Anne Frank: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Anne Frank, the famous young Jewish diarist who was tragically killed during the Holocaust.

  • Anne was born on 12th June 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany.
  • Her father was called Otto and her mother was called Edith. She had an older sister called Margot.

  • Anne’s family were ‘liberal Jews’. They didn’t live in a Jewish-only community and they didn’t strictly follow all of the Jewish customs.
  • Following the elections in Germany of 1933, which were won by the Nazi Party (led by Adolf Hitler), the Franks moved to Amsterdam in order to escape the antisemitic (anti-Jewish) feelings that were being promoted by the Nazis.
  • In Amsterdam, Anne started to develop a love of reading and writing.
  • In May 1940, the Netherlands was invaded by Germany. Laws were made to discriminate against the Jewish population. Anne and her sister had to leave the school they were attending and transfer to a Jewish-only school. Anne’s father, Otto, had to transfer his shares in the companies he owned to  Johannes Kleiman (a non-Jewish Dutch citizen), to avoid having his businesses confiscated.
  • Anne celebrated her 13th birthday on 12th June 1942. One of her presents was a red and white autograph book. Anne decided to use it as a diary and she started to write in it straight away. Many of her early entries are focused on the everyday things that happened in her life, but she does discuss how the German occupation of the Netherlands had a severe impact on her.
  • We know from her diary that Anne wanted to be an actress when she grew up, but she was unable to go to the cinema to see films because Jews were not allowed to enter movie theatres.
  • In July 1942, Margot, Anne’s sister, was ordered to go to a labour camp. Anne’s father, Otto, wasn’t prepared to allow this to happen, so he came up with a plan to hide his family in Amsterdam. On 6th July the Franks went into hiding in some rooms attached to one of Otto’s companies on a street called Prinsengracht. He was relying upon his employees to help the family survive.
  • Anne had to leave her cat, Moortje, behind.
  • Four of Otto’s employees – Victor Kugler, Johannes Kleiman, Miep Gies and Bep Voskuijl – along with Jan Gies and Johannes Hendrik Voskuijl, were the only people who knew that the Franks were hiding in the rooms. They became the Franks ‘helpers’ and were their only link to the outside world. Others were told that the family had fled to Switzerland.
  • On 13th July the Franks were joined in their hiding place by the van Pels family.
  • On 4th August 1944 the Franks hiding place was discovered by German police. nobody knows how the police got the information about the hiding place.
  • The Franks and van Pels were interrogated and then transported to the Westerbork transit camp.
  • Victor Kugler and Johnnes Kleiman (two of the helpers) were arrested. Kleiman was eventually released.
  • Miep Gies was question but was never arrested. She went to the Franks hiding place and gathered up all of Anne’s papers and her diary. She was intending to return them to Anne after the war.
  • On 3rd September 1944 the Franks were part of the last group to be transported from Westerbork to the concentration camp at Auschwitz. When the transport arrived, Otto was separated from the female members of his family. Anne, her mother and her sister were used as slave labour to haul rocks and dig rolls of turf.
  • Anne would have had her head shaved and she would have been tattooed with an identity number.
  • Anne, Margot and Edith all became very ill. They were transferred to the infirmary. Anne and Margot were then moved to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Edith, Anne’s mother, was forced to stay behind and she died of starvation.
  • In March many of the prisoners in Bergen-Belsen contracted typhus. Both Margot and Anne died and they were buried in an unmarked mass grave.
  • Otto Frank survived his imprisonment in Auschwitz. He returned to Amsterdam after the war and tried to discover what had happened to the other members of his family. He soon learned that they had died.

Facts About Anne Frank’s Diary

  • Miep Gies gave Anne’s diary to Otto.
  • Anne’s diary was first published in the Netherlands in 1947 and was published in Germany and Frnace in 1950. It was published in the UK and US in 1952 and it’s title was Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.
  • Anne Frank’s dairy continues to be published today.

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