Annelies Marie Frank was born June 12, 1929 in the city of Frankfurt am Main in Weimar, Germany. At the age of just fifteen, Anne died early March of 1945 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp of Lower Saxony, Nazi Germany. She is one of the most popular victims of the Holocaust, having written a diary during her time in hiding, which was later found and sent for publishing in 1947 by her father Otto Frank. Her diary is a story of a young girl trying to survive and managed to find happiness through her writing during such horrible times.
Anne Frank’s first diary entry was June 12, 1942 where she wrote, “I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support. ” That is exactly what her diary became, as she later commented on that particular entry on September 28, 1942, “So far you truly have been a great source of comfort to me, and so has Kitty, whom I now write regularly. ” Anne felt as though she never had a best friend she was close enough to that she could confide in, so that is what her diary became.
She regularly referred to her diary as ‘Kitty’ because, “Anne and [her friend] Jacque loved acting out scenes from books about a girl named Joop who had a best friend named Kitty,” as stated by Lois Metzger, who wrote a short biography on Anne. She then began addressing her diary entries as letters to her ‘Dearest Kitty’ and ended them in the same fashion with, ‘Your devoted friend, Anne M. Frank’ or ‘Yours, Anne’. In the very first entries of her diary Anne wrote about classmates, friends, those she disliked and her beloved family, her sister named Margot who was three years older than Anne, her mother Edith and her father Otto.
Anne had a seemingly pleasant life as a thirteen year old girl where she did okay in school, was well taken care of and only had to worry about her mother finding out who she had a crush on. That is, until July 5, 1942 when her family had to go into hiding. Anne’s diary entry on Sunday, July 5, 1942 ended when she heard the doorbell ring and planned to go answer the door. Her next entries dated July 8 and July 9 of 1942 are where she explained to ‘Kitty’ how her life had changed dramatically in a matter of days and how her family and a few others had moved into a small Annex hidden above her father’s office.
A comment Anne added to these entries on September 28, 1942 stated, “Not being able to go outside upsets me more than I can say, and I’m terrified our hiding place will be discovered and that we’ll be shot. That, of course, is a fairly dismal prospect. ” While she and her family lived in such close quarters, Anne began to realize how different she was from her mother and sister, writing July 12, 1942: I don’t fit in with them, and I’ve felt that clearly in the last few weeks. They’re so sentimental together, but I’d rather be sentimental on my own.
They’re always saying how nice it is with the four of us, and that we get along so well, without giving a moment’s thought to the fact that I don’t feel that way. Daddy’s the only one who understands me, now and again, though he usually sides with Mother and Margot. Through the following months Anne continued to get angry and annoyed with her mother and sister. Her father picked up on this and during one of their nightly bedtime talks he gave her a letter which said, “The main thing is to think a little and try to find the right road back.
You are not headstrong and that is why your smile soon returns, if only after a few tears. May this joyful laughter, with which you are making your own and other people’s lives more beautiful, remain with you. ” Anne tried her hardest to make nice with her family, but continued to unintentionally hurt them until January 2, 1944 when she went back and re-read past entries when she described her attitude toward her family.
In her new entry on January 2 she wrote, “I was suffering then (and still do) from moods that kept my head underwater (figuratively speaking) and allowed me to see things only from my own perspective,” as well as, “I hid inside myself, thought of no one but myself and calmly wrote down all my joy, sarcasm and sorrow in my diary. ” She realized that it was mainly due to being locked in a cramped space with seven others and she couldn’t escape from them to calm down or pull herself together if someone did something she didn’t like. Anne found that through
her writing she was able to find a small piece of freedom she used to have and admitted to ‘Kitty’ that it could, “raise her somewhat from ‘the depths of despair. ’” The Frank family, along with the van Pels family and Dr. Pfeffer were cooped up in the annex for around two years and one month, during that time Anne was mostly depressed having to stay hidden while missing her old life and friends, along with the fact that being a teenage girl she usually felt moody and misunderstood. A big factor that led to her always sour mood turning sweet was Peter van Pels; he was the son of Auguste and Hermann van Pels who worked with Otto Frank.
