Anne Frank

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Anne Frank, 1941
Anne Frank signature.svg
Statue in Amsterdam by Mari Andriessen , 2020

Anne Frank , actually Annelies Marie Frank and born as Anneliese Marie Frank (born June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt am Main ; died February or early March 1945 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp ) was a German-Dutch girl of Jewish origin who lived with her parents in 1934 and his sister Margot emigrated to the Netherlands to escape Nazi persecution and shortly before the end of the war the Nazi Holocaustfell victim. From July 1942, Anne Frank lived in the Netherlands with her family in a hidden annexe in Amsterdam . In this hiding place she recorded her experiences and thoughts in a diary, which was published by her father Otto Frank after the war as Anne Frank's diary .

The diary is considered a historical document from the time of the Holocaust and the author as a symbolic figure against the inhumanity of the genocide during the National Socialist era .


Childhood in Frankfurt

Memorial stele in Frankfurt am Main
Memorial stone for ways against forgetting in Aachen

Anne Frank was born on June 12, 1929 as the second daughter of Otto Heinrich Frank and Edith Frank-Holländer in the clinic of the fatherland women's association in the Eschenheimer facility in Frankfurt am Main. This clinic was destroyed in World War II. Anne lived in the house at Marbachweg 307 until she was two years old and then at Ganghoferstraße 24 (both in the Dornbusch district ). The family lived in an assimilated community of Jews and other commoners, and the children grew up with Catholic , Protestant , and Jewish friends. The Franks were Reform Jews who preserved many traditions of the Jewish faith but maintained few customs. Edith was the more devout parent, while Otto, who had served as an officer in World War I and was now a businessman, was more concerned with the education of his two daughters. He had an extensive private library and encouraged the girls to read. Anne constantly had to be compared to her sister Margot , who was three years her senior . Margot was considered good-natured, exemplary and reserved, while Anne was interested in many things and lively, but also often extroverted and impulsive and felt disadvantaged compared to Margot. Before the anti-Jewish policies of the National Socialists disturbed her young life and finally completely destroyed her, she lived a carefree life with her family and friends in Frankfurt. She was also able to visit Alice Frank, her paternal grandmother, in Basel . In 1931 she moved to Basel with Anne's aunt Helene (Otto Frank's sister, known as Leni) and their children Stephan and Bernhard , where her husband opened the Swiss representation of Opekta in 1929 . Anne Frank is described by her cousin Bernhard as a living child who "laughed and laughed".

When the NSDAP won a majority in the local elections in Frankfurt on March 13, 1933 – a few weeks after Hitler came to power – anti-Semitic demonstrations broke out immediately . Otto Frank saw great problems in store for his family, and his parents worried about what would happen if they stayed in Germany. Later that year, Edith moved with the children to Aachen to live with her mother, Rosa Holländer. Otto initially stayed in Frankfurt, but then received an offer from Robert Feix to set up an Opekta branch in Amsterdam. He moved to the Netherlands to arrange business and prepare for his family's arrival. The Frank family lost their German citizenship there in 1941 as a result of the Reich Citizenship Law .

Exile in Amsterdam

Merwedeplein 37, home of the Franks until July 5, 1942

Edith came in September to look for an apartment, Margot followed in December and Anne in February 1934. They lived in an apartment building at Merwedeplein 37 in the new Rivierenbuurt district on what was then the southern edge of the city. Numerous Jewish families from Germany were looking for a new home there. They wanted to stay in the Netherlands because they felt safer here than in their home country.

The Frank parents continued to take care of the education of their two children in exile. Margot attended a public school and Anne was enrolled in the Montessori public school in the neighboring Niersstraat. While Margot excelled in math, Anne showed off her reading and writing skills. From 1934 Anne's closest friends included Hannah Goslar and Sanne Ledermann . Goslar later related that Anne often wrote in secret and did not want to reveal anything about the content of her writings. These early records have been lost. But "Hanneli", as Anne called her best friend, is now an important contemporary witness whose memories Alison Leslie Gold recorded in a book in 1998. Another friend, Jacqueline van Maarsen , also shared her experiences with Anne a few years later. In the years 1935 and 1936, Anne once again spent quite carefree summer holidays in the estate of her Parisian great-aunt Olga Spitzer in Sils im Engadin/Segl , where she became friends with a local girl.

Otto Frank managed the Dutch branch of the German company Opekta from 1933. In 1938, together with the butcher Hermann van Pels , who had fled Osnabrück with his family, who was also Jewish , he founded a second company called Pectacon, which sold spices . Otto tried very hard to secure his livelihood in the long term, as he had to witness how his father Michael's bank in Frankfurt, which had already been weakened by the global economic crisis in 1929, was expropriated by the National Socialists .

In 1939 Edith's mother joined the Franks in Amsterdam, where she remained until her death in January 1942. The Franks learned firsthand how ruthless the National Socialists were from Edith's brother Walter Holländer, who had been arrested during the " Night of Broken Glass " and taken to Sachsenhausen concentration camp before he was allowed to travel to the Netherlands with a special permit. However, Otto Frank did not let the shocking reports about the burning synagogues deter him from his optimistic attitude. He described the event as a "fever attack" that must bring everyone involved to their senses. However, hope turned to fear when the Second World War broke out with the invasion of Poland in September 1939 .

