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Anne Frank's Life and Legacy

In Anne's words

"It's an odd idea for someone like me to keep a diary; not only because I have never done so before, but because it seems to me neither I - nor for that matter anyone else will be interested in the unbosomings of a thirteen-year old schoolgirl."

Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

June 20, 1942

© AFF/AFS Basel/Amsterdam

About this Guide

This guide contains information about and links to:

  • Anne Frank's Life
  • Booklists for Children and Adults
  • Digital Images
  • Online and Primary Resources
  • The Sapling Project

Who was Anne Frank?

Anne Frank (June 1929 - March 1945) was born in Germany to Edith and Otto Frank. After the Nazi occupation of Holland, Anne, her older sister, her parents, and four other individuals hid for more than two years in the annex of her father's Amsterdam office. One month before she went into hiding, Anne had turned thirteen and received a diary as a birthday present. While hiding in the Secret Annex, Anne wrote entries addressed to an imaginary friend named Kitty.

On August 4, 1944, the Annex was betrayed and the Secret Service arrested the eight Jews in hiding, sending them to concentration camps. Anne, along with her sister Margot, died of typhus at Bergen-Belsen. Anne's mother, Edith, died at Auschwitz.  Otto Frank was the only survivor among the eight who hid in the Secret Annex. When he returned to Amsterdam after the war, Miep Gies, a woman who risked her own life to protect those in the Secret Annex, gave Otto Anne's diary, which Gies had kept hidden for almost a year.

"Frank, Anne (1929–1945)." Europe Since 1914: Encyclopedia of the Age of War and Reconstruction. Ed. John Merriman and Jay Winter. Vol. 2. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2006. 1133-1136. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 27 Mar. 2013.

The Anne Frank Center USA. 2013. Web. 27. Mar. 2013.
Anne Frank Museum Amsterdam. Web. 27 Mar. 2013.

The Diary of a Young Girl

 In 1947, Otto Frank published his daughter Anne's diary under the name Het Achterhuis (The Secret Annex). In 1952, it was translated into English as The Diary of a Young Girl. Anne's diary has since been translated into more than 60 languages and sold over 30 million copies. A stage version of the play appeared on Broadway in 1955; the first film version appeared in 1959.

In addition to writing in her diary, Anne also wrote fairy tales and started a novel. Anne's diary pages reflect her love of life and her hopes for the future.