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The Life of Anne Frank
On the Deportations
"Our many Jewish friends and acquaintances are being taken away in droves. The
Gestapo is treatiang them very roughly and transporting them in cattle cars to
Westerbork, the big camp in Drenthe to which they\'re sending all the Jews....If
it\'s that bad in Holland, what must it be like in those faraway and
uncivilized places where the Germans are sending them? We assume that most
of them are being murdered. The English radio says they\'re being gassed."--
October 9, 1942
On Her Old Country, Germany
"Fine specimens of humanity, those Germanns, and to think I\'m actually one of
them! No, that\'s not true, Hitler took away our nationality long ago. And
besides, there are no greater enemies on earth than the Germans and Jews."--
October 9, 1942
On Nazi Punishment of Resisters
"Have you ever heard the term \'hostages\'? That\'s the latest punishment for
saboteurs. It\'s the most horrible thing you can imagine. Leading citizens--
innocent people—are taken prisoner to await their execution. If the Gestapo
can\'t find the saboteur, they simply grab five hostages and line them up against
the wall. You read the announcements of their death in the paper, where they\'re
referred to as \'fatal accidents.\'"--October 9, 1942
"All college students are being asked to sign an official statement to the
effect that they \'sympathize with the Germans and approve of the New Order."
Eighty percent have decided to obay the dictates of their conscience, but the
penalty will be severe. Any student refusing to sign will be sent to a German
labor camp."--May 18, 1943
Here is were the story begins ...
On June 12, 1942, Anne Frank\'s parents gave her a small red-and-white plaid
diary for her thirteenth birthday. Anne recorded her innermost feelings in her
diary, which she named "Kitty."
Less than a month after receiving her diary, on July 6, 1942, Anne and her
family were forced to go into hiding. Though they could bring very few things
with them to the hiding place, Anne brought her diary. During the months Anne
lived in hiding, her diary became her best friend and confidant.
In hiding, Anne continued to write in her diary nearly every day. She wrote
about her life with the seven other people in hiding--her parents, her sister,
the van Pels family (called the van Daan family by Anne), and Fritz Pfeffer
(called Alfred Dussel by Anne), as well as the war going on around her, and her
hopes for the future.
When she filled up her original diary, Miep Gies and Bep Voskuijl, two of the
family\'s helpers,brought her ledgers and loose sheets of paper to continue
writing. She kept these in a briefcase that belonged to her father.
In 1944, the Dutch government, which had been in exile in London for most of the
occupation,broadcast a request over the radio for people to save their wartime
diaries. Anne Frank then began to rewrite her diary with the intention of having
it published after the war.
On August 4,1944, the Nazis raided the Secret Annex and arrested the residents.
They emptied Otto Frank\'s briefcase onto the floor, including Anne\'s diary, in
order to carry the family\'s valuables.
After the residents were taken away, Miep and Bep went to the Annex, and
attempted to salvage all that they could. They found Anne\'s papers, as well as
other personal belongings of the residents, which they took away for safe-
keeping. Miep put Anne\'s diary in her desk drawer, to await Anne\'s return.
Anne Frank did not survive the Holocaust. Her father, Otto Frank, returned to
Amsterdam after the war ended, the sole survivor among those who had hid in the
Secret Annex. When he found out that Anne had died in Bergen-Belsen, Miep Gies
gave him Anne\'s diary, which she had hidden for almost a year.
View Full Essay
Women in World War II, Jewish refugees, Anne Frank, Miep Gies, English-language films, Otto Frank, Fritz Pfeffer, Bep Voskuijl, MIEP, The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank, Gies, Jan Gies
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