March. Her father was the only survivor in the family and so he returned to Amsterdam when the war ended in search of Anne’s diary which was published in the year 1947 due to her father’s efforts. The book was originally written in Dutch but made its first publication in English in the year of 1952 which was titled as The Diary of a Young Girl. Since then the book has been translated into various languages. The diary which was gifted to Anne on her 13th birthday comprises of the chronicles of her life from the year of 1942 June 12th till 1944 August 1st.
In the year of 1933 on 13th March when elections were held in the municipal council in the city of Frankfurt, Adolf Hitler won the elections and it was during this time that Anne Frank started to fear about what would happen to their lives if they still remained in Germany. With this fear, mother and the children shifted to Aachen where they shared their life with Edith’s mother named Rosa Hollander. While the wife and children were living away from home, Otto Frank stayed in Frankfurt and later in the days he received an offer to start a company in Amsterdam. In order to organize the business he left to Amsterdam and arranged accommodations for his family to relocate to this place. By the year of 1934 February, the family arrived at Amsterdam and the two daughters were enrolled in a school. During her school education, Anne Frank demonstrated aptitude towards writing and reading. She also had the love for writing although she refused from discussing the content of her writing. The two sisters were quite different from each other while the elder daughter Margot was studious, well-mannered and reserved and on the other hand Anne Frank was an extrovert, energetic and also outspoken. In the year of 1938, Otto Frank started his second company which was named as Pectacon and it was a wholesale store for herbs, mixed spices and also pickling salts which could be used in the production of sausages. The following year, Edith’s mother shifted to live with the Frank family and she remained here till her death which was in the year 1942 in January. In 1940 in the month of May, Germany invaded Netherlands. The same time the Frank sisters were excelling in their studies and also made a number of friends when she attended the Jewish Lyceum. In this school she made a friend Jacqueline Van Maarsen.
Claim to fame:
In the year of 1942 on 12th June when Anne Frank turned thirteen she received a book from her father. It was the book that she had shown him a few days earlier and she had been gifted with the same gift on her birthday. It was an autograph book that was bounded with red and white checkered cloth and it also consisted of a small lock in front of the book. So, Anne Frank chose to use this has her personal diary and began writing in the diary immediately when she received it. Majority of her entries in the book relates to the routine activities of her life while she also describes about some of the major changes that had taken place in her life while relocating from the German occupation to Netherlands. In her diary, dated 20th June 1942 she lists out the many restrictions that had been imposed on their lives for being a part of the Dutch Jewish population. Along with this she also notes down the grief that she underwent after facing her grandmother’s death in the earlier days of the year.
Anne Frank initially dreamt of becoming an actress and also had a great interest for watching movies although the Dutch Jews were restricted from going to theatres since the year of 1941. In the year of 1942, just one month before Anne’s 13th birthday she along with her family went into hiding. It was during these days that her parents showed her the movie Rin Tin Tin in their house in apartments along with some of her friends. In the same year in the month of July Anne’s sister received a notice call to relocate her living to a working camp. During this time her father asked them to go into hiding behind the rooms of Opekta’s premises which is situated in Princengracht a street which is located alongside Amsterdam’s canals. However, it was this notice call that had forced them to shift their living place however it was earlier than they had predicted. In 1942 on 6th July, the family went into a hiding place which was a secret annex. The apartment from where they left was in a shabby condition so as to get the impression that the people had left the place suddenly. Also, Anne’s father also left a note which hinted that they were going to Switzerland. While the family was leaving to a new place, in order to maintain secrecy they were forced to leave behind their cat, Moortje. During this time, the Jews were not suppose to use public transport and for this purpose they had to walk kilometers to reach their destination with each of the family member wearing layers of clothing so that nobody saw them carrying luggage. In the year of 1942 on 13th July, the Frank family was joined by the van Pels family and later with another friend who was close to the family and a dentist by occupation. At this time, Anne Frank used to write but however she wrote for pleasure and her happiness but as time passed tensions started to develop while they were forced to live in the group that was confined to restrictions. She shared her room with Pfeffer whom she found to be a person who is resented to tensions and is insufferable and when she shared space with Auguste van Pels she figured that he was foolish and thought he was selfish as he ate a lot of food. Later, she also met Peter van Pels with whom she lost her awkwardness and shyness. When she realized the spark between them both of them and so they got into a relation and Anne Frank received her first kiss from Peter. But however, the romance between them started to fade when Anne started to question Peter about his feelings. In Anne Frank’s diary, she explained in detail the relationship that she shared with all her family members while also describing the differences in everyone’s personalities. Anne Frank was emotionally close with her father Otto Frank and the reason for their emotionally strong relation might be as Margot rarely express her feelings and also that she did not require the support as she did not suffer from mood swings like her other sister. However, the relation between the Frank sisters grew when the family went into hiding but Anne would always be jealous of her sister as the relatives praised Margot for being a gentle and humble person. This jealously faded away as Anne Frank began to mature in her life and the sisters began to confide in each other.
The diary also comprises material that describes her struggle to carry a relation with her mother despite the hatred towards her. But later in life she realized that differences between her mother and her came because of their misunderstandings which are equally the faults of both. But later on Anne realized that she was just adding to her mother’s already existing sufferings and since the realization Anne Frank treated her mother with respect, patience and tolerance. The Frank sisters were eagerly waiting to get back to school and continue with their studies during their hiding period. For this purpose, Anne’s sister Margot took up a short-hand course through correspondence near Bep Voskuiji’s where she faired in exams by receiving high grades. On the other hand, Anne spent most of her time studying and reading while she also wrote and edited her own articles. Her diary not only comprises of the narration of events that had occurred but also her feeling, ambitions and beliefs. As she grew older she wrote mostly about abstract subjects where she defined human nature and also described her belief for God. Dated 5th April 1944 she wrote that she aspires to become a journalist in her diary.