Interior of the synagogue visited by the Franks in the Rivierenbuurt district

The Jews in exile were concerned that the Netherlands, which were trying to maintain their neutrality , were also threatened by Hitler's expansionist drive. On May 10, 1940 , the Netherlands was attacked and occupied by the German Wehrmacht . The Dutch forces surrendered and Queen Wilhelmina fled to exile in London . It quickly became clear that the Jews in the Netherlands faced the same fate as in the other occupied territories. Otto and Edith Frank could no longer hide the political problems from their children. So far, the parents had tried to isolate their daughters in order to maintain a certain normality, but Anne no longer understood the world. Giving up didn't suit her combative nature; she was used to getting her own way. As evidenced by letters discovered in 2007, Otto Frank tried several times to obtain asylum in the United States or Cuba , e.g. with the help of his friend Nathan Straus, who was in touch with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt ; however, efforts were unsuccessful.

More and more new Jewish laws took away their rights. They were excluded from social life and all public institutions. The cinema ban hit Anne, who enthusiastically collected photos of movie stars, particularly hard. She now had to attend a special school, the Lyceum , with her Jewish classmates , which separated her from many friends. All Jews had to register themselves and later even their bicycles. When they were branded by the obligation to wear the Star of David, many Dutch people showed solidarity with them. However, a Dutch National Socialist party was also formed . To protect his firms from the strict controls of the auditors , Otto Frank handed over management pro forma to his Aryan associates Johannes Kleiman and Victor Kugler .

On June 12, 1942, Anne received a red and white checkered diary for her 13th birthday. On the same day she began her diary in Dutch .

hiding place in the back building

Reconstruction of the bookcase door to the hiding place in the Secret Annex

Otto Frank had prepared a hiding place in the company's rear building at Prinsengracht 263, as suggested by his colleague Kleiman. The main building near the Westerkerk was unremarkable, old and typical of this part of Amsterdam. The Achterhuis was a three-storey building at the back of the building. On the first floor there were two smaller rooms with bath and toilet, above them a large and a small room; from the latter a ladder led to the attic. The door to the approximately 50 m² rear building, which was connected to the corridor in front of the offices via a steep staircase, was covered with a bookshelf.

Otto Frank had previously asked his secretary Miep Gies (née Hermine Santrouschitz) for help. Although she had to assume that as a helper to the Jews she would be punished if the hidden Jews were discovered, she agreed and took on the difficult responsibility. Together with her husband Jan Gies , Otto's associates Kugler and Kleiman, and Bep Voskuijl, she helped the residents of the Secret Annex.

The situation of the Frank family came to a head when Margot Frank received a call from the Central Office for Jewish Emigration in Amsterdam on July 5, 1942, ordering her deportation to a labor camp . If Margot hadn't come forward, the whole Frank family would have been arrested. Because of the appeal, Otto Frank decided to go into hiding with his family earlier than planned. The very next day, July 6th, life began for the whole family underground, as it seemed impossible to escape from the occupied Netherlands. When Anne's friend Helmut "Hello" Silberberg wanted to visit her at home, he couldn't find her anymore. As a camouflage, the family had left their previous apartment in a mess and left a note to pretend they were suddenly fleeing to Switzerland . After a week the van Pels family followed to the Achterhuis and in November 1942 the dentist Fritz Pfeffer joined them.

The hidden ones in the Secret Annex
Surname pseudonym Born Died
Otto Heinrich Frank Frederik Aulis / Robin (with Anne) May 12, 1889 in Frankfurt am Main August 19, 1980 in Birsfelden near Basel
Edith Frank Hollander Nora Aulis / Robin (with Anne) January 16, 1900 in Aachen January 6, 1945 in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp
Margot Betty Frank Betty Aulis / Robin (with Anne) February 16, 1926 in Frankfurt am Main Beginning of March 1945 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp
Annelies Marie Frank Anne Aulis / Robin (at Anne) June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt am Main Beginning of March 1945 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp
Herman van Pels Hans van Daan (with Anne)
Hermann van Daan (in the book)
March 31, 1898 in Gehrde October 3, 1944 in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp
Auguste van Pels Petronella van Daan September 29, 1900 in Buer April 9, 1945 in Raguhn , subcamp of Buchenwald concentration camp
Peter van Pels Alfred van Daan (with Anne)
Peter van Daan (in the book)
November 8, 1926 in Osnabrueck May 10, 1945 in the Mauthausen concentration camp
Fritz Pepper Albert Duessel April 30, 1889 in Giessen December 20, 1944 in the Neuengamme concentration camp
The helpers of the hidden
Surname pseudonym Born Died
Miep Gies -Santrouschitz Anne van Santen (with Anne) February 15, 1909 in Vienna January 11, 2010 in Hoorn
Jan Gies Henk van Santen (with Anne) October 18, 1905 in Amsterdam January 26, 1993 in Amsterdam
Victor Kugler Harry Kraler (with Anne) June 5 or 6, 1900 in Hohenelbe December 16, 1981 Toronto
John Kleiman Simon Koophuis (with Anne) August 17, 1896 in Koog aan de Zaan 28 or 30 January 1959 in Amsterdam
Elisabeth "Bep" van Wijk-Voskuijl Elly Kuilmans (with Anne) July 5, 1919 in Amsterdam May 6, 1983 in Amsterdam
Prinsengracht 263, in whose rear building the family hid

