“It is absolutely impossible for me to build my life on chaos, pain and death. I see how the world is slowly turning into a desert, and I hear the sound of the sky, which one day will destroy us too. But still, when I look at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will be fine, that this persecution will end, and peace will return.” These words belong to Anne Frank, who ended up in a Nazi concentration camp at the age of 15 and died there of typhus. 2 years before she and her family were captured by the SS officers, Anna wrote down in her diary all the fears and hopes she lived in the tiny house where they hid in the Netherlands. This diary, one of the most important documents about the Holocaust, has been turned into a book and translated into 70 languages. The story has also been adapted for screen and stage. Let’s explore together who Anne Frank is, the author of this important diary that resonates around the world, and how her story changed the world.
Anne Frank was born in 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany.
In the years he was born, Germany had a high unemployment rate and people were suffering from poverty. At the same time, this period coincided with years in which Adolf Hitler gradually gathered supporters and took advantage of widespread anti-Semitism. Hitler, so to speak, hated the Jews and blamed them for almost all of Germany’s problems.
Due to the growing hatred of Jews and the poor economy, Anne Frank and her family had to leave for the Netherlands.
His father, Otto, founded a pectin trading company in Amsterdam. Soon, Anne Frank also began to like the Netherlands. He learned the local language, made new friends and entered a Dutch school.
Shortly thereafter, on May 10, 1940, Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands.
After 5 days, the Dutch army surrendered to Germany. Slowly but surely, the Nazis introduced laws and regulations that made life difficult for Jews in the Netherlands. Parks and cinemas were banned, and they were forbidden to enter non-Jewish shops. The rules were tightened, and, finally, the Jews were forbidden to run their own business. As a result, Anna’s father Otto lost his company. All children, including the mother, had to attend separate Jewish schools.
The Nazis went even further by making life difficult for the Jews in the Netherlands.
While the Jews were now forced to wear the Star of David on their collars, word quickly spread among the people that they would be expelled from the Netherlands. Around this time, Anna’s older sister, Margot, who was 3 years older, was summoned to the country by Nazi Germany on July 5, 1942 to report to a labor camp. Suspecting such a situation and thinking that the call was not for reporting, the family decided to hide the next day.
In the spring of 1942, Anna’s father, Otto Frank, began preparing a cache in the annex to the workplace.
Otto, who was trying to create a living space with the help of his former colleagues, was joined by 4 more people, although the place to live was cramped. Shortly before she went into hiding, her parents gave Anna a diary for her 13th birthday. Anne Frank recorded in this diary for two years all the events of her life in a small house at Prinsengracht 263, where they hid. Anne Frank, who also wrote down her feelings and thoughts in her diary, had no idea that she was actually writing a war document that would resonate around the world.
The Minister of Education of the Netherlands, who was in England at the time, in a statement to Radio Orange specifically called for the keeping of military diaries and documents.
Upon learning of this, Anne Frank began to rewrite her experiences in more detail in one story, which she called “The Hidden Application.” Ann began writing the diary again, but before it was finished, she and the other people in hiding were caught by the police on August 4, 1944. Despite the raid, some of Anna’s writings were kept for a long time by Miep Gies, who helped hide them.
Sent to Westerbrock on 8 August, the Franks were put on a train by SS officers to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland a month later.
At the end of the three-day journey, doctors examined about 1,000 people to see who could or could not work hard jobs. Father Otto Frank ends up in a men’s camp, while mother, sister Margot and mother Edith Frank are sent to a women’s concentration camp.
In November 1944, Anne Frank and her older sister Margot were sent to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, while their parents remained in Auschwitz.
Conditions at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp were more difficult; Dozens of people died every day due to lack of food, cold and epidemics. Shortly after they were brought to the camp, the sisters Anna and Margo also fell ill with typhus. In February 1945, first Margot and then Anne Frank died of the disease. Their mother Edith died in the Auschwitz concentration camp in January 1945. The only survivor of this terrible journey was Father Otto Frank. Returning to the Netherlands after Soviet troops freed prisoners in the Auschwitz concentration camp, Otto learned that his daughters and wife Edith were no longer alive.
Anne Frank’s diary, in which she wrote down her fears, hopes, and experiences during their hiding, was guarded by Miep Gies, who helped hide the Frank family.
When Otto’s father returned to the Netherlands, Gies gave Otto Anne Frank’s diary. At the urging of his friends, Otto Frank approved the publication of his daughter’s diary, and 3,000 copies were printed in the first place. Later translated into 70 languages, the diary has been adapted for both the stage and the big screen. Their hiding place was turned into a museum in 1960. Thus, people from all over the world became acquainted with the story of Anne Frank and witnessed the terrible face of the Holocaust. Many institutions, organizations and individuals who want to preserve the legacy of Anne Frank for a long time are implementing numerous scholarship programs to improve the living conditions of children from poor families. Today, the efforts to educate the youth on behalf of Anne Frank continue unabated.
You may also be interested in this content:
The Diary of Anne Frank Documenting the Dirty Side of the War in 17 Points
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