In Nazi-occupied Holland, 13-year-old Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family are forced to take refuge in a secret sealed-off area of an Amsterdam warehouse. The day before, Anne’s older sister, Margot, had received a call-up notice to be deported to a Nazi “work camp.”
Born in Germany on June 12, 1929, Anne Frank fled to Amsterdam with her family in 1933 to escape Nazi persecution. In the summer of 1942, with the German occupation of Holland underway, 12-year-old Anne began a diary relating her everyday experiences, her relationship with her family and friends, and observations about the increasingly dangerous world around her.
On July 6, fearing deportation to a Nazi concentration camp, Anne' Frank's father, Otto Frank, approached his Austrian-born bookkeeper, Miep Gies, and asked if she and her husband, Jan, would hide his family and four other Jews. They agreed and then risked their own lives to smuggle food, supplies and news of the outside world into a secret apartment, whose entrance was hidden behind a movable bookcase.
During the next two years, under the threat of murder by the Nazi officers patrolling just outside the warehouse, Anne kept a diary that is marked by poignancy, humor and insight.
On August 4, 1944, just two months after the successful Allied landing at Normandy, the Nazi Gestapo discovered the Frank’s “Secret Annex.” The Franks were sent to the Nazi death camps along with two of the Christians who had helped shelter them, and another Jewish family and a single Jewish man with whom they had shared the hiding place. Anne and most of the others ended up at the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.
In early 1945, with the Soviet liberation of Poland underway, Anne was moved with her sister, Margot, to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. Suffering under the deplorable conditions of the camp, the two sisters caught typhus and died in early March.
After the war, Otto Frank returned to Amsterdam following his release from Auschwitz. Upon learning of Anne's death, Miep Gies gave Otto Frank five notebooks and some 300 loose papers containing Anne’s writings. Gies had recovered the materials from the Secret Annex shortly after the Franks’ arrest by the Nazis and had hidden them in her desk.
In 1947 Anne's diary was translated into English and published. An instant best-seller and eventually translated into more than 30 languages, The Diary of Anne Frank has served as a literary testament to the six million Jews, including Anne herself, who were silenced in the Holocaust.