The initial hopes of those in hiding to be free again after a few weeks or months turned out to be in vain. They lived in the Secret Annex for a little over two years. During this time, they were not allowed to go outside or attract attention (e.g. by making loud noises), severely limiting their lives. The tense atmosphere in the Secret Annex, where the people in hiding lived in constant fear and uncertainty, repeatedly led to unrest and tension between them. The longer they lived together in the Secret Annex, the more personal conflicts became apparent. Anne was annoyed by Fritz Pfeffer, who shared a room with her and thus disturbed her privacy . She therefore used the pseudonym "Dussel" (fool) for him, not considering that it was not easy for the dentist either, whose partner Charlotte Kaletta had nothing to fear as a Christian. Anne often got into conflicts with her mother because Edith was increasingly desperate and hopeless, which did not fit Anne's character. Otto had to mediate. It was particularly difficult for Anne because, precisely at the beginning of her youth, which is characterized by a moody and rebellious mood in other young people, she was locked up with her parents and had to behave in a disciplined and conformist manner.

Miep Gies not only procured food, but also informed the eight people in hiding about the current events of the war. At midday, the helpers met the people in hiding for lunch together, and in the evenings, when the other employees of the company had left the building, Anne and the others could come to the front building. In Otto Frank's old private office, they heard the BBC radio news , which made them increasingly unsettled. On July 15, 1942, the first train to Auschwitz ran , and the Jews were stripped of their citizenship

Anne Frank read many books while in hiding, used them to train her style and quickly developed from an idiosyncratic youngster to an independent writer. Her writing skills and self-confidence as an author grew. The call by the Dutch government-in-exile in London to collect the documents of the occupation was the impetus for Anne to revise the diary entries. For this she used loose sheets of paper. On May 11, 1944, she wrote that she definitely wanted to publish a book called The Secret Annex after the war. She doubted that Otto really loved Edith and suspected that he had married her more out of reason. Anne herself began to take an interest in Peter van Pels, who was initially described as too shy and boring, but after a short, stormy interlude with some tenderness, the relationship quickly ended. The diary also reveals that Anne knew about the deportations and the bounty placed on Jews, which affected her herself a few days after her last entry.


It was long considered certain that the hiding place was betrayed. The perpetrator was never identified with certainty. For a long time, the camp foreman Willem Gerard van Maaren (1895–1971), who succeeded Bep Voskuijl's ill father in 1943, was the main suspect. He had found a purse that Hermann van Pels had previously lost in the camp and had become suspicious. Two investigations found insufficient evidence, so no charges were ever filed. Van Maaren was not an anti-Semite. He himself hid his son during the war because he didn't want to report for labor service. In the company, however, he was considered dangerous because he was suspicious, snooped around and bragged to Miep Gies about alleged connections to the Gestapo . Above all Kugler, Kleiman and Voskuijl suspected him. It later turned out that he was stealing. He was probably trying to cover up his own actions through his behavior.

During an inquest in 1948, he denied treason. The investigating Politieke Recherche Afdeling then acquitted him on probation. In 1949 he appealed and was acquitted unconditionally by the district court. He was again on trial as a suspect between November 1963 and November 1964 when the Criminal Investigation Department tracked down SD Oberscharführer Karl Josef Silberbauer , who had arrested the fugitives, and reopened the case. Silberbauer was unable to identify van Maaren or provide any new information because his superior (who took his own life after the German defeat) had not given him the informant's name. Van Maaren was the most investigated suspect in the case and maintained his innocence until his death in 1971.

The second suspect was Lena van Bladeren-Hartog († 1963), who worked as a cleaning lady in the company. Her husband Lammert, who was employed as an assistant under van Maaren, had heard about his observations and told his wife about them. Lena told Anna Genot, who in turn informed Kleiman. Anna and her husband Petrus also stated that they had become suspicious as early as 1942 because of the large quantities of milk and bread that were being delivered to the company. The statement that the report about the hidden Jews came from a female voice matched the suspicion against Lena. No guilt could be proven against her either. Although Melissa Müller named her as an informant in 1998, she retracted the claim in 2003 when the British historian Carol Ann Lee contradicted her and an investigation by the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD) came to no clear conclusions.

Lee, in her 2002 book The Hidden Life of Otto Frank , presents a new name, Dutch Jew bounty hunter Anton Ahlers (1917–2000). Bounty hunters were numerous at the time of the Occupation and made a living off the arrest rewards. Lee's research revealed that the potential traitor, who worked as an informant for Kurt Döring at the Gestapo headquarters in Amsterdam, is said to have blackmailed his father, Otto Frank. However, the theory is controversial. The NIOD does not believe it, since the suspicions are only based on statements made by Ahlers himself and his family (his wife Martha rejected the allegations, his brother Cas confirmed them). Since Ahlers had only boasted that the hiding place had been betrayed, there is no reliable evidence.