When they first started living in the annex Anne thought Peter was lazy and whined too much, but after some time had passed she realized he was beginning to pay more attention to her. Anne and Peter always had to venture into the attic to fetch supplies and found it was the one quiet place they could talk alone. They became more comfortable around each other and found it easy to confide in one another. They discussed whatever came to mind, like fights between the annex residents, how much they had changed since going into hiding in 1942 and even Anne’s diary. The two grew very close and eventually developed a much more romantic relationship.
Anne’s father was not happy about how much time they spent together upstairs once she told him they had become close. She responded with a letter explaining how she was finally happy. Part of the letter read, “Don’t think of me as a fourteen-year-old, since all these troubles have made me older; I won’t regret my actions, I’ll behave the way I think I should! ” Outside the safety of the annex vandalism, theft and scarce food were common. The building of Otto Frank’s office that held their hiding place became victim to burglary and kept the residents alert in fear of getting caught.
In one incident the burglars ended up getting away with two cashboxes and enough sugar to last them a year. Noises were continually heard throughout the building for several months and Anne often thought the Gestapo (the secret-police organization of Nazi Germany) had found them. After they had found help to secure where the thieves had been getting in, Anne wrote in her diary, “We’ve been strongly reminded of the fact that we’re Jews in chains, chained to one spot, without any rights. ” She had been certain she was going to die soon.
On June 6, 1944 American, British and Canadian troops entered from the shores of Normandy, France, also known as D Day. The residents of the annex listened to the broadcast by BBC radio, stirring excitement in Anne. That day she wrote, “Is this really the beginning of the long-awaited liberation? The liberation we’ve all talked so much about, which still seems too good, too much of a fairy tale ever to come true? We don’t know yet. But where there’s hope, there’s life. ” Her new hope was short lived though, because on August 1, 1944 Anne wrote her last diary entry.
It was a rather sad entry where she felt tired of hiding and mad at herself for never letting her nicer side make an appearance in front of her family and the other residents. She wrote, “You see, that’s what’s become of you. You’re surrounded by negative opinions, dismayed looks and mocking faces, people who dislike you, and all because you don’t listen to the advice of your other half. ” Anne had become fed up with the way she treated those around her, but could only come to this realization when she was alone and feeling guilty for the things she had said and done.
The morning of August 4, 1944 many Dutch Nazi policemen, the Gestapo, entered the building that held the annex at the address 263 Prinsengracht. They came in through the front office where helpers of the Frank and van Pels families were and ordered to sit quietly. Mr. Kugler who worked in one of the offices heard noises and came to see what was going on. Sawyer states in a biography written about Anne, “Gestapo officer, Karl Silberbauer, informed Mr. Kugler that he was looking for secret weapons and demanded to see each room. ” Mr. Kugler tried to seem compliant with his requests as he helped search for these secret weapons.
The officer asked to search the third floor and Mr. Kugler was unsure as to whether they knew about the hiding place. The officers began shaking the large shelf against one of the walls and tearing books off of it and the shelf became unhinged revealing the annex. Miep Gies, Otto Frank’s former secretary, recalls that day when she was asked how the Gestapo could have discovered it: “Someone must have betrayed them to the Nazis. We never found out. Don’t forget that many people lived in that neighborhood and possibly noticed something by day or heard something at night.
It could have been one of the burglars that came to that place. It could have also been one of the people working in the building. We will never know. ” The valuable belongings of the residents were picked over, Mr. Kugler was arrested along with one of the helpers who didn’t get away, and the residents were ordered into a police truck. Anne and the other residents of the annex were questioned about whereabouts of other Jews while they were held in a prison and then were sent by train to a transit camp in Westerbork.
They would be forced to work at this camp, but there were no killing centers and conditions were not as harsh as those in Germany and Poland. Otto Frank remembered that even though they were being sent to a labor camp, Anne very much enjoyed the trip there after being held in the annex for two years, “Meadows, stubble fields and villages flew by… It was like freedom for her. ” At the camp everything they brought with them was taken and exchanged for blue overalls, a red bib and wooden clogs. Anne’s mother made a point to protect her daughters as they were housed in a barrack with 300 other women, but rarely ever spoke.
