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Anne Frank - Early Life, Hiding, Conditions, Deportation, Death

Cari Herndon, Grace Pisano
  • Author
    Cari Herndon

    Cari Herndon is an experienced teacher and curriculum developer, focused on creating more inclusive curricula. After she earned her M.Ed. in Secondary Education from DePaul University, she worked for ten years as a middle and high school science teacher. She is licensed to teach 4th – 12th grade science.

  • Instructor
    Grace Pisano

    Grace attended James Madison University has a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in teaching. She previously taught 2 years of high school social studies in several states around the country.

Learn about Anne Frank. Explore the history of her life in hiding and deportation to the concentration camps. Discover facts about her death and legacy. Updated: 10/01/2021

Anne Frank History

There have been many first-hand accounts of the atrocities of the Holocaust, the systemic murder of 6 million Jews by the Nazis during the early 20th century. One of these such accounts is that of a young Jewish girl Anne Frank and her family, who hid for more than 2 years to evade capture and execution by the Nazis.

Anne was born in Germany in 1929. She had a father, Otto, mother, Edith, and older sister Margot. As the Nazi's anti-Semitic policies began to take hold in Germany, the family fled to Amsterdam, where they lived in relative peace until 1940 when the Germans invaded the Netherlands. Laws restricting the movement, economic practices, and other actions of Jews slowly escalated, until 1942 when Margot was called up for a labor camp in Germany. The Frank family went into hiding the next day.

Anne Frank was born in 1929. She was known for being energetic and for having a sense of humor.

Passport photo Anne Frank, May 1942.

During her time in the Secret Annex, Anne kept a diary detailing her daily life, thoughts, hopes, and dreams. She and the other people living in the Secret Annex had a routine to their day in order to evade detection. Anne continued her studies while in hiding and was even inspired to write short stories. However, it all ended on August 4, 1944, when the occupants of the Secret Annex were arrested and deported during a raid. Anne and her family were brought to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Anne later died of spotted typhus in February of 1945.

Anne Frank's Childhood

Annelies Marie Frank was born to Edith and Otto Frank on June 12, 1929, in Frankfurt, Germany. Her sister Margot was born three years earlier. At the time, Germany, like much of the world, was gripped by economic downturn. There was significant poverty around the country and high unemployment. Adolf Hitler rose to power on a platform of economic improvement and anti-Semitism. Four years later, he became the chancellor of Germany and thus began the legalized persecution of the Jews in Germany. Under these circumstances, Otto Frank sought to move his family away from the anti-Semitic policies of Nazi Germany. He established a company in Amsterdam and moved the family there in 1933.

Anne was enrolled in a Dutch school where she quickly learned the language and became popular among the other students, including those of different faiths. Anne enjoyed an active lifestyle, despite rheumatic fever. She enjoyed gymnastics, swimming, and ice skating. In school, she was known for being energetic and talkative. She wrote in her diary, "Mr. Keptor, the old math master, was very annoyed with me for a long time because I chatter so much." As a punishment, he asked her to write essays on her habit of talking out in class. Anne's essays were lighthearted and humorous, such that the math teacher found them funny. He forgave her and never assigned extra work after that.

On June 12th, 1942, Anne turned thirteen. One of her many birthdays presents from her parents was a red diary. Out of the many things she received from friends and family, the diary was her favorite. She wrote, "I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support." The diary became one of the most important tools, not only of comfort and support but of expression and growth for Anne during their time in the Secret Annex.

How did Anne come to hide in the Secret Annex? For a time, all was right in Amsterdam for the Frank family. Ottos' business was stable. The girls attended school and made friends. However, in 1940, the Nazis invaded the Netherlands and began to enact restrictive measures upon the Jewish population. Anne and her sister were made to change schools to an all-Jewish one. They were forced to wear the yellow star of David on their clothes. They were banned from non-Jewish stores and public spaces. Jews were no longer able to own businesses, and so her father lost his successful company. Otto and Edith began to plan for a time in which the family would need to go into hiding and created a secret space in the annex of the building that housed his business. On July 5, 1942, Anne's older sister Margot received a summons to report for labor duty in Germany, and the family went into hiding shortly after.

Anne Frank

In The Diary of a Young Girl', Anne Frank records her day-to-day thoughts, encounters, and memories while hiding in the attic of a safe house during the Nazi persecution of Jews in World War II. This book has become one of the most famous first-hand accounts of what it was like to live in hiding during the Holocaust. As we look into her story, let's see how Anne Frank's life compares to the average life of a teenager today. Her perspective through these experiences is remarkable.

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  • 0:04 Anne Frank
  • 0:31 Early Life
  • 1:10 The Annex
  • 1:53 Living Conditions
  • 2:56 Deportation & Death
  • 3:41 Lesson Summary
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The Secret Annex

Where did Anne Frank hide? Behind a bookcase in the back of her father Otto's business was a set of stairs. This led to the first room, where Anne's father, mother, and sister slept at night. During the day, this room was shared by the eight occupants. Next to that room was another small room, which Anne shared with Mr. Pfeiffer. Above that was another small room, in which Mr. van Daan and his wife, Mrs. van Daan slept. Their son Peter was the only occupant to have a room to himself, which was a tiny corridor. There was little privacy and all of the spaces were shared in one way or another.

The annex was a secret because most of the employees at the business did not know about its existence. However, there were helpers for the occupants, employees of the company who did know about the annex and assisted Anne's family in hiding.

