An anonymous tip from Dutch informers led to the Gestapo breaking through a secret bookcase and finding Mr. Otto Frank, Mrs. Edith Frank, their daughters Margot and Anne, the Van Pelts family and Pfeffer. Nazis stormed through and arrested them on August 4th 1944.
They left on the last train that went to Auschwitz Concentration Camp in South West Poland. Anne was only fifteen years old. Some ten thousand Jews had served in the German Army, Otto had joined the ranks of the artillery. The Great War ended for Germany in total defeat.Then in 1933, an angry soldier was appointed Chancellor and quickly, within a year, Hitler consolidated all power within his grasp.
He enforced strict anti-Jewish laws such as; making Jews wear the Star of David on their clothes and only allowing Jews to shop in Jewish shops. On the 12th of June 1929 Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. In 1933, in response to Hitler’s anti-Jewish ruling, Mr. Frank opened a branch of his company, Opteka, in Amsterdam and began planning to bring his family there. In the early 1930’s an increased number of Jews fled Germany and settled in the Netherlands.The Dutch coalition government had no real policy on refugees in the early 1930’s so German Jews fled to the Netherlands. By 1930 there were some what one hundred and thirteen thousand Jews living in Holland. The Jewish population were attracted to the Amsterdam-Zuid districts.
The Frank family rented a concrete, run down apartment at thirty-seven Marwedplein which to this day know as the River Quarter. Their new flat was spacious; there was a large upstairs room which the Franks rented out to lodgers, for extra money to support Margot and Anne for school.The building they were in and the surrounding buildings were streamlined and uniformed and five storeys high. The Franks were instantly at ease in the contrast surroundings of Frankfurt and Amsterdam. Anne began to attend the nearby Montessori school, where she excelled. Anne made many friends and was an exceptional student. The Netherlands were occupied in 1941, Holland capitulated to the invading German forces. Anne’s father had already begun to convert the annex of his company on Prinsengracht Canal into a hiding place.
Otto Frank for the past few years had been storing many things in the secret annex.He stored such things as furniture and basic needs. Under Nazi law, Anne was forced to leave the Montessori school, where she had made a lot of friends and excelled in subjects and forced to attend the Jewish Secondary School. Margot received a notice from the Nazi SS to report for work detail at a labour camp, so in response to this, the Frank family moved to the “Secret Annex” on July 5th, 1942 which was adjacent to Mr.
Frank’s offices on Prinsengracht Canal. They encouraged rumours that the family had moved to Switzerland. Mr.Frank arranged a few helpers who would bring the family food, and other requested items.
Among these helpers was Mr. Franks employees called Meip Geis. The building consisted of the two upper floors of the Annex. The entrance to the hiding place was hidden behind a hinged bookcase and since the supply of herbs for the house in front had to be stored in the dark, the windows at the back were blackened out and painted over so the Annex was hidden from view. The windows at the back of the Annex were hung with thick lace curtains and were blacked out in the evenings, as were all windows in Amsterdam, by black slats.On the 12th of June 1942, Anne’s thirteenth birthday, Anne received a diary as a gift from her father. Otto Frank told Anne that this was to be used as a friend to share the experiences of hiding, after all going into hiding at thirteen is exciting.
She immediately took to writing her intimate thoughts. The Van Pelts family also went into hiding with them. This family had helped Mr. Frank when they moved to the Netherlands. For the time in hiding Anne wrote down everything about her daily life in hiding. She would address he new friend as Dearest Kitty.
Kitty was taken from a character in teenage girl book. A young Jewish girl, Anne Frank, wrote everything down from bitter arguments amongst the family to her increasing interest in sex. She would note down her thoughts about her love affair with the Van Pelts teenage son Peter. A few months into the first year of hiding the occupants were introduced to the eighth member of the annex; Pfeffer. Pfeffer was a Dutch dentist. Anne never got on with Pfeffer and in her diary called him Dussel, the German word for stupid. On August 4th 1944 disaster struck.
An anonymous tip from Dutch informers led to the Gestapo breaking through the secret bookcase and finding the residents. Meip was working below and was interrupted by a Nazi Austrian soldier holding a gun. They were later discovered and arrested. The eight residents were transported to Auschwitz on the last train that left Westerbork.
After only a month at Auschwitz, Anne and Margot were taken to Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, where. Margot and Anne both contracted typhus and died in March 1945, only a few weeks before the liberation. Anne was only fifteen years old.