On June 12, in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1929, Anne Frank was born. In 1934, when she was 5, she moved in with her grandmother along with her sister, Margot, her Mother, Edith, and her father, Otto. On April 9, 1934, Anne Frank went to kindergarten at the Sixth Montessori School. She went to elementary school there until 1941. It was a good time for her. She loved her new home and had many friends there.
On January 10, 1933, Adolf Hitler was elected Chancellor, the leader of Germany. “On March 23, 1933, the German parliament voted in favor of the ‘Enabling Act’ by a large majority. The Act allowed Hitler to enact new laws without interference from the president of the Reichstag (German parliament) for a period of four years.” says the Anne Frank House. On September 15, 1935, the Nazis started the Nuremberg Race Laws. They stated Jews were no longer citizens.
Hitler started occupying countries in 1936. In 1938 American president Roosevelt organized an international conference with 32 countries. Most of them said they understood how the Jewish refugees felt but that they could not take any more into their country. The only country that said they would take more was the Dominican Republic.
On the morning of September 1, 1939, Hitler made a speech. He said that Polland attacked Germany. But, his tale about the Polish invasion was a lie. German officers, dressed as Polish officers, had attacked a radio studio on the border Gleiwitz and spread false news. It gave Hitler an excuse to attack Poland. Talk about propaganda. Poland declared war on Germany. In 1940 Germany invaded the Netherlands, Belgium, and France. The Netherlands surrendered.
In July 1940, Germany bombed London 57 days in a row. In December, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. After the attack, at least 3500 Americans were either dead or injured. The Dutch residents and many Indonesians were imprisoned in camps. A lot of Dutch and associated prisoners of the war and multiple thousands of Indonesians were forced to do labor in countries controlled by Japan.
For Anne’s thirteenth birthday, she was gifted a diary. It is why she is so famous. She named her diary Kitty. The first time she wrote in it she said ‘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. Anne Frank. 12 June 1942.’ She wrote about her life, her family, her school. In July, Margot, Anne’s sister received a callup for a concentration camp in Germany. If you didn’t go you would have been arrested. The franks were supposed to move into the Secret House on the 16th but because of Margot, they had to leave earlier. They left the morning after the call-up.
The Frank family’s Secret Annex was upstairs from where Otto lived. They had to keep quiet otherwise the office employees would find out that the family was hiding in the building. The family was helped by 6 of the office workers. No one else knew about the family except one of the helpers, Bep Voskjuijl’s father. He was the manager of the business’s warehouse downstairs so he made sure things were in order. A week later the Van Pel family joined the family in the Secret Annex. They have a son Peter who is 16, Margot’s age. Later in her life, Anne falls deeply in love with Peter. And is the only one she confides in with.
During her time in hiding, Anne had a lot of trouble with her mother and sister. She always poured out all of her thoughts to Kitty. She would always say how her mother was always getting mad at her for things she didn’t do and her sister because she was being too loud. These situations never really resolved that quickly so Half of the diary is Anne talking about how she is so mad at her mom. After 2 years Anne heard on the radio that people should keep any papers about their experiences during the war. Anne started to edit her diary for publishing but was arrested before she could finish.
On the morning of August 4, 1944, police officers showed up at The building housing the Families. They went to the offices where they found one of the helpers. They questioned him and searched the building. They found the room with the secret entrance behind the bookcase. The police arrested the 6 people living in the Annex and two of the helpers. The other two helpers were not arrested. They grabbed whatever they could from the deserted bedrooms. They grabbed Anne’s diary along with the other stuff.
On September 3, 1944, the arrested families were transported from a detention center at Amstelveenseweg to the infamous Auschwitz -Birkenau in Poland. The men and women were separated. “That was the last time Otto saw his wife and daughters.” says The Anne Frank House. The germans then examined who would be able to work. The families all were fit for the job but about 400 of the other prisoners were not. On October 30, 1944, about 1,000 women from the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp were chosen for forced labor in the German war business. Anne, Margot, and Ms. Van Pel were among them, Edith was not. Anne and Margot died from exhaustion in February 1945.
Just after Anne and Margot died, Otto leaves Auschwitz and goes to Katowice a town near the camp. There he met a woman named Rosa who had been in the same place where Edith was and she told him that his wife had died. After a while, Otto returned to Amsterdam. He found that the helpers had survived but did not know Anne and Margot died. In July 1945 Otto visited his sisters. They had been in the same barracks as Anne and Margot. They told him how they died. Miep, one of the helpers, gave the diary to Otto. Otto was scared to read the pages at first but then he summed up the courage and read it. He said, “I had no idea of the depths of her thoughts and feelings.” He asked family members to read it and then sent it to publishers to read. On June 25, 1947, Annes diary was published.
As I wrote about Anne, I not only experienced a candor representation of a war that killed 18 million people. This is no easy subject and learning about a family who went into hiding and worked hard to keep it secret were killed because they were “different” an that it was “their fault” for every problem Germany had. The story of a young girl who went through many hardships teaches many people that the world is not perfect. It also shows people that power is not the key to life but what is best for yourself.