Anne, her mother and her sister were put to work cutting open used batteries and separating out the metal, tar and carbon bars. On September 2, 1944, the Frank family was selected to be transported to Auschwitz, which was the largest killing center of all concentration camps. A man who had met the Franks on the way to Auschwitz said later, “There was nothing that looked alive, no flower, nothing, absolutely nothing. An electrically charged barbed wire fence surrounded the camp. No escape was possible. ” Otto Frank was separated from Edith, Margot and Anne immediately upon arrival.
Any trace of their previous identity was erased as all the inmates had their heads shaved and numbers tattooed on their left forearms. The men were given striped jackets and pants while the women were given gray dresses that looked like sacks. They were fed very little and only had dirty water to drink. Anne was assigned to dig up squares of grass and place them in piles. Her mother and sister were also given this job and they never left each other’s sides. Anne was usually sad because she worked next to the crematorium and one day started crying when she watched a group of girls get marched into the gas chambers.
“She often wondered why other inmates kept vacant expressions,” Rosa de Winter, a friend of Edith Frank who survived Auschwitz, has explained, “You cannot imagine how soon most of us came to the end of our tears. ” Anne eventually developed scabies but was still chosen to get sent to a concentration camp, Bergen-Belsen, in Germany along with Margot. The Germans were trying to empty the camp before the Allies took control of it. Edith was not as lucky and put with the old and sick who were to be put in the gas chambers.
Edith and Rosa de Winter managed to escape the guards as they marched them to the chambers that night, but became ill after that and died January 6, 1945. At Bergen-Belsen, Margot developed typhus and later Anne caught it, too. Margot died in early March and Anne followed three days later. Otto Frank survived the camps and was given Anne’s diary by his former secretary who collected their things from the annex, which he published. He died from lung cancer on August 19, 1980 at the age of 91. WORKS CITED Adler, David A. We Remember the Holocaust. New York: Scholastic Inc.
, 1989. Frank, Anne. The Diary of a Young Girl. Edited by Otto H. Frank and Mirjam Pressler. Basel, Switzerland: The Anne Frank-Fonds, 1991. Metzger, Lois. Yours, Anne: The Life of Anne Frank. New York: Scholastic Inc. , 2004. Sawyer, Kem Knapp. Anne Frank: A Photographic Story of a Life. New York: DK Publishing, 2004. Various Students. “An Interview with Miep Gies,” Scholastic Inc. , 2012, http://teacher. scholastic. com/frank/tscripts/miep. htm (May 1997). ——————————————– [ 1 ]. Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl, edit. Otto H.
Frank and Mirjam Pressler (Basel, Switzerland: The Anne Frank-Fonds, 1991), 1 [ 2 ]. Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl, 1. [ 3 ]. Lois Metzger, Yours, Anne: The Life of Anne Frank, (New York: Scholastic Inc. , 2004), 30. [ 4 ]. Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl, 28. [ 5 ]. Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl, 29. [ 6 ]. Kem Knapp Sawyer, Anne Frank: A Photographic Story of a Life, (New York: DK Publishing, 2004), 58. [ 7 ]. Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl, 158. [ 8 ]. Sawyer, Anne Frank: A Photographic Story of a Life, 61. [ 9 ]. Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl, 284. [ 10 ].
Sawyer, Anne Frank: A Photographic Story of a Life, 74. [ 11 ]. Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl, 312. [ 12 ]. Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl, 337. [ 13 ]. Sawyer, Anne Frank: A photographic story of a life, 80. [ 14 ]. Various Students, “An Interview with Miep Gies,” Scholastic Inc. , 2012, http://teacher. scholastic. com/frank/tscripts/miep. htm (May 1997). [ 15 ]. Sawyer, Anne Frank: A Photographic Story of a Life, 85. [ 16 ]. David A. Adler, We Remember the Holocaust, (New York: Scholastic Inc. , 1989), 59. [ 17 ]. Sawyer, Anne Frank: A Photographic Story of a Life, 92.