Anne Frank was one of the 1.5 million children who died in the Holocaust. Born Annelies Marie Frank on June 12, 1929, in Frankfurt, Germany to Otto and Edith Frank, Anne and her family fled to Amsterdam in 1933 after the Nazi seizure of power in Germany.
In May, 1940, the Germans occupied Amsterdam, and in July, 1942, began, with Dutch collaborators, to deport Jews to a transit camp near the German border and eventually to killing centers in Auschwitz-Birkenau and Sobibor in German-occupied Poland.
In July, 1942, Anne and her family went into hiding in a secret attic apartment that eventually housed four Dutch Jews, as well—Hermann, Auguste and Peter van Pels and Fritz Pfeffer. For two years, they lived in the apartment behind the family-owned business at 263 Prinsengracht Street, which Anne referred in her diary as “the Secret Annex.”
For two years, Otto Frank’s friends and colleagues, who had previously helped prepare the hiding place, smuggled food and clothing to the Franks at great risk to their own lives.
On August 4, 1944, the Gestapo (German Secret State Police) discovered the hiding place after being tipped by an anonymous Dutch caller. That same day, the Franks were arrested.
While in the annex, Anne, who had just turned 13 when the family went into hiding, kept a diary in which she recorded her fears, hopes and experiences. Found in the secret apartment after the family was arrested, the diary was kept by one of the family friends who helped hide the Franks. The friend, Miep Geis, later gave the diary to the only survivor from those who had originally gone into hiding—Otto Frank, Anne’s father.
What is now The Diary of Anne Frank was first published in 1947 in many languages. The book is read by thousands of middle- and high-school students around the world. Along with Night by Elie Weisel and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, a work of fiction, The Diary of Anne Frank is one of the widely-used Holocaust resources with more than 31 million copies sold.