The Holocaust is an example of extreme genocide that resulted in over 6 million Jewish families being killed during World War 2. Today the sheer horror of the Holocaust still haunts us, and to this today and beyond our years, it will remain as one of the darkest times in European history. Anne Frank was a young girl at this time who wrote about her life under the Nazi rule, a period of two years, when she and her family were forced into hiding to evade arrest, in her diary. To this day, Anne’s diary continues to bring light to one of the most ghastly events in history. Keep on reading to learn 50 facts about Anne Frank.
Fact 1: Annelies Marie “Anne” Frank was a German-born Dutch-Jewish diarist.
- Anne, along with her family, are still one of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
Fact 2: She gained fame after her death with the publication of “The Diary of a Young Girl”.
- In the book, she documents her life in hiding with her family from 1942 to 1944, during the German occupation of the Netherlands during the World War II conflict.
Fact 3: Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt, Germany.
- She and her family moved to Amsterdam, Netherlands, when she was just 4 years old.
Fact 4: She became stateless when she lost her German citizenship in 1941.
- By May 1940, the Frank family were trapped in Amsterdam because the German’s had occupied the Netherlands. The German’s invaded the Netherlands because they wanted to have access to much-needed airfields and good crops, which the Netherlands could provide them with.
Fact 5: In 1942, the Frank family were forced into hiding, they hid in some concealed rooms that were situated behind a bookcase in the building where Anne’s father, Otto Frank, worked.
- This was a significant movement for them as this is when Jewish persecutions really increased in the summer of 1942.
Fact 6: Anne Frank detailed her experiences in her diary under Nazi rule for 2 years.
- From 1942, until the family’s arrest by the Gestapo in August 1944, she kept a detailed diary of her life in hiding.
Fact 7: Anne Frank has no exact date of death.
- It was originally estimated by the Red Cross that she died in March, with Dutch authorities setting the 31st March as her official date of death, but later research by the Anne Frank House in 2015, suggests it’s more likely that she died sometime in February.
Fact 8: Otto Frank, the Father, was the sole survivor of all the inhabitants in the secret annex.
- He returned to Amsterdam after the war to find that her diary had been saved by his secretary.
Fact 9: Anne Frank’s diary was translated from Dutch to English in 1952, it was named “The Diary of a Young Girl”.
- It’s been translated into over 70 languages since then!
Fact 10: Anne’s original red checkered diary is currently housed in ‘The Anne Frank House’ in Amsterdam.
- The said building is also the most visited site in the Netherlands!
Fact 11: Anne nicknamed their family’s hiding place the “Secret Annex”.
- Anne’s father, Otto, had spent many months planning and preparing a hiding place for his family in the backhouse of his company at Prinsengracht 263.
Fact 12: Anne’s father, Otto Frank, had help from his 4 employees, and they became known as “the helpers” when the family went into hiding.
- They were Miep Gies, Bep Voskuijl, Johannes Kleiman and Victor Krugler.
Fact 13: The only known footage of Anne Frank comes from a 1941 silent film recorded for her newlywed next-door neighbour’s wedding.
- She is seen leaning out of a second-floor window trying to get a better view of the bride and groom.
Fact 14: The Frank family were originally from Germany.
- Otto Frank, in particular, was a German businessman who served in the German army during the First World War.
Fact 15: Anne received her diary as a birthday gift, just a few weeks before she and her family went into hiding.
- In her diary, she detailed her families daily routines, her troubles with family members, and her feelings, while they were all in hiding.
Fact 16: Otto Frank had taken Anne to pick out the red, checked autograph book on June 11, 1942.
- Anne began writing in it on 14 June.
Fact 17: Anne’s 14th and 15th birthdays were spent in the annex.
- However, she did receive presents from the other residents in the hiding place, and from their helpers in the outside world.
Fact 18: Anne wrote 2 versions of her diary.
- The first version being the autograph book that she received for her 13th birthday. The second in 1944, after hearing a call on the radio for people to save their war-time diaries, Anne decided to rewrite her original diary.
Fact 19: She called her diary “Kitty”.
- When rewriting her diary, Anne standardized her entries by addressing all of them to ‘Kitty’.
Fact 20: Anne Frank’s diary was published on June 25, 1947.
- The first edition, combining the two versions of her diaries, was published in the Netherlands under the title, “The Secret Annex: Diary Letters from June 14, 1942 to August 1, 1944”.
Fact 21: Anne’s sister, Margot Betti Frank, also wrote a diary.
- However, her diary was never found.
Fact 22: The Franks spent a total of 2 years and 35 days hiding in the ‘secret annex’.
- During this time, they were unable to see the sky properly, couldn’t feel the rain or the sun, didn’t walk on grass, or even walk for any length of time. Every little and big thing they did was confined to the annex area!
Fact 23: Anne wanted to become a journalist.
- While in hiding Anne hoped that she would one day be able to return to school and lead a fullfilled life. She had even dreamt of spending a year in Paris and another in London to learn more about life and to see the sights!
