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Anne Frank

by Ashley from Kansas


Anne Frank was born June 12, 1929 at Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Her parents were Otto Frank and Edith Frank (Hollander is her maiden name) and her only sister was Margot who is her oldest sister and was three when Anne was born. Anne’s name at birth was Anneliese Marie Frank. Anne is known as the author of The Diary of Anne Frank and has been called the “human face of the Holocaust.”

Anne Frank was a victim of Adolf Hitler’s Jewish Holocaust. Her family hid from the Nazis during World War II. They hid in Anne’s father’s spice company. He was forced to leave his company. Anne and seven other people hid for 25 months. Before they went into hiding Anne turned 13. The first present she opened was her diary. It was actually a small notebook checkered with red and white squares. “I want this diary itself to be my friend,” she wrote, “and I shall call my friend Kitty.” Two days later Anne started writing in her diary, she wrote about her life, her family and friends, she told funny stories, such as the time her teacher made her write a composition called “A Chatterbox” because she talked to much in class, she wrote about being lonely, described her most private feeling, what she called “things that lie buried deep in my heart”, she also wrote about the dramatic political events going on around her during World War II. Anne wanted to become a journalist, she loved to write. "I can shake off everything if I write,” she wrote, “my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn. But will I ever be able to write anything great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer?” Never did Anne know that her diary would be published and the whole world would read it.

Anne did not know that her father had been preparing a hiding place until one day while walking with him he said, “We shall disappear of our own accord and not wait until they come and fetch us don’t worry about it we shall arrange everything. Make the most of your carefree young life while you can.” That Sunday at three o’ clock Anne was reading when her sister Margot came in looking very upset she told Anne that the Nazis had just been at the door and that mummy has gone up to the Van Daans to see if we should move into our hiding place tomorrow. Miep and her husband Jan Gies helped the Van Daans and Franks get their belongings and food to their hiding spot, which was in Otto’s spice business. When they had moved into the hiding spot on July 6, 1942 Anne called the hiding spot the Secret Annex in her diary.

Anne and her family hid because they knew what happened at the concentration camps. They had to be very cautious during the day because Miep and Jan were running the business for Mr. Frank and during the day if they made one wrong move they would have given away their hiding spot because the workers downstairs could hear the squeaks if they made any. It took a while to get used to living with seven people but somehow Anne found out how to cooperate with them. Anne respected her father, mother, Margot, Miep and Jan, and the Van Daans. It was hard for her not to fight with the Van Daans' only son and her sister but she managed that also.

One night Anne and her family had almost been caught because Anne and her sister heard a noise downstairs and so all four men went downstairs to see if they could find what had caused the noise. When they got downstairs they found burglars and so they yelled police to scare them away the people outside heard them yell and shined a flashlight in the room. The four men hiding had feared they had been caught so they went upstairs and Otto said, “Lights out, creep upstairs we expect the police in the house.” The police were the more dangerous than thieves because if the eight Jews hiding were caught then they would be sent to a concentration camp. Later that night they heard people entering the house they trembled with fear then they heard footsteps coming upstairs, they heard the bookcase being rattled. It rattled one last time and then they left. Whoever was rattling the bookcase left a burning candle by the bookcase. All eight Jews thought that someone was out there so they didn’t dare go out there and check. They had to use a tin garbage can to go to the bathroom and Anne thought it smelled horrible!

Anne’s last words in her diary were “a way of becoming what I would like to be, and what I could be if… there weren’t any other people living in the world.” She wrote them on Tuesday, August 1, 1944. Three days after Anne’s last words in her diary on Friday, August 4, 1944 the Nazi police came and arrested Anne and the other seven Jews that were in hiding. Nobody has figured out how the police discovered their hiding place but whoever reported them received the standard Nazi reward of $1.40 per Jew, for a total of $11.20. Miep and Jan were not arrested. After the arrests Miep went upstairs to the Secret Annex and gathered Anne’s diary and other writings in the bottom drawer of her desk. When other people in the office wanted to read them, Miep would not let them. “It is hers and it is her secret. I’ll only return it back into her hands and her hands alone.”

After the concentration camp that Anne, Margot and Edith were sent to Mr. Frank learned that his wife Edith had died. He also learned that Anne, Margot, and Mrs. Van Daan had been transferred to the camp called Bergen-Belsen. Two months after Mr. Franks return to Amsterdam a letter arrived with news that “Anne and Margot weren’t coming back.” The camp Anne and Margot were staying at was dirty and crowded and Margot had gotten sick with typhus first, a terrible disease accompanied by high fevers, and died in late February or early March. Anne alone had gotten the same disease and died a few weeks before World War II ended.

When the news of Anne’s death had arrived Miep gathered the diary and the other papers she had been saving for Anne’s return and carried them into Mr. Frank’s office and said, “Here is your daughter Anne’s legacy to you.” The diary became not only Anne’s legacy to her father but to the world. He selected the parts he thought were most important and typed and copied them for his friends to read. A year later Anne’s diary was published in the Netherlands as Het Achterhuis, Dutch for “The Secret Annex.” Anne’s diary was published in English in 1952 and has been translated into 55 languages and has sold over 20 million copies.

I chose Anne Frank as my hero because she dreamed of becoming a journalist or writer and, even though she didn’t get to live her dream, she became one when she was dead.

Page created on 8/26/2006 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 8/26/2006 12:00:00 AM

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Related Links

Anne Frank - Web site devoted to Anne Frank