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Anne Frank is a Jewish girl that had to go into hiding during World War II. She is best known for the diary that she kept, which continues to touch people today.
Anne Frank - Mini Biography (5:30)
Watch a short video about Anne Frank and how she got the idea to keep the journal that touched countless lives.
A short biography of Anne Frank, whose diary offered an intimate account of what life was like hiding from Hitler's Nazis during the Holocaust in World War II. She died at the age of 15, weeks before the war ended.
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Born in Germany in 1929, Anne Frank is one of the most famous Jewish victims of the Holocaust because of the diary she kept during her time in hiding before being captured by the Nazis. She was only 13 years old when she and her family went into hiding. The writings from the two years she spent in such close proximity to her family was discovered and published by her father, Otto Frank and continue to touch people today.
"I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more."
"Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart."
"Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy."
"No one has ever become poor by giving."
"It's utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death."
Holocaust victim and famous diarist Anne Frank was born Annelies Marie Frank on June 12, 1929, in Frankfurt, Germany. Her mother was Edith Frank, and her father, Otto Frank, was a lieutenant in the German Army during World War I who later became a businessman in Germany and the Netherlands. Frank also had a sister named Margot, three years her senior. The Franks were a typical upper middle-class German-Jewish family living in a quiet, religiously diverse neighborhood near the outskirts of Frankfurt. However, Frank was born on the eve of dramatic changes in German society that would soon disrupt her family's happy, tranquil life as well as the lives of all other German Jews.
Due in large part to the harsh sanctions imposed on Germany by the 1919 Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I, the German economy struggled terribly in the 1920s. During the late 1920s and early 1930s, the virulently anti-Semitic National German Socialist Workers Party (Nazi Party) led by Adolph Hitler became Germany's leading political force, winning control of the government in 1933. "I can remember that as early as 1932, groups of Storm Troopers came marching by, singing 'When Jewish blood splatters from the knife,'" Otto Frank recalled. When Hitler became Chancellor of Germany on January 20, 1933, the Frank family immediately realized that it was time to flee. Otto later said, "Though this did hurt me deeply, I realized that Germany was not the world, and I left my country forever."
The Franks moved to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in the fall of 1933. Anne Frank described the circumstances of her family's emigration years later in her diary: "Because we're Jewish, my father immigrated to Holland in 1933, where he became the managing director of the Dutch Opekta Company, which manufactures products used in making jam." After years of enduring anti-Semitism in Germany, the Franks were relieved to once again enjoy freedom in their new hometown of Amsterdam. "In those days it was possible for us to start over and to feel free," Otto recalled. Anne Frank started at the Montessori School in 1934, and throughout the rest of the 1930s she lived a relatively happy and normal childhood. Frank had many friends, Dutch and German, Jewish and Christian, and she was a bright and inquisitive student.
Then, on September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland, igniting the global conflict that developed into World War II. On May 10, 1940, the German army invaded the Netherlands, defeating overmatched Dutch forces after just a few days of fighting.
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