On July 6, 1942, Annelies Marie Frank left the comfort of her home, she and her family were forced into hiding to live in an attic with the Van Pels family. Adolf Hitler, Chancellor of the German Reich, had forced the relocation of jews to concentration camps and encouraged his fellow Germans to kill all jewish people. Anne Frank and her family remained in hiding to 2 years until 1944 when they were discovered, apprehended and sent to concentration camps.
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Unfortunately, Anne, her mother, and sister didn’t survive what came to be known as the Holocaust. But Anne Frank did not go unknown, she left one of the most important and crucial documents–her diary. Anne’s diary gives us a first hand account of what it was like to be Jewish during the Holocaust.
Even though Anne Frank was going through one of the most violent situations in the history of the world, she was still a typical teenage girl. Her diary not only included the horrors of war but everyday problems of being a teenager. She wrote about a boy she liked named Hello, she talked about problems at school and how she disliked some of her teachers. She described her everyday life, her fathers job–an ordinary life. That was soon about to completely change.
Thanks to her diary, we are able to understand the tension and anguish the jewish felt on the days leading up to their capture or hiding. For Anne’s family it was July 4, 1942 when their life changed. Margot, Anne’s 16 year old sister received a letter ordering her to report to a work camp in Germany. Anne knew this meant that everything her dad said to her about going into hiding was about to happen so that night the Frank family had layered themselves in as much clothing as possible and headed to Amsterdam where they stayed in hiding.
Anne’s life in hiding was anything normal, she didn’t get to experience the life a regular teenager would experience. For example, she wasn’t even allowed to open a window or even stand by a window, in fear of being seen by someone. Anne wasn’t allowed to get up until after 7 am and on most nights had to be in her room by 6 pm. Anne had written in her diary that there was conflict between the 8 people living in the attic due to shortage of space. During the time in hiding, Anne had felt very misunderstood by the people around her, so she tried to better herself. Although it was hard for Anne to stay positive considering her living situation, she still wrote about herself as a normal teenager. She wrote about her fears, her hopes, and her character.
After 2 years of hiding, unfortunately on August 4, 1944 the Frank family’s hiding place was searched by the Gestapo and Dutch police. All 8 people living in the secret annex were captured and sent to concentration camps including the Frank family, the Van Pels family, and Fritz Pfeffer. Anne and her sister were both sent Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where they later died of Typhus fever. After the war was over Anne’s father, Otto Frank, soon discovered that he was the only member of his family to come out of the concentration camps alive. Otto Frank returned to the Secret Annex where he discovered Anne’s diary; it took him a couple months to be able to find the courage to read it. He later published the diary as a book called The Diary of a Young Girl that has been seen by millions of people. This diary has later become one of the most important and crucial regarding the Holocaust.
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