Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June 12 – Birthday of Anne Frank

An Inspirational Story of Anne Frank 

“I don’t want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people even those I have never met. I want to go on living even after my death.” Anne Frank

June 12th is the birth date of a very special girl named Anne Frank.  Anne was a Jewish girl who lived and died during the Holocaust.

Anne Frank was born in Frankfort, Germany in 1929. In 1933, because of the persecution of the Jewish people, her father, Otto, immigrated with the family to Holland. Anne Frank’s father had a successful business and they lived very comfortably in Holland. Anne had an older sister named Margot.

Sadly, in 1940, the Germans invaded Holland and many anti-Jewish measures were imposed. Anne had to go to a special Jewish school and the cinema, swimming pool and tram were off-limits.

Later, the Frank family went into hiding, with another family, in a secret annex at Otto Frank’s warehouse. It was terribly crowded and uncomfortable. The family was fortunate to be secretly supported by good friends, many of whom were employees at Otto’s business. The Frank family lived, in the hidden annex, for twenty-five months.

In 1942, Margot received a call-up notice to report for deportation to a forced labor camp. During this time in hiding, Anne, frustrated and bored, started writing her story in a diary. She wrote about freedom and courage.

In 1944, an unknown informer gave away the Frank family’s secret hideaway. Anne was arrested along with her mother and father. The family was taken to a police station in Amsterdam and eventually to Westerbore transit camp. The Frank’s were transported, in a locked cattle car, to Auschwitz concentration camp.

During the trip, Otto became separated from his family. He never saw them again. Anne’s sister Margot was also sent to Auschwitz. Anne’s mother died in Auschwitz. Later Anne and Margot were transferred to Bergen-Belsen. Both girls died there. Anne was only fifteen. Otto Frank is the only person, from the secret annex, to survive the camps. The name of the person who betrayed the Frank family has never been revealed.

After the families were arrested, a young couple, who supported them earlier, went to the annex and rescued Anne’s diary. They held the diary for Otto. In 1945, after Auschwitz was liberated at the end of the war, Otto returned to Amsterdam where he discovered that the rest of his family had died. The couple gave Otto Anne’s diary. Anne Frank's diary was published in 1947 and titled, “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.The book has since been translated into many languages and adapted for both film and theater.

By Lois Jamieson

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