In 2009, the Dutch journalist Sytze van der Zee in his book Vogelvrij - De jacht op de joodse onderduiker investigated , among other things, whether Ans van Dijk could have been the one who betrayed Anne Frank and her family. Van Dijk was Jewish herself and handed over hiding Jews to the Bureau Joodsche Zaken , whom she had previously lured into a trap by promising to hide them. According to van der Zee, Otto Frank knew that the traitor was a woman and also that she was Jewish. He said he was silent so as not to encourage prejudice. Van der Zee was not able to clarify this question unequivocally. After the war, Ans van Dijk was the only woman among 39 people to be executed for wartime crimes.

In April 2015 another theory was published by Joop van Wijk, the son of Bep Voskuijl. Accordingly, his aunt Hendrika Petronella, called Nelly († 2001), the younger sister of Bep Voskuijl, betrayed the hiding place. Bep took care of the people in the hideout; Nelly collaborated with German occupying forces. She was therefore arrested in October 1945 and imprisoned in Groningen until 1953 . In contrast to Miep Gies, Bep was hardly willing to give interviews or make statements about Anne Frank and the hiding place in the Secret Annex. One can interpret this as an indication that she knew of her sister's betrayal.

In December 2016, the foundation that manages the Anne Frank House released a new investigation. It gives alternative explanations for finding the hidden ones. Instead of a betrayal, economic reasons could have led to Anne Frank and the other Jews hiding in the Secret Annex being discovered. The police operation may have been directed against a black market in rationed food stamps. Anne Frank herself mentioned the two dealers Martin Brouwer and Pieter Daatzelaar in her diary. Investigations into undeclared work at Prinsengracht 263 would be another motive for the search. This is indicated by the presence of Gezinus Gringhuis, who accompanied Silberbauer and worked in a special unit for white-collar crime. In addition, Kugler and Kleiman were arrested for "benefiting Jews" and "refusing to work," respectively.

In January 2022, a team of cold-case investigators , created by Dutch documentary filmmaker Thijs Bayens and led by retired FBI investigator Vince Pankoke, came up with a new hypothesis. According to their investigations, it was most likely a member of the Amsterdam Jewish Council , the notary Arnold van den Bergh (1886–1950), who gave the German occupiers a list of where Jews were hiding in Amsterdam in order to save the life of his own family . The main indication for this hypothesis is an anonymous letter from 1946 to Otto Frank, in which the name of the notary is mentioned. However, this theory is not without controversy. The research team is accused of tunnel vision; important pieces of the puzzle would be missing.


It was never finally clarified who gave the crucial tip, but it is considered certain that the National Socialists appeared on the Prinsengracht at around 10 a.m. on the morning of August 4, 1944 after a call had been received by the Gestapo . The helpers could no longer protect the Jews and had to show Silberbauer the hiding place. Kugler and Kleiman were taken to the SD prison on Euterpestraat. On September 11, 1944 they were taken to the police transit camp in Amersfoort . Kleiman was released on September 18, 1944 for health reasons, Kugler managed to escape on March 28, 1945. Bep Voskuijl was able to use the chaos of the arrest to flee with some documents that indicated links to the black market. Miep Gies collected the sheets of Anne's notes that Silberbauer had scattered on the floor while looking for a container for the prisoners' money and jewelery and kept them in a drawer to be returned to Anne after the war.

Those in hiding were first interrogated by the Gestapo and detained overnight. On August 5, they were taken to the overcrowded Weteringschans prison. Two days later they were taken to the Westerbork transit camp . They had to do hard labor in the punishment barracks. The women worked - separately from the men - in a battery department. They lived in the hope of making themselves indispensable through work and thus avoiding an even worse fate. They heard rumors of advances by the Western Allies after the Normandy landings and of transports to concentration and death camps in the East. On September 2, the Frank and van Pels families were selected at the roll call for transport to the Auschwitz concentration camp .

death in the concentration camp

On September 3, 1944, the last train with 1,019 Jews went to Auschwitz, where it arrived two days later. At the ramp, the men and women saw each other for the last time. All the residents of the Secret Annex survived the selection . Hermann van Pels was almost certainly gassed in the gas chamber on October 3, 1944, after a selection in the infirmary where he had gone because of an injury . Auguste van Pels was taken to the Theresienstadt ghetto on April 9, 1945 via the Bergen-Belsen and Buchenwald concentration camps . She died during the transport to Theresienstadt. Peter van Pels was sent on a death march from Auschwitz to Mauthausen concentration camp on January 16, 1945 , where he died shortly before liberation. Edith Frank died of starvation and exhaustion in Auschwitz on January 6, 1945. Previously, Rosa de Winter had taken care of Anne's mother and taken her to an infirmary barracks.

