Back In Time : Anne Frank, 15-year-old Jewish Diarist Discovered And Arrested

BACK IN TIME is ED’s newspaper type column that reports an incident from the past as though it has happened just yesterday. It allows the reader to re-live it several years later, on the date it had occurred.

4th August, 1944 : On this day in 1944, 15-year-old Jewish diarist of the international bestseller Diary Of A Young Girl, Anne Frank along with her family was captured by the Nazi Gestapo from an Amsterdam warehouse.

In the hiding, young Anne had spent much of her time writing a diary. The diary survived the war but Anne and almost all of the others perished in the Nazi death camps.

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Annelies Marie Frank was born in Frankfurt, Germany on June 12, 1929. Anne was the younger daughter of Otto Frank and Edith Frank Hollander. Her parents belonged to Jewish families who had been living in Germany since centuries.

In 1933, Otto had moved his family to Amsterdam to escape the horror of increasing Nazi persecution of Jews. Rise of the Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler, was haunting him.

Anne attended some Montessori school with other middle-class Dutch children in Holland. But it is with the German invasion of Netherlands in 1940s that she was forced to take transfer to a Jewish school.

In 1942, due to the fear of deportation to Nazi concentration camps, Otto Frank made them take shelter at the warehouse. They occupied this really small space with another Jewish family and a single Jewish man. They were aided by some Christian friends.

Soon after Anne’s 13th birthday in 1942, she began writing a diary. Diary entries had her everyday experiences, relationship with her family and friends and observations about the increasing dangerous circumstances around her.

And for two years, Anne kept her diary hidden. The diary was marked with pain, innocence, humour, struggle and insight.

In June 1944, the Allied landing at Normandy raised Anne’s hopes. She thought that the long-awaited liberation of Holland would finally begin and somehow save her.

But sadly on August 1, 1944, Anne made her last entry in her diary. Three days later on 4th August, 1944, 25 months of seclusion in hiding ended with the arrival of the Nazi Gestapo.

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An unknown informer had given away details of Anne and the others. As a result of which they were arrested along with two of the Christians who had helped shelter them.

All of them were sent to a Nazi concentration camp in Holland. It was early in September when Anne and the others were shipped to the Auschwitz death camp of Poland.

In 1944, Anne along with her sister Margot was taken to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. Suffering from the terrible conditions of the camp, the two sisters caught typhus and died to it in 1945.

Otto Frank, Anne’s father, was one of the 10 survivors of the Nazi death camps. After the war and end of the horror of holocaust, Otto returned to Amsterdam. It was in Amsterdam where he was reunited with one of his former employees.

This golden day is when Otto was given Anne’s long hidden diary which Otto’s employee had found undisturbed after the Nazi raid.

In 1947, Anne’s diary was published by Otto Frank as Diary of a Young Girl, written originally in Dutch. It was an instant best-seller and was eventually translated into more than 50 languages. Frank family’s hideaway was later turned into a museum.

The Diary of Anne Frank has been regarded as and will continue to be regarded as a literary testament to almost about six million Jews, including Anne herself, who were silenced in the Holocaust.


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