Fact 24: It was Miep Gies, who rescued the little girl’s diary.
- Otto’s secretary, Miep Gies, one of “the helpers” retrieved Anne’s diary from the annex, hoping to one day return it to her, sadly this was not the case.
Fact 25: Anne and Margot both died at a concentration camp in February 1945.
- It’s believed that they died of a disease called ‘typhus’.
Fact 26: She and her sister were sent to 3 different concentration camps after they had been caught.
- First at Westerbork. A month later, they were sent to Auschwitz, a large concentration camp in Poland. Eventually, Anne and her sister Margot were sent to camp Bergen-Belsen, which was their final journey.
Fact 27: Anne Frank’s diary has been sold millions of times, and copies have been sold all around the world.
- It remains an important account of the treatment that Jewish people suffered at the hands of the Nazis, it is a documented realtime experience of the harsh realities that Jewish families and communities faced at this time.
Fact 28: In 1960, the former hiding place opened its doors as a museum, named the “Anne Frank House”.
- Over 1.2 million people flock to the house each year, eager to learn more about Anne Frank’s life story.
Fact 29: The Franks were liberal Jews.
- They did not however fulfil all of the customs and traditions of Judaism.
Fact 30: On the morning of Monday, 6 July 1942, the Frank family moved into the ‘secret annex’.
- Their hiding place was a three-story space entered from a landing above the Opekta offices on the Prinsengracht.
Fact 31: Otto Frank left their former apartment and home in a terrible state on purpose before they went into their hiding place.
- Otto did this to give the impression that they had left suddenly. Otto also left a note that hinted that they were going to Switzerland.
Fact 32: Anne Frank developed a romantic relationship with Peter van Pels, one of the inhabitants inside the ‘secret annex’.
- She received her first kiss from him, but her infatuation with him began to wane as she questioned whether her feelings for him were genuine, or was it a result of their shared confinement.
Fact 33: Anne Frank formed a close bond with each of ‘the helpers’.
- But she was closest with Bep Voskuijl.
Fact 34: In 1995, an asteroid was named “5535 AnneFrank” in her honour.
- Moreover, two schools in the United States are also named after Anne Frank, with the first being Anne Frank Elementary School in Dallas, which opened in 1997. The other is Anne Frank Elementary School in Philadelphia.
Fact 35: Her last diary entry was on August 1, 1944.
- On the morning of the 4 August 1944, the ‘secret annex’ was stormed by a group of German uniformed police, who had been tipped-off about the ‘secret annex’.
Fact 36: It is thought that Anton Ahlers might have been the one to tip-off the German’s about the annex
- Why? He was a known thief at the time and he might have liked the idea of gaining the bounty from reporting Jewish families to the Germans.
Fact 37: In 2012, the Madame Tussauds wax museum in Berlin unveiled an exhibit featuring Anne Frank.
- The work of art is said to have been based on the last few photographs taken of Frank. The wax model can be seen sitting at a desk writing in a book.
Fact 38: In 2016, the Anne Frank House published new research suggesting that it was the investigation over ration card fraud that led to the arrest of the Franks.
- It was this reason, and not other theories based on betrayal, that led to the Franks’ capture.
Fact 39: In June 1999, Time magazine published a special edition titled “Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century”.
- Anne Frank was selected as one of the “Heroes & Icons”.
Fact 40: After the war, only around 5,000 of the 107,000 Jews that were deported from the Netherlands between 1942 and 1944 survived.
- An estimated 70% of the Jews that lived in the Netherlands were part of the Holocaust.
Fact 41: On 1995, BBC released the documentary “Anne Frank Remembered”.
- This was to mark the 50 years after Anne Frank’s passing. The release of the documentary shed new light on both her life and on how the world has come to know her.
Fact 42: Anne Frank never knew her father had survived the Holocaust.
- She thought that her father, who was then in his mid-fifties, had been killed immediately after they were separated.
Fact 43: Anne Frank was forced to strip naked to be disinfected, had her head shaved, and was tattooed with an identifying number on her arm when she reached the first concentration camp.
- By day, she and the other women were used for slave labour; by night, they were crammed into overcrowded barracks.
Fact 44: Anne Frank’s mother, Edith, starved herself to death to feed her daughters.
- Edith stopped eating, saving every morsel of food for her daughters and passing her rations to them through a hole she made at the bottom of the infirmary wall.
Fact 45: On 28 October, Anne Frank and her sister were relocated to Bergen-Belsen.
- Edith Frank was left behind and died from starvation.
Fact 46: In July 1945, Miep Gies gave Otto Frank the diary and a bundle of loose notes that she had saved in the hope of returning them to Anne.
- Otto Frank later commented that he hadn’t realised Anne had kept such an accurate, and well-written account of their time in hiding together.
Fact 47: Anne Frank and her sister Margot were buried in a mass grave at an unknown location.
- After liberation, the Bergen-Belsen camp was burned in an effort to prevent the further spread of disease.
Fact 48: The first American edition of Anne Frank’s diary was published in 1952.
- It was entitled “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl”.