Anne had turned 15 three months before her arrival in Auschwitz and thus avoided direct death. 549 of the 1,019 passengers – including all children under the age of 15 – went directly to the gas chambers. The 258 men and 212 women who survived the selection had to endure the humiliating procedure of undressing, disinfecting , shaving and having a number tattooed on their arm. Anne, Margot and Edith Frank were housed in Block 29 of the Birkenau women's camp. Each of the 212 women from the Westerbork transport who survived the selection was tattooed with a number between A-25060 and A-25271. Since they were thus assigned a high number, they were low in the hierarchy. They had to do hard labor during the day and freeze in overcrowded barracks at night. The other inmates described Anne as strong or introverted. Her longing and her will to live proved to be the driving force. However, she could not escape the diseases that were rampant in the camp due to the catastrophic hygienic conditions and contracted scabies . To protect the other prisoners, she was transferred to an isolation block, the so-called scabies block, together with Margot. The hygienic conditions in this isolation block were even more catastrophic.

Yad Vashem memorial to Anne Frank

As the Allies drew ever closer, the National Socialists decided to evacuate Auschwitz gradually. On October 28, they deported 1,308 women from Birkenau to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. They were among a total of 8,000 "sick but potentially recoverable women" earmarked for later deployment in the defense industry. Rosa de Winter wrote in her book Aan de gaskamer ontsnapt! in August 1945 that on the night of November 1, 1944 the train that took Anne and Margot to Bergen-Belsen left. The two sisters were separated from their mother as a result.

Anne and Margot arrived in Bergen-Belsen two days later. After a five-mile hike, they were first housed in tents with other prisoners, which were later destroyed by a storm. In January 1945, the two girls were transferred to a detention camp, the "Sternlager". There Anne met her friends Hannah Goslar and Nanette Blitz, who had been imprisoned in another part of the camp as “ exchange Jews ” since February 1944 . During their conversations at the fence, Anne, who was only wearing a cloth because of the lice infestation , said that she and her sister were alone because she thought her parents were dead. Nanette Blitz described Anne as follows: “She was already a skeleton then. She was wrapped in a blanket. She couldn't wear her own clothes because they were full of lice.” But despite her own illness, Anne was more worried about Margot.

Gravestone for Anne and Margot Frank at the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp Memorial (2010)

As more and more prisoners were brought to Bergen-Belsen, the hygienic deficiencies in the camp worsened. In March 1945, a typhus epidemic began , killing about 17,000 prisoners. Typhus and other diseases were also widespread in the camp. According to witnesses, Margot fell from her bunk, weakened, and died. A few days later Anne was also dead. The exact dates were no longer noted shortly before the end of the war. A few weeks later, on April 15, 1945, British troops liberated the camp. Research by the Anne Frank Foundation at the end of March 2015 revealed that Anne and Margot had probably died in February 1945. It is not certain what diseases Anne and Margot fell victim to. According to the latest investigations, the sequence of events and the symptoms described by the eyewitnesses indicate that Anne died of typhus.

Anne Frank's grave is on the grounds of the Bergen-Belsen Memorial. After the liberation of the concentration camp, relatives erected a memorial stone for Anne and her sister Margot. The stone does not mark an exact burial site, as both rest in one of the surrounding anonymous mass graves .

Otto Frank was the only one of the Jews hiding in the Secret Annex to survive. After the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp by the Red Army on January 27, 1945, he lived in Amsterdam again until 1952. Then he moved to Basel , Switzerland , where his sister lived. A year later he married Elfriede Markovits, a native of Vienna, whose first husband Erich Geiringer and their son had died in the Mauthausen concentration camp . Otto Frank lived in Birsfelden near Basel until his death on August 19, 1980 and devoted himself to his daughter Anne's diary and to spreading the message it contained.

nationality, identity and language

Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt am Main to a German family and lived there until the summer of 1933. In 1933 the family had to emigrate to the Netherlands, where Anne attended school. Although born in Germany, Anne Frank has mostly spoken Dutch since she was five. Former classmates later commented that Otto and Edith Frank did not speak German at home either, only Dutch with Anne and Margot. While the parents had a German accent in their Dutch, both children spoke without an accent. In her diary, which she wrote in Dutch, Anne describes how she feels as a Jew rather than as a German.

“Fraai volk, de Duitsers. En daar behoorde I also eens toe! Maar no, Hitler heeft ons allang statenloos maakt. En trouwens, he bestaat geen groter vijandschap op de wereld dan tussen Duitsers en Joden.”

"A beautiful people, the Germans, and I actually belong to them too! But no, Hitler made us stateless long ago. And besides, there is no greater animosity in this world than between Germans and Jews.”

Anne Frank : Diary of Anne Frank , entry of October 9, 1942

Although the sentences quoted above have been translated in various German translations as above, it is important to mention that they have some notable differences compared to the Dutch-language original. In the Dutch version, for example, it was written in the past tense instead of the present tense , i.e. belonged , and the particle was actually added by the translators.

Anne Frank explains in her diary how she wants to become Dutch after the war and talks about the Netherlands as “her” country. She has therefore never had Dutch citizenship , because in the Netherlands you can only obtain citizenship as a living person.

