Anne Frank is one of the Holocaust's most memorable victims. School curricula all over the world use her "Diary of a Young Girl" to teach students of the horrors suffered by European Jews and other minority groups under Hitler's Third Reich following the first World War. The details of her life have been widely documented due to the archiving efforts of the Anne Frank House, an organization established to preserve her memory, and to numerous films made about her life.
Anne Frank was born in Germany in 1929. Concerned with mounting hostility toward Jews there, the family fled to the Netherlands in 1933. Anne received her diary for her 13th birthday during what is remembered as a happy childhood in Holland. The Franks decided to move into hiding in 1940 when Germany invaded the Netherlands and Anne's older sister Margot was summoned to a Nazi labor camp.
Time in Hiding
Anne Frank and her family were hidden in a secret annex of a family home in Amsterdam, where they lived alongside four other Jews for two years. During this time, Anne wrote frequently in her diary, which featured intensely personal and surprisingly philosophical accounts of her life in hiding, alongside poetry and short stories. Her entries were addressed to an imaginary friend she called "Kitty."
Arrest and Death
An anonymous party told the authorities where Anne's family was hiding, and the annex was raided by Nazi party officials in the summer of 1944. Her family was divided. Mere weeks before the Nazi camps were liberated, Anne died inside the concentration camp in Bergen Belsen, likely of malnutrition. Anne witnessed the deaths of her mother and sister, and likely believed her father to be dead.
Anne's diary was published in 1947 and has since been translated into almost every language. Her father, Otto Frank, was the sole survivor of her family and was active in proving the veracity of Anne's diary until he died. The building where she lived in hiding was converted into a museum in 1963 and sees hundreds of thousands of visitors a year. Her life has been dramatized in countless plays and films. Even now, more than six decades after her death, Anne remains one of the most widely known and widely studied victims of the Jewish Holocaust.
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