by Maggie from San Francisco
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." -Anne Frank
Annelies Marie Frank was born on June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt, Main Germany. She was born to Otto and Edith Frank. She also had an older sister named Margot. Otto Frank worked as a banker and her mother stayed at home. Anne and Margot were carefree children that had a wonderful family and friends in the neighborhood. The Frank family led a blissful life during this period. Through this blissful period Adolph Hitler and the Nazi party was rising to power. Hitler, an anti-Jew, made them the scapegoat of all Germany’s social and economic problems. This began what would be later known as the Holocaust. The anti-Jew belief was starting to grow and cause problems in Germany.
In 1933 Nazi party came to power under the rule of Adolph Hitler. Germany went from a democracy and a dictatorship within a matter of months. The Jews are starting to feel the wrath of Hitler. There is discrimination, loss in businesses and shunning. Because of these actions the Franks no longer feel safe so they moved to the Netherlands. Anne and Margo stay with their grandmother in Germany while their parents look for a home in Amsterdam. Once the Franks find a home they settle in Amsterdam where their father is running a business. This is one of the only times in their lives when the Franks feel secure and safe in their home. But on May 10, 1940 the German Army invaded the Netherlands. Within five days Amsterdam had gone from a safe oasis to an exclusive occupation. Jews had to give up jobs, send their children to Jewish schools, wear yellow stars, and follow numerous other restrictions. Rumors spread like wildfire that the Jews would soon be taken away. It is around the time when the Germans invaded that Anne received her famous diary.
|The Secret Annex where the Frank family was in hi (www.annefrank.org)|
In 1942, Margot was called to report to the major port in Amsterdam. She was ordered to return to Germany to work at a labor camp. The entire Frank family will be prosecuted if Margot doesn’t attend. Jewish families have been expecting these call-ups since rumors surfaced. The Frank family was prepared. The Franks and the Van Pels, Otto’s coworker and his family, went into hiding the day after Margot’s call-up. Naturally the Franks bring the necessary items, including Anne’s diary. The hiding place was an empty building owned by Otto Frank’s Company. The secret annex was concealed with a bookcase. Four of Otto’s employees would bring fresh food, clothing, books, and other necessities. Adding to the help of the food, the aids kept them up to date on all of the negative things the Nazis would do to Jews that didn’t turn up. Considering the average size of an annex, the Franks and the Van Pels had a spacious area. In November of 1942 Fritz Pfeffer joined the hide away group. The families become anxious with the constant fear of being discovered and begin to quarrel. With the roundups of Jews increasing, the people in the annex are feeling unrest. Then the news comes that families are separated and people are put in gas chambers to die. With the hope that a new year (1944, two years into hiding)) will bring peace, allies land on the Beaches of Normandy and Jews wish for liberation. August 4, 1944 began like any other day but in the late afternoon they hear a commotion and go downstairs to find an SS-officer, 3 policemen, and Victor Kugler, one of their father’s employees, was being held at gun point. They were betrayed.
|Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland (www.flickr.com)|
On August 18, 1944, the Frank family is assigned to work in a labor camp called Westerbork. The days passed and they witnessed freight trains leave with numerous prisoners. Then on September 2, 1944 the entire Frank family were being deported to another camp. Anne feared that they would be taken to one of the infamous camps in Poland. After a three-day train trip, the prisoners arrived at the worst place to be if you were a Jew: Auschwitz-Birkenau. There, they were divided two groups: men and women that could work and men and women that were not fit enough to work would be murdered in a gas chamber. The excruciating labor was almost unbearable. Soon after their arrival one of the people they were in hiding with, Hermann van Pels, was killed in a gas chamber because he was unfit to work. During October of 1944, Anne and Margot were transported from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen. After they leave the camp their mother dies of exhaustion. In March of 1945, both Anne and Margot fall ill due to typhus fever. They die within days of succumbing the illness. The death of Anne and Margot was premature and tragic because Bergen-Belsen was liberated a few weeks after their deaths.
| (I hand drew this picture.)|
Otto Frank is liberated from Auschwitz because the Nazis evacuated the camp. He returns to Amsterdam hopeful to be united with his family once again. He soon finds out his beloved wife and daughters’ ill fate. One of the helper’s, Miep Gies, gave Otto the remnants of Anne’s diary she has kept since the day of the raid. Otto read about how one day Anne was going to publish a book. After taking this into consideration Otto goes to a publishing firm and her diary was published. In the later years it was made into a film production and stage adaptations. On May 30, 1960, the secret annex, that was once a refuge, became the Anne Frank House, a museum commemorating their time in hiding.
Page created on 5/29/2009 12:00:00 AM
Last edited 5/29/2009 12:00:00 AM
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