Jewish Victims of the Holocaust: Anne Frank

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Today, I plan to discuss the short life of Anne Frank, a renowned Jewish victim of the Holocaust who was recognized for her talent in writing. Her diary is widely regarded as one of the most popular books globally and numerous plays and films have been created inspired by her remarkable story.

The text focuses on the relevance of Anne Frank’s story to the audience. It highlights the association of her bravery with Jewish culture, Adolf Hitler, and the Nazi Soldiers of Germany. However, it acknowledges that many may not fully comprehend the extent of the pain and suffering endured by Jewish victims due to their religious beliefs. The speaker establishes their credibility by expressing their personal interest in Anne Frank’s life and experiences. Consequently, the speaker transitions into sharing the narrative of Anne Frank’s life.

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I. Biographical Annelies

Marie “Anne” Frank was born on June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany.

Anne Frank was the second daughter of Otto and Edith Frank, with an older sister named Margot Frank who was three years older than her. The Franks were liberal Jews, not strictly adhering to all Jewish customs and traditions. They lived in a community where people of different religions practiced.

In 1933, Mr. Frank expanded his business to Amsterdam, Holland. However, due to Adolf Hitler’s anti-Jewish decrees, the family had to move. Otto Frank hoped that they would find safety from the Nazis’ aggression, unaware of the drastic changes their lives were about to undergo.

II. Before Going into Hiding

On her 13th birthday, Anne received a book she had shown her father at a shop. The book, bound with red and green plaid cloth and with a small lock on the cover, was an autograph book. Anne decided to use it as her personal diary. In this diary, she discussed the changes in the Netherlands since the German occupation. One entry, dated June 20, 1942, listed various restrictions imposed on the Jewish population and expressed her sorrow over her grandmother’s passing earlier that year.

Anne had a dream of becoming an actress in the future and enjoyed watching movies. However, starting from January 8, 1941, the Jews were prohibited from going to the movie theaters. In July 1942, Anne’s older sister, Margot Frank, received a relocation notice from the Central Office for Jewish Emigration, instructing her to report to a work camp. In response to this, Otto decided to inform his family that they would go into hiding in the rooms above and behind his company’s building. Their most trusted employees would assist them during their time in hiding. Due to the call up notice, they had to move earlier than originally planned.

III. The Secret Annex

In order to create the illusion that they had gone to Switzerland, on July 6, 1942, the Frank family relocated to their hiding spot, leaving their apartment vacant. Due to the restrictions placed on Jews regarding public transportation, they had no choice but to travel a great distance by foot from their residence. To avoid raising any suspicions, each member of the family wore several layers of clothing rather than bringing luggage.

The attic of the three-story building served as the secret annex where the Frank family and 5 other individuals were to stay. Accessible through a concealed door behind a bookcase, this room was part of a larger building with numerous rooms. Only four employees, referred to as the “helpers,” were aware of the individuals in hiding. These helpers acted as the sole link between the hidden Jews and the outside world. They kept the Frank family informed about ongoing events such as war-related news and political developments. Additionally, the helpers ensured the safety and well-being of the families in hiding, including providing them with necessary supplies and food.

IV. Arrest

The Annex was encircled by German Police on the Morning of August 4th 1944, following a tip off from an undisclosed informant. The Franks, along with two other families, were apprehended and interrogated at headquarters overnight. On August 5th, they were relocated to the House of Detention, an overcrowded prison. Following a two-day stint in prison, they were subsequently transported to Westerbork Concentration Camp. Due to their decision to go into hiding, the Franks were labeled as criminals and assigned to the Punishment Barrack for rigorous labor.

V. Concentration Camp and Death

On September 3, 1944, the final transport from Westerbork to Auschwitz Concentration Camp carried a group of Jewish prisoners. After a three-day journey, upon arrival, the men were forcefully separated from the women and children. Among the 1,091 passengers, 549 individuals, including all children, were immediately sent to the gas chambers.

Anne, along with other females who were not chosen for immediate death, was compelled to undress completely for disinfection, had her head shaved, and had an identification number tattooed on her arm. These women were subjected to slave labor, and Anne was forced to transport rocks and excavate dirt rolls. At night, they were squeezed into cramped barracks. Witnessing young children being led to the gas chambers filled Anne with withdrawal and tears; however, she knew she had to remain resilient in order to survive. Diseases spread rapidly throughout the concentration camps, leading to severe scabies infection on Anne’s skin.

Margot and Anne were transferred to a constantly dark and rat- and mice-infested infirmary. Edith Frank, their mother, stopped eating to save every bit of food for her daughters. On October 28th, all women, including Anne and Margot Frank, were moved to Bergen-Belsen. Edith remained behind and eventually died from starvation. As the population grew, tents were built at Bergen-Belsen to house most prisoners; however, this led to a rapid increase in deaths caused by diseases. In March 1945, a Typhus epidemic broke out in the camp and claimed the lives of 17,000 prisoners.

Margot and Anne died from the illness just before British troops arrived, who freed the camp on April 15, 1945. After their release, the camp was burned to prevent further disease spread and a mass grave became the final resting place for both Anne and Margot. Out of the 107,000 Jews deported from the Netherlands, only 5,000 survived after World War II. Otto Frank, Anne’s father, was one of those survivors as he remained the sole surviving member of their family. One Jewish person who had hidden with the Franks returned Anne’s diary to her father after the war ended. By reading her diary entries, Otto discovered his daughter’s deepest dreams and her strong desire to become an author. In order to honor Anne’s wishes, he chose to publish her diary.


I believe that Anne Frank’s story has educated many Americans and people from other countries about historical events. She is considered a hero despite her young age and was recognized by Time magazine in 1999 as one of the important figures of the 20th century. To summarize, I have briefly described who Anne Frank is and explained her significance to society.

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Jewish Victims of the Holocaust: Anne Frank. (2017, Feb 18). Retrieved from

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