On June 12, 1942, Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl living in Amsterdam, received a diary for her 13th birthday. A month later, she and her family went into hiding from the Nazis in rooms behind her father's office. For two years, the Franks and four other families hid, fed and cared for by Gentile friends. The families were discovered by the Gestapo, which had been tipped off, in 1944. The Franks were taken to Auschwitz, where Anne's mother died. Friends in Amsterdam searched the rooms and found Anne's diary hidden away.
Anne and her sister were transferred to another camp, Bergen-Belsen, where Anne died of typhus a month before the war ended.
Anne's father survived Auschwitz and published Anne's diary in 1947 as The Diary of a Young Girl. The book has been translated into some 30 languages.
(Personal note: Anne Frank was born in 1929, the same year as my father. Had she lived, she would have been 76 years old today.)
For more information:
- This Day in History: Anne Frank Receives a Diary
- Wikipedia entry on Anne Frank
- The Anne Frank Center
- The Anne Frank Museum
Anne Frank the Writer: An Unfinished Story, an online exhibit sponsored by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Find out about Frank's other writings, such as her stories. As a writer myself, I can't help but wonder what literary treasures the world lost when Frank and her family died in the Holocaust.