In the year of 1944, in the morning of 4th August, The Achterhuis – the place where the family was hiding was raided by the German Security Police that was followed by a tip-off from an informer who was never identified. This storm that included a minimum of three members from the Security Police had the Frank, Pfeffer and also van Pelses taken to the headquarters which is located in Gestapo. In this headquarters the three were interrogated and were held in custody overnight and on 5th August they were shifted to the Huis van Bewaring which was the House of Detention. This house was overcrowded with prisoners so two days later they were once again shifted to Westerbork. Having that these people was arrested during their hiding they were considered criminals, so for this purpose they sent to the Punishment Barracks where they had to do hard labor. Fortunately, Otto Frank had survived all his time of internment, once the war had come to an end Otto Frank returned to Amsterdam where he took shelter with the Miep and Jan Gies. It was during his stay with this family that he came to know about his wife Edith’s death in Auschwitz but he just hoped for the survival of his daughters. But after several weeks he discovered that his daughters too had died.
The book written by Anne Frank and titled “The Diary of a Young Girl” was published in the year of 1945 in the month of June when the Red Cross association confirmed that death of the Frank sisters and so Miep Gies handed to Otto Frank the diary of Anne Frank along with some other loose notes which was wanted to return to Anne. The publication of Anne’s diary had first started as a private expression comprising of her thoughts. Also, in her diary she wrote a handful of times that she would not allow anyone to read her personal diary. Anne Frank in her diary perfectly describes her life, her feelings and also the complications that she faced with her family members. She also wrote about recognizing her ambition to publish a fiction book while writing for her diary. In the year of 1944 in the month of March, Anne Frank heard a radio broadcast by the famous Gerrit Bolkestein who was the member of the Dutch government and he said that he would start a public forum where people could submit their letters and diaries. This was started in order to create a public record for Dutch population who were being oppressed by the German government at that time. So when Anne Frank heard him she began editing her works by removing unwanted sections and also rewriting parts of her works in the view of getting her works published. Basically, her original notebook consisted of additional note-leafs and also notebooks were she created pseudonyms for all the members of the household and also the helpers. So, Otto Frank named the original book as “Version A” and the edited book as “Version B” in order to produce the first version for publication. The edited version has certain passages removed where she is critical about her parents and sections were Anne Frank discusses about her growing sexuality. The pseudonyms were retained were as the true identities of the family members were restored. Anne’s father gave the diary to a historian known as Annie Romein-Verschoor who tried to have it published but failed to do so. Then later, she gave the diary to her husband Jan Romein who then wrote about the book and also gave it a title as “Kinderstem” (A Child’s Voice). He then got it published in the newspaper Het Parool in the year 1946 on 3rd April.
Anne Frank’s diary is largely praised for its literary merits and Anne’s writing is commented by the famous dramatist Meyer Levin as being “a sustaining tension of well-constructed novel”. She was also largely praised for her quality of work. Meyer was obsessed with the dramatization of Anne Frank and for this purpose he wrote an autobiography of Anne Frank which is known as “The Obsession”. The autobiography is a unique depiction of life and it perfectly describes the stage of conversion from being a child into a person while all this happens precisely and in an economically styling manner. Anne Frank was made a mark for being both a humanist and also a writer has she grew up in her life. She has been the topic of discussion as she stood as a symbol of the Holocaust victims and also a representative of the persecution. In the year of 1999, the Time Magazine published a special edition which was titled “Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century” and Anne Frank made it to this list of Heroes and Icons. Today she stands as a person who is a victim of Holocaust and has risen above for her Judaism and also the goodness in her nature that had made her the totemic figure in the modern world.
When her diary became extremely popular in the late years of 1950’s, a number of allegations were raised against the diary that was published. The first criticisms had occurred the Norway and Sweden. Later in the year of 1957 on 3rd March, Otto Frank along with a group of other citizens constructed the Anne Frank Stichting to mark the effort and also rescue the Princengracht building which was going to demolished and to make to reachable to the public. With great efforts, the Anne Frank House was inaugurated in the year of 1960 on 3rd May. This house comprises of Opekta warehouse and also the offices of Achterhuis. All this was unfurnished so that visitors can walk through the rooms freely. Two years later, Otto Frank along with his second wife, Elfriede Geiringer-Markovits established the Anne Frank Fonds which was a charitable foundation situated in Basel in Switzerland. This organization raises money and donates to the causes that it thinks requires help. Following the death of Otto Frank, the copyrights of Anne Frank diary was passed on to Fonds as specified by Otto in his will. Over the years followed by Anne’s death a number of films focus on the life of Anne Frank. Her writings and life had inspired various groups of artists and a number of social commentators also at times take her references in the fields of literature, television, music and various other forms of media. In 1999 the Time magazine named Anne Frank was being a top icon in the 20th century. And also in the year of 2007 a group of Dutch historians named Anne Frank as being the official Canon of Dutch History.
“How true Daddy’s words were when he said: all children must look after their own upbringing. Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.”
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.”
“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
“If I read a book that impresses me, I have to take myself firmly by the hand, before I mix with other people; otherwise they would think my mind rather queer.”
“And finally I twist my heart round again, so that the bad is on the outside and the good is on the inside, and keep on trying to find a way of becoming what I would so like to be, and could be, if there weren’t any other people living in the world.”