15. Anne Frank
Arguably the most well-known victim of the Holocaust, Anne Frank was born on June 12, 1929, in Frankfurt, Germany. Anne’s family left Germany early after Hitler’s Nazi Party came into power and emigrated to Amsterdam in Holland. After the German Army invaded The Netherlands in 1941, the Franks were facing deportation to a forced-labour camp the following year. On July 9, 1942, the Franks and four other Jewish friends went into hiding in the back office and warehouse of Otto Frank’s (Anne’s father) food product business.
For just over two years the Franks along with their friends remained in hiding, receiving food and other supplies from non-Jewish friends until a tip-off from Dutch informers revealed their secret hiding place to the Gestapo. The family was sent to Westerbork, which was a transit camp located in The Netherlands. From there, they tragically ended up on the last ever transport from Westerbork to Auschwitz in German-occupied Poland on September 3, 1944. One month after arriving in Auschwitz, Anne and her sister Margot were transferred to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. In early January, Anne’s mother died in Auschwitz just before the camp was evacuated on January 18, 1945.
In March 1945, the appalling, overcrowded and unsanitary conditions of Belsen led to an outbreak of typhus which tragically claimed the lives of Anne and her sister Margot just a few weeks before the liberation of the camp by the British on April 15, 1945. Anne’s father Otto Frank was found hospitalized in Auschwitz when the camp was liberated by the Russian Army on January 27, 1945. He was the only member of the family who survived.
Later, friends who had sifted through what was left behind by the Gestapo in the Franks hiding place found a diary that Anne had written during their time in hiding. Anne Frank’s diary entitled, “The Diary of a Young Girl” was published in 1947. Originally printed in Dutch, the diary was translated into more than 50 languages making it the most widely read diary of the Holocaust. In 1995 Anne’s diary was reprinted in English. It contained material previously omitted which made it one-third longer than the original published versions. The Franks hiding place is now a museum visited by people from all across the world.