“Maak me Dutch! I think of the Netherlands, I think of the country, I think of the country, and I want to work here. En al zou ik aan de Koningin zelf moeten schrijven, ik zal niet wijken vóór mijn doel bereikt.”

"Make me Dutch! I love the Dutch, I love our country, I love the language and I want to work here. And if I have to write to the Queen herself, I will not give up until my goal is achieved."

Anne Frank : Diary of Anne Frank, entry from May 4, 1944

memorials and tree

Anne Frank House

On May 3, 1957, a group around Otto Frank founded the Anne Frank Foundation (Anne Frank Stichting) to save the house at Prinsengracht 263 from dilapidation and open it to the public. Otto Frank named the contact and communication between young people with different cultures, religions or ethnic backgrounds as the primary goal of the foundation in order to counteract intolerance or racial discrimination. The museum and documentation center in the Anne Frank House was opened on May 3, 1960.

Former residences of the Franks

Stumbling blocks in Amsterdam
Stumbling blocks in Aachen

In 2005 the former apartment at Merwedeplein 37 in Amsterdam was restored to the condition it was in when the Frank family lived there. It is available to writers who cannot work freely in their home country for one year at a time. In February 2015, Gunter Demnig laid four stumbling blocks for Anne, Margot, Edith and Otto Frank in front of the house.

There are commemorative plaques in Frankfurt at the Franks' former apartments at Marbachweg 307 and at Ganghoferstraße 24. Further monuments were erected in the Dornbusch district. Anne Frank can also be seen on the Frankfurt steps .

In front of the last freely chosen apartment of the Frank family at Pastorplatz 1 in Aachen, stumbling blocks embedded in the sidewalk , which Demnig laid in June 2009, as well as a memorial stone in front of the grandmother's house, which no longer exists, recall the fate of the family.

Villa Spitzer

A memorial in front of "Villa Spitzer" ("Villa Laret") not far from the luxurious Hotel Waldhaus commemorates Anne Frank's vacations in 1935 and 1936 in Sils im Engadin/Segl in the estate of her Parisian great-aunt Olga Spitzer. A vase that she gave to her holiday friend Tosca Nett from the village when she left in 1936 is now part of the collection of the Nietzsche House in Sils.

Anne Frank tree

A chestnut tree that Anne Frank could see from her hiding place and mentioned in the diary became known as the Anne Frank tree . The tree was destroyed by a storm in August 2010. Offshoots of the tree were u. a. planted at a school in Frankfurt and at the United Nations in New York City .

research and educational institutions

Anne Frank Fund

In 1963, Otto Frank and his second wife founded the Anne Frank Fund as a charitable foundation in Basel. He bequeathed the copyright to the diary to the fund on condition that the first 80,000 Swiss francs of the annual income go to his heirs and the rest of the money is used for projects that the administration considers worthy. The Fund finances medical treatment for the Righteous Among the Nations and educates youth against racism . To this end, the fund supports numerous projects worldwide and works with various partners. The Fund provided some sheets of Anne's writings to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC for a 2003 exhibition. From 1996 to 2015, Anne's cousin Buddy Elias served as the fund's president.

On December 29, 2015, in a dispute with the fund, a court in Amsterdam ruled that a limited number of texts from Anne Frank's diaries may be copied and published for scholarly purposes. Otherwise, copyright also applies 70 years after Anne Frank's death, because this was extended by 50 years by an edition published in 1986 with previously unpublished texts. Nevertheless, the information scientist Olivier Ertzscheid from the University of Nantes and the politician Isabelle Attard published the Dutch original of the diary on the Internet immediately after the 70-year period had expired.

Anne Frank Center

The Anne Frank Center was founded in Berlin on June 12, 1998, the origins of which go back to an initiative in 1994. The non-profit organization is based in Berlin-Mitte , since 2002 on Rosenthaler Strasse right next to the Hackesche Höfe . The permanent exhibition »Everything about Anne«, which was developed with the Anne Frank House and the Basel Fund and has been shown in this form since November 2018, can be seen there by the public. Special educational programs are offered within the exhibition for school classes and youth groups. The German Anne Frank traveling exhibitions are also coordinated from here.

Educational center Anne Frank

The "Anne Frank Education Center" is an educational center in Anne Frank's birthplace, Frankfurt am Main. The facility, which was founded as a youth meeting place and was renamed an educational center in 2013, is intended to offer young people and adults an opportunity to engage with the history of National Socialism and its diverse references to the present. On June 12, 2018, the learning laboratory “Anne Frank. More tomorrow.” opened. The exhibition is supported by the Anne Frank House, the Fonds and the support program “ Leben Demokratie” (live democracy ).

Schildkraut Archive

The actor Joseph Schildkraut , who played Otto Frank in two films, collected letters, documents and photos of the Frank family in his archive. A number of documents come from the possession of the father. The archive was auctioned off on November 5, 2012 at Doyle Auction House in New York.

Anne Frank in the media

Anne Frank's life and writings have been documented and honored in numerous plays, films, books, and other works.


