Anne Frank

Courtney Cornelius

The Holocaust

11 million people were murdered during the Holocaust. The victims targeted were homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, the disabled, and Jews. Millions of innocent people died from starvation, suffering, shootings, and showers. The brutality demonstrated in the concentration camps left its victims in fear and restlessness. With no place to run or no place to hide the targeted held onto the feeling of hope: hope that God would save them, hope that they would be liberated, and hope that today would not be their last. The sights and smells that the victims experienced nearly killed them. Even for those that were fortunate to survive, the Holocaust had such a strong impact on them, that, mentally and physiologically they were as good as dead

The targeted attempted to flee but Hitler and the Nazi party had taken over Europe. No matter where they escaped to they were still in danger. The world was an all out danger zone. Others went into hiding. Most famously know of these is the Frank family. Their story is told through the entries of Anne Frank's diary.

The Secret Annex

One bookcase... one journal... one girl... changed the views of the Holocaust. Anne Frank was thirteen when she moved into the secret annex that would become her home for over two years. The annex was a 500 square foot apartment that was hidden behind a bookcase. The annex was located in one of Otto Frank's business'. In the annex lived the Frank family, the Van Pel family, and Mr. Pfeffer. These eight people were kept hidden from the gruesome world in which laid below. Although they felt safe in the annex they lived in fear of being discovered. During the day the refugees kept curtains closed and were to remain quiet so that factory workers below would not uncover the truth behind the bookcase. Otto Frank had given his daughter Anne a diary for her thirteenth birthday. Anne spent numerous hours writing about their life in the annex. She wrote about the sounds of aircraft carriers releasing bombs over the city, Amsterdam, and about her absence from school and childhood. She wrote about the struggles of being a victim of war. Although living in secret was not ideal to a girl who was fascinated about the outside world, Anne was able to adapt and even come to like the life she had. Anne wrote," The Annex is an ideal place to hide. It may be damp and lopsided, but there's probably not a more comfortable hiding place in all of Amsterdam. No, in all of Holland." Her journal gave her a chance to escape from the struggles she was facing. Anne even wrote about her thoughts and feelings toward the Holocaust. Anne stated, "In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart." This young girl still had the faith that people were/ are genuinely good, even though she was experiencing such controversy and unrest. Hitler and his followers attacked innocent people for his personal gain. Anne Frank on the other hand believed that goodness is still relevant and the Holocaust did not destroy it.

"Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy." - Anne Frank

The Impact

On August 4th, 1944, the individuals hiding in the secret annex were discovered and arrested. They were first sent off to the Westerbork transit camp. From there they were sent to the Auschwitz death camp. Mrs. Frank, Margot Frank, and Anne were all assigned to the same barrack. This assignment did not last long, for Anne and Margot were shipped out to the Bergen- Belsen camp. Anne later died here in 1945 at the young age of 15. Otto Frank was the only surviving member of the secret annex refugees.

Once Otto Frank returned to Amsterdam he was given Anne's journal which has protected by Miep Gies, one of Otto's employees that helped with their years in hiding. The Diary of Anne Frank was published on June 25, 1947. Anne's journal has given millions of people incite on the life of a Holocaust victim. Her words help depict the struggles that she and her family faced during one of the darkest periods in history. Her story help people come to with what it was like to be living during the Holocaust. Anne's diary provides a first hand perspective on the war and the controversy involved. The discrimination inflicted on the Jewish people and the strategies enforced by Hitler resulted in the most widespread war in history to date. The sounds, the smells, the thoughts, and the experiences all help portray the life of a Holocaust victim. Anne's diary demonstrated what it was like for the Jewish people in Europe under Hitler's rule. Anne Frank said, "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a moment before starting to improve the world."

Anne Frank Documentary