What does the word hero mean to you? To me it means a person that has done something brave and courageous even when they were scared. When you think about the word hero what name pops into your head? The courageous young girl Anne Frank pops right into mine. You may be asking how she was a hero? Well, she lived in an annex along with eight other residents. She wasn’t allowed to look out windows or have any movements during certain hours of the day. When people are hungry they usually dive right into their kitchen and pull out a snack. Imagine only being able to eat one meal a day and a very little portion. Would you be able to survive those two years like Anne Frank and still be able to believe everyone was good at heart? Anne Frank is my hero because she is the most heroic teenager in history.
Anne was born June 12, 1929 in the town of Frankfort am Maine, Germany. In 1993 her family moved from Holland to Amsterdam. There she attended Montessori school.
During the summer of 1993 Hitler became chancellor of Germany. May 10, 1940 the Germans invaded the Netherlands. In the month of June Hitler began making Anti-Jewish laws. One of the laws was Jews had to be home by eight o’clock. Also, the laws told when they could go shopping.
On July 5, 1942 the Franks received the letter that changed their lives. Anne’s older sister Margot got a recruit letter for one of the labor concentration camps. The Franks weren’t planning on starting hiding for another two weeks, but now they had no choice. They hid in an annex in the back of an office of the warehouse Otto Frank had once worked in.
Soon after arriving the Van Pel family moved in with the Franks. In this family there was Herman, Auguste, and their son Peter. The last resident to move in was an elderly dentist named Pfeffer. These eight residents would spend the next two years together.
Since they lived in a still working warehouse the families had a very strict schedule. Any movement could increase their chance of being found. This was their schedule. They woke up at 6:45 each morning and by 8:30 they had to restrict their movement because of the workers below them. At 9:00 they would have a quiet breakfast and then be silent until 12:30 when the workers had a lunch break. The workers would return at 2:00 and the families would return to being silent. The warehouse doors would close at 7:30 and the Franks and other residents were once again allowed to talk and move around. Everyone would be in bed by 9:00.
The two years of hiding out were very harsh. In Anne’s diary she tells about her mom's depression. She also writes about being frustrated at being confined, hungry, bored, and worried about the threat of discovery.
On August 4, 1944 all 8 residents were found and brought to the concentration camp Auschwitz. They were betrayed by a cleaning woman at the office named Lena Hartog-Van Bladeren. Anne was only 15 years old.
When they arrived at Auschwitz almost everyone was separated. Peter was taken away to an army camp and was never heard from again. His two parents were killed together in a gas chamber. Pfeffer died later at Nevengamme camp. Anne, Margot, and her mother were all sent to Bergen-Belson. On January 6, 1945 Anne’s mother Edith Frank died of typhus. Around that same time, on January 27, 1945, Otto Frank was liberated. But in the sad month of March Margot died of typhus. Soon after at the age of 15, only a few weeks before liberation, Anne also passed away from typhus.
When some friends of the Franks went through the annex where the families had been hiding they found scattered papers of Anne’s dairy. Knowing how important it was to Anne they decided to keep it. When Otto received the horrible news that he was the only survivor, he published Anne’s diary for all to read.
Now Anne’s diary has been translated into numerous languages. There have been books, plays, and movies to remember her. So far her book has sold over 25 million copies.
An excerpt near the end of Anne’s dairy was: “It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all 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. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I feel the suffering of millions, and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it all come right, that this is cruelty, too, will end, and that peace and tranquility will reign again.” That is why she is my hero. She went through all those horrible things and still believed everyone was good at heart.
Page created on 8/22/2005 12:00:00 AM
Last edited 8/22/2005 12:00:00 AM