Friday, April 15, 2011

Remembering Anne Frank

1. Anne Frank as a young girl

Given name: Annelies Marie Frank

Date of Birth: June 12, 1929
Place of Birth: Frankfurt, Germany

Anne Frank is one of the most famous Holocaust victims, due in thanks to the diary that she kept throughout her entire experience in hiding during the war.  The book about her diary, The Diary of Anne Frank is one of the most well known in the world, and draws a lot of attention to the Holocaust and what it was like to be in hiding for so long, unable to experience life as a young girl.

         Anne Frank was born in Germany in 1929 to her parents, Otto and Edith.  They lived in Frankfurt with her sister Margot until 1933 when the Nazis seized power.  They then moved to Amsterdam, the Netherlands where her father had business connections.  They moved  into 263 Prinsengracht Street where Otto ran his business from. In 1940, the Nazis took over Amsterdam, and in 1942, Jews began to be    deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau and Sobibor to be killed (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum).

2. Anne Frank at school in 1941

3.  The Franks went into hiding in this
 apartment for over 2 years.
Quotes from Anne's diary:
“Not being able to go outside upsets me more than I can say, and I'm terrified our hiding place will be discovered and that we'll be shot.'- Anne Frank, 1942
 They hid in the secret attic, which Anne called the “secret annex” in her diary.  There was a staircase leading up to the secret annex which the covered with a bookcase, so it was hidden to anyone who entered the house. 

“Now our Secret Annex has truly become secret…Mr. Kugler thought it would be better to have a bookcase built in front of the entrance to our hiding place. It swings out on its hinges and opens like a door.
-Anne Frank, August 21, 1942

"If I just think of how we live here, I usually come to the conclusion that it is a paradise compared with how other Jews who are not in hiding must be living,"- May 1, 1943

"Would anyone, either Jew or non-Jew, understand this about me, that I am simply a young girl badly in need of some frolicking fun?" -December 24, 1943

"Finally I twist my heart round again, so that the bad is on the outside and the good is on the inside, and keep on trying to find a way of becoming what I would so like to be, and what I could be, if... there weren't any other people living in the world." - August 1, 1944

There were many workers coming in and out of the house, but none of them ever knew about Anne, her family and their friends, the van Pels, who were in hiding for two years.  They wouldnot flush the toilet during the day and avoid making any other noises” Miep Gies recalled in an interview done in 1997. Through the help of non-Jews such as Miep Gies, who has become extremely well known, Johannes Kleiman, Victor Kugler, Jan Gies, they were supplied with food and clothing thanks to these brave people.
On August 14, 1944, however, the Franks and van Pels were discovered and arrested by  the Gestapo, thanks to an unknown Dutch caller. 

“When the police found the hiding place I mainly felt a tremendous disappointment that so close to the end of the war my friends were caught. We honestly thought that we had made it. Paris was already captured by the Allies. Their troops were less than 250 miles from Amsterdam. Germany had actually lost the war. And then this happened.” –Miep Gies, 1997

The Gestapo sent the Franks to Westerbork, and then a month later in September 1944 sent them to Auschwitz, and then Anne and her sister Margot were sent to Bergen-Belson, a camp focused on child labor.
Edith Frank died in January of 1945.  
Anne and Margot died of typhus in March of 1945 just weeks before British troops liberated the camp in April.
Otto Frank was the only member of the family to survive.
4. The attic/ secret annex
6. The window that Anne could see her favorite chestnut tree from
5. Anne's old bedroom in the Anne Frank Museum,
restored to the way it looked when she lived in it, minus the furniture.

The Anne Frank Museum was established on May 3, 1960 by Anne's father, Otto.  It is unfurnished so that visitors can walk freely through the museum and truly take in everything that is inside.  I visited the Anne Frank Museum in November 2010 when I was in Amsterdam.  I was only there for a weekend and I knew this was something I had to see.  After waiting in line for 45 minutes, we got inside.  There are arrows pointing you all through the house so that all of the people stay organized.  It brings you through each room and explains what they did there.  There are also quotes from Anne's diary on the walls, on tables...they are just everywhere.  There are artifacts that were saved by Otto as well as videos informing visitors about the situation.

Anne Frank is one of the most famous Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and because of her diary and museums all over Europe, her legacy can truly live on.  Anne went through the toughest struggles as a young girl, and although many survivors who were in concentration camps the whole time may think she had it easy while in hiding, she is a world wide hero and definitely an inspiration to everyone, myself included.  She tried to stay as positive as she could for so long, not knowing what the outcome would be.  However, sometimes she was extremely confused and hurt.  Reading quotes from her journal shows that.  She will go from talking about the chestnut tree she longs to play in that she can see out of her window, to questioning God and the humanity and souls of people.
I believe that Anne Frank will continue to live on forever as one of the most famous women in all of history.

1. Anne Frank, World Citizens
2. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
3. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
4. Anne Frank House
5. European Jewish Press
6.  Anne Frank House


1 comment:

  1. Nice post, Anne Frank is really a great inspiration to all people not just to the family who have suffered as well from the dreadful holocaust.

    Thanks for sharing,