Annelies Marie “Anna” Frank is one of the most famous victims of the Holocaust during WWII, known for her diary, published posthumously by her father Otto, the only survivor, in 1947.
Her diary, “The Diary of a Young Girl”, continues to be one of the most popular and read books, translated into 70 languages, and depicts her life during the life in hiding of her Jewish family between 1942 and 1944 in Amsterdam, before being discovered by the Nazis and taken to concentration camps.
She died in 1945 in Bergen-Belsen, most likely from typhus. She has been praised as an affluent author with a distinct ability to observe the developments around her with a voice far surpassing her age.
Born in 1929 in Frankfurt to liberal Jewish parents, Annelies or Annaliese Marie Frank grew up in a family with an extensive library where reading was strongly encouraged. After the Nazi Party won the elections in 1933, her mother travelled with both daughters, Anna and her older sister Margot, to her sister in Aachen but her father Otto remained Frankfurt.
As Otto received an offer to work in Amsterdam, the family slowly but surely moved there in addition to 300.000 Jews who fled Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1939 and settled in an emigrant German Jewish community. When Germany successfully invaded the Netherlands in 1940, Otto tried to obtain a visa for the United States which failed for various reasons.
In 1942, shortly before the family was forced into hiding, Anna received a notebook which she used as a diary chronicling everyday events in their hiding place in Otto Frank’s company of whose existence only his most entrusted employees were privy. Later on, the Franks were joined by another family, the Van Pels, and the family’s dentist, Fritz Pfeffer. During the following years, Anna succinctly observed the relationships within the group of people bound together by their plight and fear of being discovered and learnt about love through her proximity with Peter Van Pels. She also discussed God and other abstract subjects as she grew and matured as a writer.
At the beginning of August 1944, the hiding place was discovered by the authorities and the family transported to concentration camps. Anna’s father Otto survived Auschwitz and published Anna’s diary after the war as kept by his faithful secretary Miep Gies. Anna most likely died from typhus at the Bergen Belsen concentration camp.
Did you know:
- That Anna was of German origin (having been born in Frankfurt) but moved to Amsterdam when she was four and a half after Nazis had assumed power in Germany;
- That she and her family were forced to go into hiding due to increasing persecutions of Jews in the Netherlands in 1942;
- That her family moved to Amsterdam after her father had secured a business and accommodation for the entire family;
- That they went into hiding above the office space of her father and only a few of his most trusted employees knew of their whereabouts;
- That she formed a relationship with the son of another family that joined them in confinement, Peter van Pels,
- That she also bonded with the family’s helpers,
- That she wanted to become a journalist after the war,
- That it was never truly discovered who had outed them and their hiding place;
- That her novel was later turned into various films and plays;
- That She was selected as one of the 100 most important people in history by Time in June 1999 as one of “Heroes and Icons”
- That you can still visit the house where she went into hiding?
Most Inspiring Anne Frank Quotes
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait
a single moment before starting to improve the world.
In spite of everything,
I still believe that people are really good at heart.
Think of all the beauty still left
around you and be happy.
No one has ever become poor by giving.
Parents can only give good advice
or put them on the right paths,
but the final forming of a person’s
character lies in their own hands.
The best remedy for those who are afraid,
lonely or unhappy is to go outside,
somewhere where they can be quite alone
with the heavens, nature and God.
I don’t think of all the misery,
but of the beauty that still remains.
People can tell you to keep your mouth shut,
but that doesn’t stop you from having your own opinion.
In the long run, the sharpest weapon
of all is a kind and gentle spirit.
Where there’s hope, there’s life
It fills us with fresh courage
and makes us strong again.
Whoever is happy will make others happy.
Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power,
but in character and goodness.
As long as this exists, this sunshine and this cloudless sky,
and as long as I can enjoy it, how can I be sad?
There’s only one rule you need to remember:
laugh at everything and forget everybody else!
It sounds egotistical, but it’s actually the only cure
for those suffering from self-pity.
Those who have courage and faith
shall never perish in misery.
The good news is that you don’t
know how great you can be!
How much you can love!
What you can accomplish!
And what your potential is!
Dead people receive more flowers than the living
ones because regret is stronger than gratitude.
Sympathy, love, fortune…
We all have these qualities
but still tend to not use them!
I can’t imagine how anyone can say: ‘I’m weak’,
and then remain so. After all, if you know it,
why not fight against it,
why not try to train your character?
I think it’s odd that grown-ups quarrel so easily
and so often and about such petty matters.
Up to now I always thought bickering was just
something children did and that they outgrew it.
An empty day, though clear and bright,
is just as dark as any night.
The young are not afraid of telling the truth.
Whoever doesn’t know it,
must learn and find by experience that
a quiet conscience makes one strong!’
I must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time will
come when I shall be able to carry them out.
We all live with the objective of being happy;
our lives are all different and yet the same.