The Franks were your general German family and Anne was your general German
girl. This family of four lived in Germany, Mr. Frank was an average business
man, Mrs. Frank was an average mother and Margot and Anne were average students.


The one thing that made them different in the eyes of Hitler, was the fact that
they were Jewish. Once Hitler rose to power, the Franks fled to Holland, where
the hoped to be safe from the Jewish-blood thirsty Nazis, they went on with
their normal lives, until once again Hitler took over. This caused the Franks to
flee again, only this time they would be in hiding. A plan was devised; the
Franks would stay in an abandoned section of the Kraler office building, along
with another family of three: the Van Daans. The Franks set off for their new
“home” before the Van Daans. They had to carry with them things that
would last for as far as they knew, years. Anne took with her two vests, three
pairs of pants, a dress and skirt, jacket, summer coat, shoes, two pairs of
stockings, a cap and a scarf. During the journey through the streets, non-jews
looked at them with pity and sorrow, they knew that there was nothing they could
do to help them, no rides, no food, no help period. Once they arrived to what
they called, the “Secret Annexe” they set their things in their rooms.


Anne decorated her wall with all of her favorite actors and actresses. About a
week later the Van Daans joined them, Mrs. Van Daan brought with her, her
“chamber” Mr. Van Daan brought a folding tea table and Peter brought
his cat Mouschi. Each of them had their own individual personality, Mr. Van Daan,
was pretty mellow with most of the Franks, especially Margot, but often had a
word or two to say about Anne, he didn’t like her constant chattering. Mrs. Van
Daan was loud and flirtatious, constantly pestering people and never willing to
do her part of the work around the Annexe. Then there’s Peter, the quiet, dull
and boring one. At first Anne cannot stand Peter’s laziness, but she later grows
quite fond of him. As time goes on, they each get to know each other a little
better, Miep brings them news from the outside world as often as she can along
with some small amounts of rations. The families decide to let one more person
stay with the seven of them in the already crowded space they have. Albert
Dussel is a dentist who has come to stay with the Franks and Van Daans, since
the outside world has become too dangerous for a Jew to stay in. Anne offers to
share her room with Mr. Dussel and to her surprise he is a friendly guy. The
eight of them now begin to realize just how crowded the Annexe is, each person
is annoyed by something that one person or the other is doing or saying. Not
only does Anne have to put up with her mother, who she feels treats her like a
baby and her sister who she is stuck in the shadow of, but now she has Mrs. Van
Daan complaining, Mr. Van Daan who is always in an uproar over something Anne
does, Mr. Dussel constantly shhing her, and now her father telling her she needs
to show more compassion for her mother! She begins to feel like no one ever
listens, she can never seem to please anyone. All she wants to do is be back
home with her friends, talking when she wants to talk, going to the bathroom
when she needs to, taking a bath when and where she feels like it and going
where she wants to. Anne then finds someone to lean on, she begins to confide in
Peter. They start to tell each other what they are feeling, what it is that
bothers them so much, they tell each other of all their wishes and dreams. And
eventually they both come to realize that they each share a secret crush on one
another All of the tension and bickering finally took its toll. The Franks and
the Van Daans had a huge argument. The Franks asked the Van Daans to leave,
which only made things worse. They reconciled and just in time. Tuesday August
1, 1944, was the last day Anne wrote in her Diary. She did not get the chance to
describe all that went on with being caught and taken away, but her father did.

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On August 4, a Gestapo caught the Franks, Van Daans and Albert Dussel and sent
them all to Westerbork. They were then taken to the death camp Auschwitz. Anne,
Mrs. Van Daan and Margot were considered healthy and taken to the typhus
infested camp Belsen, located in Germany. While at Belsen, Mrs. Van Daan died.


Margot died towards the beginning of March 1945 from typhus. Anne, who did not
know of her sisters death, had a strong feeling that something had happened, to
the only person she knew for sure was still alive, this strong sense, caused her
to give up die.

Categories: Articles

Otto Frank, Anne’s father, was the only annex inhabitant who survived the war. When he returned to Amsterdam after the war, he was given Anne’s notebooks and papers that the Gestapo left scattered on the floor of the Secret Annex. Among these papers was her diary.


The first entry in Anne’s diary is dated June 14, 1942, two days after her thirteenth birthday and three weeks before she and her family were to go into hiding.
She wanted to confide completely in her diary, which she addressed as Kitty, she writes, because neither her friends nor her family seems sufficiently interested in understanding her deepest thoughts. The early entries show that Anne is a fairly typical, although exceptionally sensitive, young teenager.


After Anne and her parents go into hiding, the diary records her perceptions of the confined life that she and the others lead. As might be expected, Anne was often miserable, but there were times when she experienced happiness and joy in the midst of her hardship and suffering.

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Living in such close proximity, the residents of the Secret Annex frequently get on each other’s nerves. Anne was often furious with Mr. Van Daan, who, in her opinion, was superficial and petty. The pedantic Mr. Dussel sometimes drove her to distraction. Although petty quarrels were commonplace among the residents, the remarkable fact that emerged from Anne’s diary is not that conflict arises, but that eight individuals can endure constant fear and total confinement, with grace and dignity.


Perhaps the most appealing quality of Anne Frank’s diary is its sensitive expression of a young girl’s dreams and her struggle to grow into a woman.

Discerning about the circumstances of wartime Holland, Anne also looks inward to discover herself. The entries reflect her intense desire for self understanding. Also revealed is her need to be loved and respected as a unique individual. She dreamed of becoming a writer so that she would be remembered after her death. Shortly before she and the others were arrested by the Gestapo, Anne experienced the first flush of love with Peter Van Daan, a shy boy also reaching out for love and understanding. The tragedy of Anne Frank is that she died before her l6th birthday, her dreams unfulfilled.

Categories: Articles

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