11181715255?profile=RESIZE_400xAnne Frank's diary has become an iconic symbol of the horrors of the Nazi occupation and the persecution of the Jewish people during World War II. The diary provides a candid and intimate glimpse into Anne's life while in hiding, as well as her hopes, fears, and dreams during a tumultuous time in history.

Anne began writing in her diary on 12 June 1942, just a few weeks before she and her family went into hiding. She chose a red checkered autograph book with a lock and began her diary with a single sentence: "I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support." From that moment on, Anne poured her heart and soul into her diary, documenting her daily life, her relationships with her family members and fellow hiding occupants, her thoughts on the war and the outside world, and her own personal struggles as a teenage girl.

The Frank family went into hiding on 6 July 1942, after Anne's sister Margot received an official summons to report to a Nazi work camp in Germany. They were joined by the van Pels family and Fritz Pfeffer, and all eight occupants lived in cramped quarters in a hidden annex behind Otto Frank's business. Despite the difficult conditions and constant fear of discovery, Anne continued to write in her diary, even as she battled depression, loneliness, and uncertainty about the future.

Tragically, after two years and one month in hiding, the occupants of the annex were discovered by Nazi authorities and deported to concentration camps. Anne and her sister Margot were sent to Bergen-Belsen, where they both tragically died. However, Anne's diary survived and was later discovered by Otto Frank, who had returned to Amsterdam after the war.

In detailing the final days and hours of Anne Frank's life in Bergen-Belsen, historian Nikolaus Wachsmann writes: "Never in the history of the KL [Konzentrationslager, the German word for concentration camp] did so many prisoners die as fast of disease and deprivation as in the Bergen-Belsen in March 1945. During this one month, when the camp held an average of around 45,500 prisoners, some 18,168 lost their lives. Among the dead were Anne and Margot Frank. During their last days, the two sisters, ravaged by typhus and dysentery, had been huddled under a blanket in one of the infirmaries. When a friend found them there, she pleaded with Anne to get up. But Anne, who had been looking after her dying sister, just replied: 'Here the two of us can lie on a bunk, we are together and have peace.'" (Wachsmann 2015, 567) 

The diary is now considered one of the most significant works of literature of the 20th century, providing a firsthand account of life during the Holocaust and giving a voice to the millions of victims who were silenced by Nazi brutality. Anne's diary has been translated into more than 70 languages and has sold millions of copies worldwide, inspiring countless individuals to stand up against hate, prejudice, and persecution.

11181714670?profile=RESIZE_400xOn 25 June 1947, the world was introduced to the hauntingly beautiful and profoundly moving diary of Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl who had spent two years in hiding with her family in the now-infamous attic of a building in Amsterdam. Originally published under the title Het Achterhuis, or The Annex, Diary Notes 14 June 1942 – 1 Augustus 1944, the publication of Anne's diary was a seminal moment in the history of literature, journalism, and the documentation of the Holocaust.

Anne's diary was retrieved from the attic by a family friend named Miep Gies and her colleague Bep Voskuijl, who defied the Nazi occupiers of Amsterdam and risked their own lives in order to preserve the writings of the young girl and her family. Miep Gies famously gave the diary to Anne's father, Otto Frank, who was the only member of the family to survive the horrors of the concentration camp where they were all eventually sent.

The diary quickly became an international sensation after its publication in the United States and the United Kingdom under the title Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl in 1952. It has since been translated into more than 70 languages and has sold tens of millions of copies worldwide.

Part of the enduring appeal of Anne's diary is due to the remarkable insight it provides into the inner world of a talented, sensitive, and intelligent young girl grappling with the horrors of war and persecution. Anne's diary is not merely a chronicle of the events of the Holocaust, but a deeply personal account of the hopes, fears, and dreams of a young girl whose life was tragically cut short.

In addition to its literary merit, Anne's diary is also a crucial historical document that provides invaluable insights into the experiences of Jewish families living in hiding during the Nazi occupation of Europe. The diary illuminates the daily struggles of the Frank family as they attempted to maintain some semblance of normalcy in the confines of the attic, while also providing a window into the wider social and political context of the Holocaust. - Scott Lyons, Ed.


Primary sources

Frank, Anne. The Diary of a Young Girl. New York: Viking, 2012.

Secondary sources

Gilbert, Martin. The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War. London: Macmillan, 1987.

Sullivan, Rosemary. The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation. New York: HarperCollins, 2023.

Wachsmann, Nikolaus. KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015.


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  • Last Saturday I was in the house of the family Frank on the Merwedeplein 37 in Amsterdam. This was the sleeping room of Margot and Anne Frank.


    • Excellent photo Erwin. It must have been overwhelming to be there. Emotional.

      • It sure is, knowing that she lived here in this house. It is only open one day a year. A maximum of 60 people may visit it. This picture is in the living room.


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