Anne Frank

by Stephanie from Hastings

"Jews are evil and a threat to us, the superior race. Their lives are worthless and they should be destroyed." Adolf Hitler's harsh words of hatred rang through the Germany. Most who listened were horrified at his rantings, but others encouraged it. Soon, Hitler and his followers gained control of Germany, and life for all Jews, including Anne Frank and her family, turned into a nightmare.

The beginning of Anne's life was very normal. She was born on June 12, 1929 in Frankfort, Germany, where she and her older sister, Margot, grew up under the sheltering arms of their parents, Otto and Edith. In 1933, when Hitler began to gather power, the Frank family moved to the Netherlands. They stayed there with Anne's grandmother. When Anne became old enough to attend school, her parents sent her to the Montessori school nearby. Anne's life was carefree and happy. On her 13th birthday she received a diary which she wrote in a lot. As she got older, Anne made many friends and took frequent visits to the beach. She would never have thought that her life would end while she was still a young person.

Hitler was slowly moving in to capture the Netherlands and life was no longer safe for Jewish people. There were soldiers occupying the streets and laws were made just for the Jews. Jewish children were separated from their friends and put into segregated schools. All Jews, young and old, were forced to wear the Star of David on their clothes and could never go without it. At first, the Frank family could handle the strict rules and discrimination. But when Margot received a notice ordering her to go to a concentration camp, they knew they had to do something. They had to go into hiding.

In 1942 the Frank family moved into the Secret Annex, with only a few of their belongings. The Annex was a house behind another house that was not visible from the road. The Annex was bare and empty when Anne got there, but soon Margot and Anne filled the room with their pictures and memories. A couple weeks after the Franks moved in, the Van Pels family (Mr. and Mrs. Van Pels and their 15-year-old son, Peter) joined them. Now there were seven people in hiding.

During this hard time they could never go outside. From 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM, which were office hours, the families had to be completely quiet for fear of being heard and discovered. Just as we hope for new clothes and money, Anne simply wished to go outside and be the normal girl she was inside, which she describes in her diary.

"The sun is shining, the sky is a deep blue and there is a lovely breeze and I'm longing - so longing - for everything. To talk, for freedom, for a friend, to be alone. And I do so cry!" (Feburary 12, 1944)

Anne and the others llived in hiding for two whole years, with the threat of being found always on their mind.

On the morning of August 4, 1944, the German police charged into the room, guns raised high. They spilled Anne's things onto the floor, including the diary. It laid there full of her memories. Anne did not flinch or cry, but remained silent as she had so many times before. The prisoners were taken to separate camps, where all but Otto met their death. What really was sad is that both Anne and Margot died just weeks before they would have been freed.

A girl, 15, dead just because of her beliefs. Thousands, millions murdered because they were Jews. Why someone would think difference is wrong, I don't know.

When Otto returned to the Annex, he found Anne's diary. As he read it, he was amazed at the detail and feelings in his daughter's diary. He hadn't known that Anne was such a talented writer. Soon after, Otto got the diary published, and it is now translated in over 50 languages. Anne's dream of becoming a writer finally came true.

Anne Frank is recognized as a hero, but she is not the only one. Anne was not the only one to die during the Holocaust, not the only one to keep a diary. She was not the only one to be robbed of home and life. Every single person, Jew or not, who was persecuted by Hitler's army is a HERO. Every person who fought for the Jews is a HERO. And every person who stood up for their rights is a HERO. So that makes Anne Frank a HERO. Anne Frank gave the world the feelings and dreams of a young Jewish girl through the words in her diary. Though her rights and life were taken away because she was a Jew, her words live on and give new hope to all who read them.

Page created on 7/3/2006 8:22:36 AM

Last edited 7/3/2006 8:22:36 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Anne Frank Center, USA - Based on the power of Anne Frank's diary, the Anne Frank Center USA aims to inspire the next generation to build a world based on compassion, mutual respect, and social justice.
Read how a teacher uses Anne's diary - to inspire the kids in her class.
Jessica - also wrote about Anne Frank, as did Jillian from Suffern.

Extra Info

There are many books about Anne Frank including Anne Frank: Beyond the Diary, which you can find at your local library. The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne's diary, is wonderful. I highly recommend it. Thanks for reading this!

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