Anneliese Marie Frank, but simply "Anne" to her friends and family, was a German-born Jewish girl who wrote a diary while in hiding in Amsterdam during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. Born on June 12, 1929, Anne was the second daughter of Otto Heinrich Frank, a banker, and Edith Holländer.
Though Otto Frank had served in the Imperial German Army on the Western Front during World War I, with the rise of Nazi anti-Semitism, Anne's family moved to Amsterdam, but were trapped there when Nazi occupation extended into the Netherlands. In July, 1948, as persecution against the Jewish population increased, the Frank family and four friends went into hiding in hidden rooms in Otto Frank's office building (known as the Secret Annexe). After two years in hiding, the group was betrayed by an anonymous informer, and was transported to the concentration camp system where Anne died of typhus within days of her sister, Margot: probably in February or March of 1945. She was buried in a mass grave and the whereabouts of her final resting place remain unknown.
Anne's father, Otto, the sole survivor of the group, returned to Amsterdam after the war ended, to find that her diary had been preserved by friends who had aided the family while they remained in hiding. Though Otto had remained hopeful that they were alive, Anne's and her sister's deaths at Bergen-Belsen were confirmed in July of 1945 by the Red Cross. Moved by her repeated wish to be an author and convinced that Anne's diary was a unique record of the Holocaust victims, he took action to have it published. It eventually appeared in English under the title The Diary of a Young Girl.
Her diary was given to Anne for her thirteenth birthday and chronicles the events of her life from June 12, 1942 until its final entry of August 1, 1944; only three days before the Secret Annexe was stormed by the German Security Police. Anne's diary began as a candid expression of her private thoughts, though she eventually began editing it, removing sections and rewriting others, with a view to publication. She could not have known that it would eventually by translated from its original Dutch into many languages, becoming one of the world's most widely read books. It has also seen several film, television, theatrical, and even opera adaptations and productions.
Described by critics as the work of a mature and insightful mind, The Diary of a Young Girl provides an intimate, personal examination of daily life under the Nazi occupation. Eleanor Roosevelt called it "one of the wisest and most moving commentaries on war and its impact on human beings that I have ever read." Through her writing, Anne Frank has become one of the most renowned and discussed of the Holocaust victims.
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