The Secret Annex hidden behind a bookcase in her father

Miep and Jan stand in front of the bookcase that concealed the secret annex after the war.

Life in Hiding

Life in the Secret Annex was cramped, as there was not much space for privacy. The Frank family of four was shortly joined by the van Daans: Mr. and Mrs. van Daan and their son Peter. A Jewish dentist, Mr. Pfeiffer joined them as well, bringing their total to eight. During the day, when workers were at the business, the occupants had to be very quiet. At night, when light in the annex could draw attention, the windows had to be blacked out.

Life in the Secret Annex was not without its pros and cons. Anne and her sister Margot continued their studies. They enjoyed sewing, reading, and playing board games. Anne took to writing in her diary regularly but also filled it with short stories. Once the workers had left for the day the occupants of the Secret Annex had more freedom to move and could even listen to the radio. However, being in such closed quarters with others and little privacy also brought its tensions. The van Daan family complained that Anne had no manners and was rude. Anne and her mother bickered. At night there were air raids and burglars that broke into the office. However, in her diary, Anne remained optimistic, writing, "we were a patch of blue sky surrounded by menacing black clouds trying to crush us, but not yet able to. " She had hopes for the future and dreamed about becoming a writer after the war.

Early Life

Anne Frank was born in June 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, the Frank family fled to Amsterdam (in the Netherlands) thinking it would be safer for them there since they were Jewish. However, in 1940, Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands. Two years later, in 1942, the Nazis began working with the Dutch to move Jews into concentration camps. The Frank family was no longer safe, even though they were out of Germany. So shortly after the German invasion, they decided to go into hiding. Throughout Europe, many Jewish families went into hiding as way to avoid being deported to a concentration camp during the Holocaust.

The Annex

Preparing for the worst but hoping for the best, the Frank's began crafting their hiding space long before Germany invaded the Netherlands. Over a period of months they moved food, clothes, and furniture into the space in case they needed to go into hiding. Anne, her sister Margot, and their parents lived in hiding for two years with four other Jews. In total, there were eight Jews living in what Anne referred to in her diary as the Annex, a small, hidden portion of a house located in the back of a building on a road populated by small businesses. The door to the annex was hidden by a bookcase. The people who volunteered to help the Franks moved the bookcase when they needed to take food or supplies to the eight people in hiding.

Living Conditions

Although the Franks' hiding place was larger in comparison to some of the other places where Jews had gone into hiding, it made for some close quarters. There were four small bedrooms (one of which functioned as a sitting area during the day), a kitchen, and bathrooms. All of the windows were covered by curtains, which had to be closed during the day to prevent the neighbors from seeing inside. For two years, the Franks were unable to go outside.

Can you imagine what it would be like to grow up in these circumstances? Anne was forced to spend her early teenage years under the most strict conditions - never going outside, speaking with the same people every day, and spending most of her time reading. Despite this, she kept herself in better spirits than anyone could expect.

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Video Transcript

Anne Frank

In The Diary of a Young Girl', Anne Frank records her day-to-day thoughts, encounters, and memories while hiding in the attic of a safe house during the Nazi persecution of Jews in World War II. This book has become one of the most famous first-hand accounts of what it was like to live in hiding during the Holocaust. As we look into her story, let's see how Anne Frank's life compares to the average life of a teenager today. Her perspective through these experiences is remarkable.

Early Life

Anne Frank was born in June 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, the Frank family fled to Amsterdam (in the Netherlands) thinking it would be safer for them there since they were Jewish. However, in 1940, Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands. Two years later, in 1942, the Nazis began working with the Dutch to move Jews into concentration camps. The Frank family was no longer safe, even though they were out of Germany. So shortly after the German invasion, they decided to go into hiding. Throughout Europe, many Jewish families went into hiding as way to avoid being deported to a concentration camp during the Holocaust.

The Annex

Preparing for the worst but hoping for the best, the Frank's began crafting their hiding space long before Germany invaded the Netherlands. Over a period of months they moved food, clothes, and furniture into the space in case they needed to go into hiding. Anne, her sister Margot, and their parents lived in hiding for two years with four other Jews. In total, there were eight Jews living in what Anne referred to in her diary as the Annex, a small, hidden portion of a house located in the back of a building on a road populated by small businesses. The door to the annex was hidden by a bookcase. The people who volunteered to help the Franks moved the bookcase when they needed to take food or supplies to the eight people in hiding.

Living Conditions

Although the Franks' hiding place was larger in comparison to some of the other places where Jews had gone into hiding, it made for some close quarters. There were four small bedrooms (one of which functioned as a sitting area during the day), a kitchen, and bathrooms. All of the windows were covered by curtains, which had to be closed during the day to prevent the neighbors from seeing inside. For two years, the Franks were unable to go outside.

Can you imagine what it would be like to grow up in these circumstances? Anne was forced to spend her early teenage years under the most strict conditions - never going outside, speaking with the same people every day, and spending most of her time reading. Despite this, she kept herself in better spirits than anyone could expect.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How did Anne Frank finally die?

Anne and her older sister Margot were living in the concentration camp Bergen-Belson in early 1945. They contracted typhus, which ultimately killed both Anne and Margot.

How do they know Anne Frank died?

Researchers are able to put together eyewitness accounts, including friends of Anne's who survived the concentration camps, to determine that Anne Frank die in February, 1945.

How old was Anne Frank when she died?

Anne Frank was born on June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany. She died in February 1945. She was 15 years old when she died.

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