Anne Frank was one of over one million Jewish children who died in the Holocaust. Today, her diary is one of the most read books in the world.
Anne Frank is a name everyone is familiar with. While her story may be a part of history, her words are evergreen.
On her 13th birthday, 12 June 1942, Anne Frank was gifted a red checked diary by her parents which would change the world forever.
She wrote: “When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that’s a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer?”
Anne Frank was born in 1929 to Otto Frank and Edith Frank-Holländer in Frankfurt, Germany. Along with Anne’s older sister, Margot, they lived in Frankfurt until Anne was four years old.
In 1933, when Adolf Hitler came into power, the Franks fled to Amsterdam, Netherlands. However, in 1940 Germany invaded Netherlands which then came under the control of the Nazi regime as well.
On 20 June 1942, Anne wrote: “Our freedom was severely restricted by a series of anti-Jewish decrees: Jews were required to wear a yellow star; Jews were required to turn-in their bicycles; Jews were forbidden to ride trams or in cars, even their own. Jews were forbidden to go to theatres, cinemas or any other forms of entertainment; Jews were forbidden to use swimming pools, tennis courts, hockey fields or any other athletic fields. You couldn’t do this and you couldn’t do that, but life went on…”
This was the same year that the Franks went into hiding inside a secret annex in their apartment to escape from Nazi persecution. They stayed their for two years until 4 August 1944, when it was stormed by the German Security Police following a tip-off from an informer who was never identified.
They were taken by the Dutch police from their hiding place and were sent to concentration camps in Eastern Europe with thousands of other Jews, black people, homosexuals, gypsies and other minorities. Eventually, they were moved to Auschwitz – the largest of the German concentration camps.
Millions of people died in the camps – including Anne and Margot, and their mother, Edith. Her father, Otto Frank, was the only member of her family to survive.
The diary was discovered by Otto when he returned to Amsterdam.
Today Anne’s diary serves as an important historical document of the period. It represents the stories of millions of Jews that were persecuted and killed under Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime.