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Her Story ..

And Vision

Margot (Sister)

Otto Frank (Father)

1929 Frankfurt (Germany), June 13th.

Pictured here are Anne Frank (1 day old) and her mother, Edith Frank- Hollander

1931 In Germany the

hatred against the Jews was growing stronger. The Frank family is Jewish

1933 Hitler
comes into power. Jewish people are in danger. The Frank family flee to Holland. They are going to live in Amsterdam.

1935 Anne with

her friend Sanne in Amsterdam.

Anne Frank

1939 Amsterdam, June

12th, Annes birthday. She is 10 years old.

The Germans have occupied Holland. Jewish people in Holland are no longer safe.

1940 There is a war on.

1942 Anne is 13
years old. On her birthday she is given a diary, in which she starts writing on June 14th. One month later the Frank family go into hiding. It has become too dangerous.

In May of 1940 the Nazis marched on Holland and within a few days the Dutch underground was all that remained to resist the Nazi war machine. New regulations were introduced, regulations which were designed to identify the Jews and restrict their movements. By law, the Jews were isolated, cut off from the rest of the population. The Nazis were making mass murder possible. They would eventually kill almost every Jew in the Netherlands. Their objective was the eradication of every Jewish person in the world. By the end of the Second World War they had succeeded in bringing about the deaths of 6 million Jews. This figure is roughly equivalent to the entire current population of Inner London.

The entrance to the Secret Annex is behind the bookcase which revolves.

Anne writes on July 8 1942

To go into hiding was

dangerous. Jews in hiding who were found out or betrayed were sent to a concentration camp immediately, and the penalty for helping people in hiding was death

Annes sister had been called up by the Nazis. The Franks knew what this meant. Margot would be sent to one of the prison camps in Germany where Jews were starved or gassed to death.

Germanys Concentration camp Mr Frank acted at once. He had already begun converting the annex of his firm at Prinsengracht 263 into a hiding place. In the first few months of 1942, household effects were brought over bit by bit. The two upper floors and the attic of the annex were to be concealed by a hinged bookcase. On 6th July 1942, he gathered as many of the familys belongings he could and took his wife and family to live in the secret rooms. Mr Koophius and Mr Kraler, two of Mr Franks former employees, were invaluable to the hideaways, as were the typists Miep and Elly. They provided food bought on the black market or with food stamps obtained by the underground resistance movement. It was enormously risky and involved the possible discovery and exposure of the resistance network. Still it was necessary if the lives of everyone in hiding were to be maintained.

Miep, writing many years after the war had ended, told of a night which she had spent in the Annex. The extract below conveys something of the pressures felt by the Franks in the very early days of their enforced captivity. These pressures were to grow greater as the months passed.

For some time Anne and the others had been after Henk and me to spend a night in the hiding place. When I announced to Anne and Mrs Frank that we would finally sleep upstairs, the enthusiasm was extraordinary. You would have thought that Queen Wilhelmina herself was about to make a visit. During the day I told Jo Koophius of our plan. After work Henk came, and when the last worker had gone home at five thirty, Mr Koophius bade us good night. He locked the door of the building behind him, the office was silent. We made sure the lights had been turned off, and then we went up the backstairs, pulled open the bookcase, and went in. The last worker has gone, I informed our friends. Right away there were voices, footsteps, the toilet flushing, a cupboard shutting. The place had come alive. Anne directed us towards the bedroom she shared with Margot. At Annes insistence, Henk and I had been allotted their room. Anne and Margot would sleep in their parents room. Anne pulled me to her bed, neatly made up, and told me she wanted me to put my things there. Amused, I told her that Id be honoured and put my things on her bed and Henks on Margots bed. Shortly it was time for the radio broadcasts, and the entire group trooped down to Mr Franks old office and gathered round the radio table. The whole room bristled with excitement when the near-and-yet-so-far-voice of Radio Orange came through. Here is Radio Orange. All things went well today. The English . . . And on it went, filling us with hope and information, our only connection with the still free outside world.

When it was time to eat, Henk and I were given seats of honour, as we had been at our anniversary dinner. The food was tasty, and with the blackout blinds in place and the electric light on, along with the heat from the cooking, the room became toasty warm. We lingered over coffee and dessert, talking, our friends devouring the novelty of our presence. As I sat there I became aware of what it meant to be imprisoned in these small rooms. I tasted the helpless fear that filled these people day and night. For all of us it was wartime, but Henk and I had the freedom to come and go as we pleased. These people were in a prison with locks inside the doors. Reluctantly we said good night and went down to the floor below, where Henk and I got ready for bed in our room surrounded by Annes film star faces on the wall. As I settled into Annes hard little bed I could hear every sound: Mr Van Daan coughing, the squeak of springs, a slipper dropping beside a bed. The Westerkerk bells rang at fifteen-minute intervals. Id never heard them so loud: the sound reverberated through the room. The church was just across the back gardens from the Annex. In my office the building blocked the sound. But here, all through the night I heard each chime. I never slept. I heard a rainstorm begin, the wind come up. The quietness inside the place was overwhelming. The fright of these people who were locked up there was so thick, I could feel it pressing down on me. The terror was so awful it never let me close my eyes. For the first time I knew what it was like to be a Jew in hiding. At first light I was still awake. The rain pouring down outside. Quite early I heard our hosts begin to stir. Each in turn made a trip to the bathroom, which had to be used before the employees began to arrive down below. Henk and I dressed and went upstairs for breakfast. Henk was the first to leave, as he needed to get out of the building before the workers came in. I could see by the looks of our friends that they were reluctant to let him go. I sat as long as I could. Anne grilled me about my impressions of the hiding life at night. How did you sleep? . . . Did the ringing of the bells keep you awake? . . . Could you hear any planes on their way to bomb Germany?

I did my best to sidestep her questions, not wanting to betray the fear I had experienced throughout the night. Anne stared hard at me. It was unspoken, but we both knew that I had briefly crossed over from outsider to insider, that I now knew what the long, fright-filled night was like in the Annex. Will you come and stay the night again? she asked. You can have my bed again. It feels safe to have our protectors so close. I assured her that we would come again and that we were always close. If not nearby in body, then close in spirit. At night too? Anne asked. At night too, I replied.

This is the room which Miep and Henk spent the night in.

The Franks were soon joined by another Jewish family, the Van Daans. This family consisted of the husband and wife and their teenage son, Peter. Later a dentist shared their hiding place. The hideaways tried to lead as normal a life as possible. For Anne, Margot and Peter Van Daan this meant studying and doing homework. They were not allowed to get behind with their schoolwork. They had to take endless care, all day, not to be seen or heard for not all the people who worked in the building knew that they were there. At night they could move around freely but there was still the constant fear of discovery. Nothing was made easier by the forced intimacy of the two families in conditions which raised tempers and strained nerves. The imprisonment must have been especially hard for Anne who was an energetic, spirited girl. There is, however, no bitterness in her diary, not even against the people who kept her from freedom. Sometimes she grumbles about her fellow prisoners but usually in a good natured way. She often admits that she herself can be hard to live with. Annes diary tells the whole story of her two years behind the bookcase. We read of the narrow escapes from capture, the bickering, the joys, and the boredom of the long hours of reading. We find Anne, who first thinks Peter is dull, gradually falling in love with him.

Peter Van Daan arrived at 9.30 in the morning on August 14th 1942. He was not sixteen yet, rather soft, shy, gawky youth; cant expect much from his company. This was Annes first impressions.

On March 14th 1944, Anne wrote in her diary:The people from who we obtain food coupons have been caught, so we just have our five ration cards and no extra coupons, and no fats. As both Miep and Koophius are ill, Eli hasnt had time to do any shopping, so the atmosphere is dreary and dejected, and so is the food. From tomorrow we shall not have a scrap of fat, butter or margarine left. We cant have fried potatoes (to save bread) for breakfast any longer, so we have porridge instead, and as Mrs Van Daan thinks were starving, we have bought some full-cream milk under the counter. Our supper today consists of hash made from kale which has been preserved in a barrel. Hence the precautionary measure with the handkerchief. Its incredible how kale can stink when its a year old. The smell in the room is a mixture of bad plums, strong preservatives and rotten eggs. An example of a coupon

However, the radio broadcasts from England lifted the spirits of the captives. News was received of American and British troops landing in France. On June 6th 1944, Anne wrote:Great commotion in the Secret Annex. Would the long-waited liberation that has been talked of so much, but which still seems too wonderful, too much like a fairy tale, ever come true? Would we be granted victory this year, 1944? We dont know yet, but hope is revived within us; it gives us fresh courage, and makes us strong again. Since we must put up bravely with all the fears, privations and sufferings, the great thing now is to remain calm and steadfast.

On August 1st 1944, Anne wrote her last diary entry. On August 4th 1944, the blow fell. On that day a truck pulled up outside 263 Prinsengratcht. The security police headed straight for the bookcase on the third floor. They knew that it concealed the entrance to the Annex. Inside, the families were alerted by the banging and the shouts of open up! There was nothing further they could do to resist arrest. They were ordered to hand over their jewellery and valuables. One official took Mr Franks attach case, which contained Annes notebooks. He shook the contents out onto the floor, and put in what he wanted to take with him. Annes papers were left behind. The hideaways were forced into the truck, taken first to a police station and then to Westernberk, a transit camp in Holland where thousands of Jews were held before being transported to forced labour or extermination camps. Only one of them returned after the war Annes father, Otto Frank.


Mrs Frank died of starvation in Auschwitz Mr Van Daan was gassed Mrs Van Daan died in Bergen Belsen Peter was carried off with the SS when the approach of the Russians forced the Nazis to evacuate Auschwitz, and he was reported missing. Mr Dussel died in Neuengamme In late October Margot and Anne were deported to Germany to the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen. The camp was packed with prisoners from other concentration camps. Anne and Margot both came down with typhus. They died within a short time of each other in March 1945.


Miep, one of the helpers of the family in hiding, found Annes papers scattered across the floor of the Annex. After the war, when news of Annes death was confirmed, Miep handed the papers over to Annes father.

In the 1980s Otto Frank gave a rare interview to the BBCs childrens programme Blue Peter. In it he told how carefully he had considered the publication of Annes private diaries. Indeed he had hesitated about reading them, but they were all that he had left of his family. He said that Anne had wanted to be a writer and to live on after her death. These ambitions, together with the fact that the diaries revealed an ordinary girl, from an ordinary family, caused to suffer through no fault of her own, led him, on friends advice, to publish. It was his hope that those who read her story would realise to what great evil prejudice can lead. Not only did Anne die - so did millions of others because of it.

The diary was, and still is, a huge success. It has been printed in 52 languages and is read all over the world, from Japan to Argentina, from Greenland to Australia.


Annes view from the attic window, in the Secret Annex. The attic was her favourite room.

This is best experienced in the entry for July 15 1944. It begins: Dear Kitty,
Its really a wonder that I havent dropped all my ideals because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet, I keep them because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply cant build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness. I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too. I can feel the suffering of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and peace and tranquillity will return again. In the meantime, I must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out. For Anne the time did not come. However, others like her father have sought to make things come right. The Anne Frank Foundation was set up in 1957. its main goal was the preservation of the Secret Annex which had become world renowned through the diary. There are many


things in the Annex which serve as reminders of the past, for the rooms in which the hideaways lived are furnished in the same way now as they were then. However, the Foundation does not want to look at the past. It

wants to continue Annes struggle for a better world, one where discrimination of any kind will be stopped.
To this end, exhibitions are sent out from the house, and the rooms at the front of it are used for courses and seminars to raise awareness of the dangers of prejudice and discrimination. They do more than this. However, in 1993 for example, they received the letter printed below. They immediately sent out an URGENT MEMO containing the letter and launching an appeal.

Annes vision inspired others in ways she could never have imagined in her lifetime.


If she had been your neighbour would you have saved her?


First, they came for the Jews and I did not speak out- because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists And I did not speak out- Because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade Unionists and I did not speak out - Because I was not a trade unionist Then they came for me - And there was no one left To speak out for me

These words were written by Pastor Niemoller, a victim of the Nazis. They show what it was like in Nazi Germany.



Background Material
World War One (1914 18) ended for Germany in total defeat. The German people were dissatisfied: the peace treaty was a great humiliation. There was no money, no work and no hope of a better future. In the chaotic twenties an unknown young man from Austria had managed to work his way up to the position of leader (Fuhrer) of an insignificant party in Munich. His name was Adolf Hitler; the party called itself the NSDAP and its followers were called Nazis. After an unsuccessful coup detat, Hitler was put in a comfortable prison, where he wrote down his plans and ideas in a book entitled Mein Kampf (my struggle). He said that the German people were Aryans and that the Aryan race was the strongest and the best. All other races were inferior. The most inferior race in his eyes was the Jewish people. He blamed them for everything that was wrong and for all Germanys defeats. Hitlers ideas appealed to many in Germany. The NSDAP soon became a party to be reckoned with. In 1933 Hitler was appointed Chancellor and quickly, within a year, he consolidated all power within his grasp. The concentration camps filled up steadily from then on, first with political opponents, particularly communists and trade union leaders, but soon with Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, in brief everyone who disagreed with him or whom he regarded as inferior. All of life in Germany from 1933 on was oriented towards preparation for war. Few, however, realised this. In September of 1939 World War 11 began with the invasion of Poland. Between then and 1945 this war was to cost nearly 55 million people their lives, among 6 million Jews, most of whom were killed in the concentration camps. In May 1940 the Netherlands were occupied and, in spite of no end of promises, the German system was introduced here as well. The economy was entirely orientated towards Germany and many Dutch men had to go and work like slaves in German factories. In February 1941 the persecution of the Netherlands, 140 000 Jews began. Twenty Five thousand of these Jews were refugees from Germany, like the Frank family. No more than a few of them managed to go into hiding and thus escape the concentration camps and the gas chambers. Three out of every four Dutch Jews did not survive the war. The occupation of Holland meant five years of repression, slave labour, terror, hunger and fear. Unhappily it also meant collaboration, but fortunately there was resistance as well. In any case it meant the loss of an enormous number of innocent people. Anne Frank was one of them. Material from: The Anne Frank House, Amsterdam.


A Cartload of Shoes
The wheels hurry onward, onward. What do they carry? They carry a cartload Of shivering shoes. The wagon like a canopy in the evening light; the shoes clustered Like people in a dance. A wedding, a holiday? Has something blinded my eyes? The shoes I seem To recognize them. The heels go tapping With a clatter and a din. From our old Vilna streets They drive us to Berlin. I should not ask But something tears at my tongue Shoes, tell me the truth Where are they, the feet?

The feet from those boots With buttons like dew And here, where is the body And there, where is the bride? Where is the child To fill those shoes Why has the bride Gone barefoot? Through the slippers and the boots I see those my mother used to wear She kept them from the Sabbath Her favourite pair. And the heels go tapping: With a clatter and a din, From our old Vilna streets They drive us to Berlin.

Abraham Sutzkever (Translated by David G. Roskies)


The picture is of a YAHRZEIT CANDLE. This candle belongs to the Jewish tradition. It is burned on the anniversary of a death. On that day the dead person is remembered and spoken about in a special way. Six such candles are burned in a North London synagogue on Remembrance Sunday five for the five million adults who died and one for the one million.



Written Work 1. Look up the words Prejudice and Discriminate in the dictionary. Write down both words and their meanings. Write down how the Anne Frank Foundation try to prevent such things as prejudice and discrimination happening? Write down why you think they do this work? Write down an example of prejudice from your own life. Read carefully Annes statement about her Vision of the future (its really a wonder that I havent dropped all my ideals) on page 13. Anne believed that there was a better world. Write down: What kind of world Anne wanted. Why she believed that one day her dream would come true? What she did to help make her dream come true? The words which describe her vision (dream). Have you ever heard the old saying that Prevention is better than cure? What do you think this means? (Discuss with your friend or the teacher if you do not know). Write down: The saying and its meaning. What do you think is the link between this saying and the people who opposed the Nazis? Write your own letter or diary entry to Anne, include the following: 6. Your response to her Vision Your feelings about her life in the annex. Something you would like her to know about yourself.

2.a b. c. 3.

a. b. c. d. 4.

a. b.


If you were to create a symbol which would stand for Anne and her vision, what would it be? Draw it if you can.

Reflecting Discussion work with a friend


Look carefully at the diagram of Anne Franks House in Amsterdam, Holland on page 16, and read the additional information on page 17. Identify and talk about all the different rooms.


Read Mieps account of the night which she spent with the Franks in the annex on pages 5, 6 and 7. Talk about whether or not you would have felt the same as Miep.


Anne kept a diary from her thirteenth birthday until she was captured two years later. Read some of her diary on page 13. Talk about why you think she begins, Dear Kitty and not Dear Anne.


Read the extract from her diary which is printed below: Believe me, if you had been shut up for a year and a half, it can get too much for you some days. In spite of all justice and thankfulness, you cant crush your feelings. Cycling, dancing, whistling, looking out into the world, feeling young, to know that Im free thats what I long for; still I mustnt show it, because I sometimes think if all eight of us began to pity ourselves, or went around with discontented faces, where would it lead us? (Anne, writing in her diary, 24th December 1943) Talk about whether or not you would have coped with life in the Secret Annex in the same ways that she did.


Look at the poster on page 15 advertising the Anne Frank Exhibition in Winchester, then read the poem on page 15 by Pastor Niemoller. Talk about the connection.