  • In the mid-1950s, Hollywood screenwriters Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich wrote the play The Diary of Anne Frank , based on the diary. The play was first performed in October 1955 and has since seen numerous revivals.
  • In 1997 a new Wendy Kesselman adaptation of the play, directed by James Lapine and starring Natalie Portman , premiered on Broadway .
  • In the 2015/16 season, the ballet Anne Frank by choreographer Reginaldo Oliveira premiered at the Staatstheater Karlsruhe .
  • 2020/2021: Anne Frank. Documentary-biographical theater with objects and puppets. From 12 years. Theater Die Artisanen, Berlin Nationwide venues, e.g. B. Kempen, January 2021


radio play



  • The Russian composer Grigory Samuilowitsch Frid wrote the opera The Diary of Anne Frank in 1969 for a singer. Ulrike Patow compiled the text from the diary.
  • In his 1992 drama Dreams of Anne Frank , Bernard Kops describes life in the Secret Annex with elements of fantasy and music.
  • British composer Robert Steadman created a 20-minute work for choir and strings entitled Tehillim for Anne in honor of Anne Frank's 75th birthday . It contains the Hebrew texts of Three Psalms , shouted by the choir like a barking mob. The work premiered in November 2004 at Southwell Minster, Nottinghamshire , conducted by Nicholas Thorpe.
  • British composer James Whitbourn 's 75-minute choral and ensemble work Annelies contains original lyrics from the diary and was first performed on 5 April 2005 at Cadogan Hall , London.
  • In 2008, Spanish director Rafael Alvero presented a musical about Anne Frank's life. The work, in which the Cuban Isabella Castillo plays the leading role, was performed at the Teatro Häagen-Dazs Calderón in Madrid.
  • Norwegian composer Marcus Paus' choral work The Beauty That Still Remains (2014) contains original lyrics from the diary. It was commissioned by the Norwegian government to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in 2015.

Other media

  • The painter Marc Chagall illustrated a limited edition of the diary.
  • For the documenta 7 exhibition , which took place in 1982, the German artist Felix Droese made a paper cut installation titled I Killed Anne Frank .
  • In 1992, German artist Wolf Vostell created a painting entitled Homage to Anne Frank .
  • On November 11, 2007, the Brazilian choreographer Carlos Cortizo premiered the dance theater piece Anne Frank in Nuremberg .
  • In December 2010, Ernie Colón and Sid Jacobson published their graphic novel The Life of Anne Frank. A Graphic Biography .
  • Anne Frank's diary was published as a "Graphic Diary" in October 2017 to mark the 70th anniversary of its first publication. The work of artists Ari Folman and David Polonsky has been authorized by the Anne Frank Fund.
  • The 2020 YouTube series Anne Frank Video Diary shows Anne Frank's life in the Secret Annex under the fictional assumption that she had a video camera instead of her diary.


Memorial stones for 11,134 murdered Frankfurt Jews in the wall of the old Jewish cemetery in Frankfurt

In June 1999, Time magazine published a special issue entitled TIME 100: Heroes & Icons of the 20th Century . The name Anne Frank also appears in the list of the hundred most influential politicians, artists, inventors, scientists and icons. Roger Rosenblatt, the author of Children of War , wrote in his entry on Anne Frank:

"The passions the book ignites suggest that Anne Frank belongs to all, that she has transcended the Holocaust, Judaism, girlhood and even virtue to become a totem figure of the modern world - the moral, individual spirit that ... occupied by the machinery of destruction and insisting on the right to live, to ask and to hope for the future of mankind.”

The same magazine also published a photo of Anne Frank in the 100 Photos that Changed the World series . In the Le Monde list The 100 Books of the Century , the French voted the book 19th.

However, in an afterword to Melissa Müller's biography of Anne Frank, Miep Gies defends herself against the view that Anne symbolizes the six million victims of the Holocaust. The girl's life and death are her individual destiny. However, this fate could help to grasp the worldwide suffering caused by the Holocaust. Melissa Müller herself writes at the end of her book:

“The murdering Nazis and their silent helpers could take Anne's life, but not her voice. [...] The Nazi terror failed because of Anne's belief in herself. He was supposed to kill her, but he didn't silence her."

memorials and remembrance

  • Plaque with a quote from her farewell letter and a short biography in several languages ​​at the Monumento alla Resistenza europea in Como.
  • Celestial bodies: An asteroid was named (5535) Annefrank . It was discovered in 1942, the year Anne began her diary and moved into her hiding place.
  • Schools: Many schools in Germany and other countries are named after Anne Frank. This also includes the Montessori school in Amsterdam, which she attended from 1934 to 1941.
  • Streets and squares: Many streets and squares were named after Anne Frank. In her hometown of Frankfurt, there is also the Anne Frank Settlement .
  • Train: One of the first new Intercity Express trains ( ICE 4 ) was to be named after Anne Frank . The Anne Frank House is skeptical about this naming. At the beginning of March 2018, Deutsche Bahn announced that it would refrain from naming trains after historical figures.


Every year on June 12, the Anne Frank Center organizes a day of action in schools.


