The Frank family moved
Anne's family moved to the Netherlands from Germany in 1933. This was because of the election of Hitler's Nazi Party and the subsequent escalation of Anti-Semitism in Germany
Amsterdam was a haven, for a short time
Otto Frank, Anne's father, opened a branch of his pectin business in Amsterdam. Until 1940, the family lived a relatively
However, the new decade heralded the Nazi occupation of Holland. The Jewish populace was immediately subjected to the same civil infringements as there were in Germany.
Otto Frank was forced to relinquish control of his business. This led to a lack
of income. In turn, this then meant in 1942, Anne's thirteenth birthday present
was a diary. She had pointed to this diary in a store window, when with her father.
Call up for Anne's sister Margot
Three weeks later, Anne's elder sister Margot received a call-up to a work camp in Germany. The family knew that their non-compliance would result in arrest. Luckily their hideout had already been arranged.
The Frank Family Hideout
Three storeys of augmented achterhuis or "backhouse" at the rear of Otto's
workplace became the home of these eight onderduikers ("people in hiding")
for the next 26 months. As well as Anne's mother, father and sister, the
- Fritz Pfeffer (a dentist and family friend)
- the Van Pels
family Hermann (Otto's business partner)
- Auguste (Hermann's wife)
- their son Peter
Details in Anne Frank's Diary
All were to play a part in Anne's meticulously recorded reports of life in
the rooms that were destined to be known as the Secret Annexe. She wrote
extensively of how the inhabitants struggled to maintain their reclusive
lifestyle, tensions within the group and her affections for Peter, as well
as her views on the plight of her people and her hopes and dreams.
Betrayed, only one survived
Tragically, the group's tenure came to an abrupt end when they were
anonymously betrayed in August 1944. Anne's final few days were lived
out at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Out of the eight, only Otto
Frank survived the war.
Creation of the Museum
After the popular and critical acclaim of Anne's diary, Anne Frank House was
opened as a museum in May 1960. Visitors can explore the Annexe, which
remains in practically the same condition as it was when the group was
evicted in 1944.
After reading Anne's story (or simply knowing her history),
actually standing in her bedroom, where photos of her Hollywood idols still
decorate the walls, is an overwhelming experience.
The original diary is
also housed in the museum, as are other documents and family relics. These
include some possessions Otto Frank brought back from Auschwitz.
The museum now incorporates the adjacent no. 265 house, which features
ever-changing exhibitions focusing on other stories of persecution and
discrimination. Now one of the world's most frequented attractions, the
museum welcomes nearly a million visitors each year.
More information on the Anne Frank Museum