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Annelies Marie “Anne Frank (June 12, 1929 – March 1945) was a Jewish girl who wrote a diary while hiding with her family from the Nazis in Amsterdam during World War II. Her family was betrayed and they were transported to German concentration camps, after which all but Anne's father Otto died. After the war, her diary was published, making her world-famous.
She was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, the second daughter of Otto Heinrich Frank (May 12, 1889 - August 19, 1980) and his wife Edith Hollander (January 16, 1900 - January 6, 1945) of a family of German patriots that had served in World War I. She had an older sister, Margot Betti Frank (February 16, 1926 - March 1945). She and her family later had to move to Amsterdam to escape persecution by the Nazis. There she received a diary book for her thirteenth birthday. Still barely 13 years old, her family went into hiding in the Achterhuis, a small two-story space behind Otto Frank's company space. (This Achterhuis was located in a rather typical - and old - building on the Prinsengracht, a canal on the western side of Amsterdam, about a block from the Westerkerk.) The door to the Achterhuis was hidden behind a bookcase. They lived there from July 9, 1942 until August 4, 1944, during the Nazi occupation.
There were 8 people in the hiding place: Otto and Edith Frank (Anne's parents); Anne and her older sister Margot; Mr. Dussel, a Jewish dentist (real name, Fritz Pfeffer); and Mr. and Mrs. van Daan with their son Peter (real last name, van Pels). During those years Anne wrote her diary, describing with considerable talent her fears of living in hiding for years, the awakening feelings for Peter, the conflicts with her parents, and her aspirations to become a writer. A few months before they were discovered, Anne started to rewrite her diary with the idea to have it published after the war.
After more than two years, a tip from a Dutch informer led the Gestapo to their hiding place. They were arrested by the Grüne Polizei and on September 2, 1944 Frank and her family were placed on the last transport train from Westerbork to Auschwitz. They arrived three days later. Meanwhile Miep Gies and Elly Vossen, two of the people who cared for them during the hiding years, found the diary and saved it.
Anne, Margot and Edith Frank, the van Pels family and Fritz Pfeffer did not survive the German concentration camps (in Peter van Pels' case, the death marches between concentration camps). Margot and Anne spent a month in Auschwitz-Birkenau and were sent on to Bergen-Belsen, where they died of typhus in March 1945, shortly before the liberation. Only Anne's father Otto made it out of the concentration camps alive; he died in 1980. Miep gave him the diary and he edited it for publication under the title The Diary of Anne Frank. It has since been published in 55 languages.
A recent critical edition of the diary compares her original entries with her father's edited versions. The house where Anne and her family hid is now a museum. It is at Prinsengracht 263 in the city center, within walking distance of the main train station, the palace and the Dam.
In 1956 Frank's diary was made into a play that won the Pulitzer Prize, in 1959 it was made into a motion picture (see The Diary of Anne Frank (film)), and in 1997 it was made into a Broadway play with added material from the original diaries.
Though the diary's authenticity has been proven beyond a doubt, Holocaust deniers continue to question it.
In 2004 a new book was published in The Netherlands, called 'Mooie zinnen-boek' (Book of beautiful sentences). Following her father's advice, Anne copied fragments of books and short poems that especially struck her from the many books she read during her stay in the Achterhuis. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Frank [Sept 2004]
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (1947) - Anne Frank
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (1947) - Anne Frank [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
A beloved classic since its initial publication in 1947, this vivid, insightful journal is a fitting memorial to the gifted Jewish teenager who died at Bergen-Belsen, Germany, in 1945. Born in 1929, Anne Frank received a blank diary on her 13th birthday, just weeks before she and her family went into hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. Her marvelously detailed, engagingly personal entries chronicle 25 trying months of claustrophobic, quarrelsome intimacy with her parents, sister, a second family, and a middle-aged dentist who has little tolerance for Anne's vivacity. The diary's universal appeal stems from its riveting blend of the grubby particulars of life during wartime (scant, bad food; shabby, outgrown clothes that can't be replaced; constant fear of discovery) and candid discussion of emotions familiar to every adolescent (everyone criticizes me, no one sees my real nature, when will I be loved?). Yet Frank was no ordinary teen: the later entries reveal a sense of compassion and a spiritual depth remarkable in a girl barely 15. Her death epitomizes the madness of the Holocaust, but for the millions who meet Anne through her diary, it is also a very individual loss. --Wendy Smith for Amazon.com
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