  • Anne Frank: Dear Kitty. Your draft novel in letters. Translated from the Dutch by Waltraud Hüsmert . Secession, Zurich 2019, ISBN 978-3-906910-62-8 .
  • Anne Frank Fund (ed.): Complete Edition. Diaries - stories and events from the Secret Annex - stories - letters - photos and documents. Translated from the Dutch by Mirjam Pressler. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2013, ISBN 978-3-10-022304-3 (complete edition of all texts by Anne Frank - with previously unpublished letters and writings and many photos).
  • Anne Frank and others: Stories and events from the Secret Annex. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2002, ISBN 3-596-15777-3 . (The first edition appeared in 1947, edited by the father Otto Frank)
  • Miep Gies : My time with Anne Frank. Scherz, Basel 1987, ISBN 3-502-18266-3 .
  • Albrecht Goes , Anneliese Schütz (ed.): The diary of Anne Frank. Fischer Paperback Publishing House, Frankfurt am Main 1991, ISBN 3-596-20077-6 .
  • Willy Lindwer: Anne Frank, The last seven months. Fischer Paperback Publishing House, Frankfurt am Main 2000, ISBN 3-596-11616-3 .
  • Jacqueline van Maarsen: My name is Anne, she said, Anne Frank. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-10-048822-9 .
  • Alison L. Gold: Memoirs of Anne Frank. Ravensburger Verlag, 2000, ISBN 3-473-58142-9 .
  • Melissa Müller : The girl Anne Frank. The Biography. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2013, ISBN 978-3-596-18902-1 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  • David Barnouw: Anne Frank. From girl to myth. Econ and List Paperback Publishing House, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-612-26620-9 .
    • New edition: The Anne Frank Phenomenon. Klartext Verlag, Essen 2015.
  • David Barnouw, Gerrold van der Stroom: Who Betrayed Anne Frank? Munster 2005, ISBN 978-3-89688-252-3 .
  • Carol Ann Lee : Anne Frank. The Biography. Piper, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-492-04152-3 .
  • Carol Ann Lee: The Hidden Life of Otto Frank. William Morrow, New York 2003, ISBN 0-06-052083-3 .
  • Mirjam Pressler (with the collaboration of Gerti Elias ): Greetings and kisses to all. The history of the family of Anne Frank. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2009, ISBN 978-3-10-022303-6 .
  • Anne Frank Stichting (ed.): In Anne Frank's house. An illustrated journey through Anne's world. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-10-076715-2 .
  • Jürgen Steen, Wolf von Wolzogen: Anne from Frankfurt. The life and environment of Anne Frank. Historical Museum, Frankfurt am Main 1990.
  • Marion Siems: Anne Frank diary. Explanations and documents. Reclam, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-15-016039-1 .
  • Matthias Heyl: Anne Frank. Rowohlt TB, Reinbek 2002, ISBN 3-499-50524-X . (rm 50524).
  • Anne Frank House: A Museum with a Story. Anne Frank Stichting, Amsterdam 2002, ISBN 90-72972-56-2 .
  • Anne Frank Foundation, Amsterdam. Ruud van der Rol, Rian Verhoeven: Anne Frank. Oetinger, Hamburg 1993, ISBN 3-7891-7600-1 .
  • Ernst Schnabel : Anne Frank. trace of a child. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1958, ISBN 3-596-25089-7 .
  • Menno Metselaar, Ruud van der Rol: The Story of Anne Frank. Anne Frank Stichting, Amsterdam 2004, ISBN 90-72972-84-8 .
  • Barbara Honigmann : Finding the face again. About writing, writers and Judaism. essays. Hanser, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-446-20681-7 (= Edition Akzente; among others about Anne Frank, Rahel Varnhagen , Glückel von Hameln in comparison as well as about the changes to the diary by the editor Otto Frank).
  • Robert MW Kempner: Edith Stein and Anne Frank. Two out of a hundred thousand. The revelations about the Nazi crimes in Holland before the jury in Munich. The murder of the "non-Aryan" monks and nuns. Freiburg 1968, DNB 457181761 .
  • Otto Graf zu Stolberg-Wernigerode:  Frank, Anne. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 5, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1961, ISBN 3-428-00186-9 , p. 339 ( digitized ).
  • Tobias Hasenberg, Carolin Peschel: Textual 'X-ray images' of a historical-cultural phenomenon. Reflections on the didactic crossover potential of literature and history lessons using the example of fan fiction with 'Anne Frank'. In: Michael Eggers, Christof Hamann (eds.): Comparative Studies and Didactics. Aisthesis Verlag, Bielefeld 2018, ISBN 978-3-8498-1164-8 .
  • Rian Verhoeven: Anne Frank was never everyone. Het Merwedeplein 1933-1945. Amsterdam 2019, ISBN 978-90-446-3041-1 .
  • Historical Museum Frankfurt am Main: We used to live in Frankfurt. Frankfurt am Main and Anne Frank, City of Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt am Main, 1985.

web links

Wikiquote: Anne Frank  – Quotes
Commons : Anne Frank  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


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