Top 10 Facts about Anne Frank

Image sourced from Wikimedia Commons

I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are really good at heart.” Anne frank, 1947.

Anne Frank is famously known for her diary written during the holocaust. Her emotional diary has been translated into many languages. In her diary, she describes the frightening period experienced by herself, her family and friends in the annex during World War II. It also expressed her hopes and aspirations for the future, which were sadly never realized.

Anne was born in Frankfurt-am-Main Germany on 12th June 1929. Her full name was Annelies Marie Frank but was shortened to Anne Frank as she came to be famously known.

Her parents, Otto and Edith Frank, were both Jewish, and when the Nazis came to power in Germany her father decided to immigrate to Holland. Anne, her mother and her sister Margot joined him a little later, in 1934. They settled in Amsterdam, where Anne attended first a Montessori school, then the Jewish Lyceum.

Anne and Margot Frank as kids, image sourced from Wikimedia Commons

Her sister, Margot Betti Frank, who was three years older than Anne, also had a diary although it has never been found.

Although Anne’s story is one sad tale of a life short-lived, her diary undoubtedly showcased her literary talent, wit and intelligence, while displaying a frustrated and everyday teenager, struggling to live in a confined space with people she often didn’t like.

10. Anne Frank had two Diaries

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Anne had two diaries, version A and B. The first version (A) began in the autograph book that she received for her 13th birthday and spilled over into at least two notebooks.

However, since the last entry in the autograph book is dated 5 December 1942 and the first entry in the first of these notebooks is dated 22 December 1943, it is assumed that other volumes were lost.

9. Anne Frank and the Radio call

Anne rewrote her diary in 1944 after hearing a call on the radio for people to save their war-time diaries in order to help document the suffering of the Nazi occupation once war was over.

In this second version, known as B, Anne omits parts of A, while also adding new sections. This second version includes entries for the period between 5 December 1942 and 22 December 1943.

Fact 8. Anne Frank wrote her diary in letter-form to “Kitty”

Ann’es diary and handwriting, image sourced from Wikimedia Commons

Much of version A of Anne’s diary was written in the form of letters to this “Kitty”. When rewriting her diary, Anne consistently made the entries in her diary by addressing all of them to Kitty.

There has been some debate over whether Kitty was inspired by a real person. Anne did have a pre-war friend called Kitty but some, including the real-life Kitty herself, don’t believe that she was the inspiration for the diary.

7. Anne received the Diary as a birthday present

brown wrapped books and pen

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

On her thirteenth birthday, just before they went into hiding, Anne was presented with a diary. During the two years in hiding, Anne wrote about events in the Secret Annex, but also about her feelings and thoughts.

She also wrote short stories, started on a novel and copied passages from the books she read in her Book of Beautiful Sentences. Writing helped her pass the time during the war and while in hiding.

When the Minister of Education of the Dutch government in England made an appeal on Radio Orange to hold on to war diaries and documents, Anne was inspired to rewrite her individual diaries into one running story, titled Het Achterhuis (The Secret Annex).

6. Anne was arrested

By Alexander Voroncov – The image from the cover of “A History of the Holocaust” by Yehuda Bauer. wiki commons

Just after Anne had started rewriting her diary, she and the other people in hiding were discovered and arrested by police officers on 4 August 1944.

The police also arrested two of the helpers. To this day, the reason for the police raid is not known.

Despite the raid, part of Anne’s writing was preserved: two other helpers took the documents before the Secret Annex was emptied by order of the Nazis.

5. Anne gets deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp for forced labour

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Via the offices of the Sicherheitsdienst (the German security police), a prison in Amsterdam, and the Westerbork transit camp, the people from the Secret Annex were put on transport to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp.

The train journey took three days, during which Anne and over a thousand others were packed closely together in cattle wagons. There was little food and water and only a barrel for a toilet.

Upon arrival at Auschwitz, Nazi doctors checked to see who would and who would not be able to do heavy forced labour.

Around 350 people from Anne’s transport were immediately taken to the gas chambers and murdered.

Anne, Margot and their mother were sent to the labour camp for women. Otto ended up in a camp for men.

4. Anne Franks’ father was the last surviving family member

Anne’s father, Otto Frank was found hospitalized at Auschwitz when it was liberated by Soviet troops on January 27, 1945. Anne’s mother had died in early January just before the evacuation of Auschwitz on January 18, 1945.

Friends who searched the hiding place at the Annex after the family’s capture later gave Otto Frank the papers left behind. Among them he found Anne’s diary, which was published as Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (originally in Dutch, 1947).

3. Anne Frank is the most famous holocaust victim

Anne’s Diary which has been translated into more than 65 languages, is the most widely read diary of the Holocaust.

Anne is also probably the best known of Holocaust victims. The Diary was also made into a play that premiered on Broadway in October 1955, and in 1956 it won both the Tony Award for best play and the Pulitzer Prize for best drama.

2. Anne’s English translation of the Diary contains more information

A new English translation of the Diary was published in 1995. This new version contains material that was edited out of the original version, making the revised translation slightly longer than the first.

The Frank family’s hiding place on the Prinsengracht, a canal in Amsterdam, became a museum that is consistently among the city’s most-visited tourist sites.

1. Anne Frank had two birthdays while in hiding

Anne’s 14th and 15th birthdays were spent in the annex, but she was still given presents by other residents of the hiding place and their helpers on the outside world.

Among these presents were several books, including a book on Greek and Roman mythology that Anne received for her 14th birthday, as well as a poem written by her father, part of which she copied out in her diary.

After the arrest and deportation to concentration camps, Anne and her sister Margot survived Auschwitz only to be sent to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Sadly the two girls died of typhus shortly before the camp was liberated by the British Army on 15 April 1945. The exact date of their deaths is unknown. Margot was 19 years old and Anne was just 15.