15 Things You May Not Know about Anne Frank
“How wonderful it is that no one has to wait, but we can start right now to gradually change the world.” – Anne Frank
On August 1, 1944, Anne Frank wrote the final entry in her diary, ending her letter with the words “I…keep trying to find a way to become what I’d like to be and what I could be if…if only there were no other people in the world.” Three days later, her Secret Annex was discovered, and Anne was sent to a concentration camp, from which she would not return.
In remembrance of the life of Anne Frank and to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the discovery of her hiding place, here are 15 things you may not know about Anne Frank and her family.
1. Annelies Marie Frank was born on June 12, 1929, in Frankfurt, Germany.
2. Anne’s father, Otto, served in the German army during World War I, rising to the rank of lieutenant.
3. Anne’s family moved to Amsterdam when the Nazis gained control over Germany when she was approximately 4 1/2 years old.
4. Otto Frank was the managing director for Opekta, a spice company whose Dutch operation was based in the building that would become known as the Anne Frank house.
5. The house is located on the Prinsengracht Canal, one of Amsterdam’s four main canals.
6. Known as “het achterhuis,” meaning “back house,” the Secret Annex was perfect for hiding since it was surrounded by houses on all four sides.
7. Otto, his wife Edith, his two daughters (Anne and Margot), and four other Jews lived in rooms that amounted to approximately 500 square feet.
8. In total, Anne was in hiding for 2 years and 35 days.
9. Following her arrest, Anne was sent to Westerbork Camp in the Netherlands. From there, she was deported on the last train from that camp that went to Auschwitz.
10. At Auschwitz, all children younger than 15 were immediately gassed. Anne was three months older than 15 upon her arrival. She stayed there for a little less than two months before she was transported to Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp.
11. Anne likely died in February 1945 due to typhus symptoms after 5 months in concentration camps. She died a few days after her sister and approximately 2 months before her camp was liberated by British soldiers.
12. Following the capture of Anne’s family, Miep Gies, Otto’s secretary and key helper in the hiding, returned to the annex and discovered Anne’s diary. She saved it in her desk drawer and never read it until she gave it to Otto Frank.
13. Otto was the only family member who survived the Holocaust. He transcribed his daughter’s writing, editing out sections he felt were too personal or boring.
14. The first Dutch edition of Het Achterhuis was published in 1947. It was translated to English in 1952 and published as The Secret Annex or The Diary of a Young Girl. In 1959, the book debuted on film as The Diary of Anne Frank.
15. Today, Anne’s diary has sold more than 30 million copies and has been translated into more than 65 languages.