This Day In History: Ann Frank And Her Family Are Captured (1944)

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This day in history , Anne Frank and her family are arrested in German-occupied Holland. Their hiding place was found by the Gestapo. The family was separated from each other and transported to various concentration camps, where they endured appalling conditions and faced unbelievable terrors.

Anne and her family are well-known to this day. All because of Anne’s diary, which was published after the war. The Diary of Anne Frank was an international hit and it has sold millions of copies. It is perhaps one of the best-known books every written about war and the inhumanity of war. The diary is also famous for its portrait of the indomitable  human spirit in the face of adversity.

Annelies Marie Frank,  was born Germany, 1929. Her family a well-known businessman moved to Holland to escape the Hitler government and the Nazis. However, the Nazis overrun Holland in 1940 and the family were in a very dangerous position. The Franks, as Jews, were threatened with deportation to a concentration camp and so went into hiding. The hid in the back of Otto Frank’s office and they were supplied by Christian friends and neighbors.

They were safe for many years. It was at this time, that Anne Frank wrote her famous girl. She was an intelligent and high-spirited girl and this is apparent from her writings, which have made them so popular. The family endured the many years of hiding in part because of Anne and her indomitable spirit.

Stolperstein für Anne Frank am Pastorplatz in Aachen. Foto: Turelio (via Wikimedia-Commons)
Plaque dedicated to Anne Frank

It seemed that the Franks would survive the war and avoid Nazi persecution. The Allies had landed in Normandy in June and they were rapidly advancing in France. However, the Franks were betrayed.

The Gestapo received a tip from Dutch informers. They then discovered the Franks and arrested them. They then transported them to the Auschwitz concentration camps in Poland in  the Autumn. Anne and her sister, Margot, were transferred to the Bergen-Belsen.  Anne died of typhus, in March 1945, only weeks before the Allies reached the camp.

Their father Otto was found and he survived the horror of Auschwitz. Anne’s mother had died in Auschwitz not long before. The diary survived by sheer luck. Anne had hidden them from the Nazis, if they had found them they would have burned them. The Frank’s hiding place was searched by their friends and they found the diary.

Anne’s diary described her emotional and intellectual development during the two years spent hiding. Anne’s father had it published after the war as The Diary of a Young Girl.  It has since become known as the Diary of Anne Frank. It took several years but it soon became a literary phenomenon. The diary was translated into some 45 languages and  was later adapted for the stage and the screen.

The Franks’ hiding place, on the Prinsengracht Canal in Amsterdam, has been turned into a museum. Thousands of people visit the museum every year.

The most famous quote in the diary is ”In spite of everything I believe that people are still good”.

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