Otto & Anne Frank Relationship in Diary of a Young Girl

Instructor: Elisha Madison

Elisha has Master's degree in Ancient Celtic History & Mythology, as well as a Bachelor's in Marketing. She has extensive experience creating & teaching curricula in college level education, history, English, business and marketing.

In the 'Diary of Anne Frank,' Anne and her father, Otto, become very close during their time hiding in the Secret Annex. Anne struggled to fit in with the older people in hiding, but her father became her supporter and defender throughout such a stressful time.

The Diary of Anne Frank

In 1942, Anne Frank and her family were living in the Netherlands, where they immigrated to run from the Nazi threat in Germany. However, even in the Netherlands the Frank family eventually had to go into hiding to escape capture. They manage to hide in the back of the business owned by Otto Frank (Anne's dad). Anne's family, another family of four, and one more man, hid in this Secret Annex for two years. The close proximity and fear created a constant tension between the people, especially for Anne, who was the youngest at 13. Anne wrote of the experience, and of her fears, in her journal. She states at the very beginning of their hiding '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. That, of course, is a fairly dismal prospect.' The maturity at such a young age is obvious.

A Young Girl in Captivity

As Anne adjusts to living in captivity, she struggles to adapt to not being with her friends and living in such a quiet place. The inability to make noise, and the terror that making too much noise will result in the family being captured, leaves her constantly worried and stressed. Anne starts to feel separate from her family, especially her mother Edith, and her sister Margot. Margot is treated in a gentler fashion while Anne is picked on incessantly. 'She bawled me out again, and the whole family wound up getting involved. I don't fit in with them, and I've felt that clearly in the last few weeks.' Although there is no other account of this family's time in the Annex, it's clear the stress has made this family struggle.

Anne and Otto's Relationship

Although Anne feels disparate from her mother and sister, she still speaks fondly of her father, yet unfortunately you see that there is still a caveat on how even her dad treats her. She writes, 'Daddy's the only one who understands me, now and again, though he usually sides with Mother and Margot.' Anne however also noted something else after this passage, perhaps realizing that she was unfair to the father she loved so much. 'Daddy's always so nice. He understands me perfectly, and I wish we could have a heart-to-heart talk sometime without my bursting instantly into tears.' The challenge of puberty and being so young likely makes Anne incredibly emotional, during a time when emotion is just an added stress to the constant fear.

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