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Anne Frank

(1929—1945) German Jewish girl


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(1929–1945)

German Jewish girl whose graphic account of two years spent hiding from the Nazis in occupied Amsterdam is a testament to the suffering of the Jews during World War II.

Anne was born in Frankfurt-am-Main, the daughter of Otto Frank, a German businessman. With the rise of the Nazis during the early 1930s, the Frank family moved to Amsterdam. German forces occupied the Netherlands in 1941 and soon all Jews faced the threat of deportation. On 9 July 1942, the Franks and their two daughters went into hiding in a secret apartment at Otto Frank's warehouse, where they were joined by the van Daans and their son, Peter. Friends brought them food and news from the world outside.

Showing remarkable insight, Anne Frank recorded the emotions and conflicts that marked their lives, how they responded to the constant fear of discovery, and her own emotional evolution on the brink of womanhood. The property was sold and an architect came to do a survey; a burglary resulted in police searching the premises. Still they remained undetected and, as news of the Allied invasion reached them in June 1944, their spirits rose. The last entry in Anne's diary is for 1 August. On 4 August, they were all seized by the Gestapo and sent to concentration camps. Anne's mother died in Auschwitz; Anne and her sister in Bergen-Belsen. Only Otto Frank survived. He published his daughter's diary in 1947 as Het Achterhuis (translated as The Diary of A Young Girl, 1953). Their hiding place in Amsterdam is now a museum and Anne's diary has been translated into over thirty languages, dramatized for the stage, and filmed (1959). An unexpurgated version appeared in 1995, revealing for the first time her sometimes critical attitude to the adults in hiding with her and her awakening interest in sex.

Subjects: Literature — Contemporary History (Post 1945).


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