ANNE FRANK biography


Anne Frank was the second daughter of Otto Frank a banker by profession. She was born on 12th June 1929. Her elder sister was Margot. They lived in Germany, till the unjust regime of Hitler's army made it impossible for them to survive. They shifted to Amsterdam in the hope of a life, free from ANNE frankHitler’s hatred.

 But this was not to be. In 1942 the family went into hiding. They lived in hiding for two and a half years. It was in this “Secret Annexes" that Anne Frank a young girl of 13 years recorded her daily life and impressions in a diary that she had received as a birthday gift. She had hoped to publish it after the war. The young girl had planned to see a brighter tomorrow, when the soars of hatred would only be a dimmemory. But destiny had different plans.
On 4 August 1944 two Dutch Nazi soldiers and one German Nazi soldier stormed into the Secret Annexes and arrested the Frank family. Mr. Kraler their Dutch friend and confidante, after being mercilessly harassed by the Nazi troops revealed the whereabouts of the Frank family. The Nazi soldiers arrested the Frank family and ransacked the place for money and jewels. In their Endeavour for more booty they emptied Mr. Frank's briefcase. Anne's diary was in the pile of papers that was emptied on the floor. No one took notice of it then. A week later after the arrest, Miep, the Frank family’s Dutch friend came back to the “Secret Annexes”. She discovered Anne’s diary. The diary contained all detailed information of the Frank family’s life in hiding. It included help rendered by their friends like Miep Elli, Mr. Koophius, Mr. Vossen and Mr. Kraler. It had volatile information. Miep risking her life kept the diary with her.
It was only in 1945 when Otto Frank by some weird stroke of destiny, surviving the horror of the concentration camp at Auschwitz, returned to Amsterdam. On reaching Amsterdam he learnt from a friend that his wife and daughters had perished. A friend described Anne's last days at Belsen camp as “cold and hungry, her head shaved and skeleton like form draped in a coarse, shapeless, striped garb of the concentration camp. "This description choked Otto with immeasurable grief. The image of Anne as his ‘tender one' came to his eyes. Anne had been an overflowing bundle of energy. With her delightful chatter she had been a constant source of joy to Otto Frank. He could easily recollect the delight that Anne had demanded from life. Her cheerful optimism in the face of the most demanding perils was a quality that few could boast of. Otto remembered Anne's boundless energy on their first day in hiding. The “Secret Annexe” had been in an unused state for a very long time. It was covered with cobwebs and dirt. Anne was, Otto remembered, not at all deterred. Instead she had plunged into the task at hand. Cleaning the shelves, dusting the cupboards and pasting pictures of her favorite stars was done with characteristic enthusiasm. Otto could not believe that this little girl, with so much zest for life had now become a part of nameless history. His remorse was great when he realized that the past would now remain merely a recollection of fragments that could only be reconstructed again and again in the, the long lonely hours of twilight. The horrors of the German genocide would simply become a distasteful part of human history that would at best be recorded in some cold pages of a history book. The unforgivable Gem-ran atrocities would only remain cold facts that happened to someone at sometime. For the future generations the German holocaust would just be something they would like to forget.
It was at this juncture that Otto Frank met Miep the Dutch typist who had been the family’s angel of mercy during their trying days in hiding. Miep gave Otto, Anne's diary that she had found in the "Secret Annexe". Seeing Anne’s familiar writing scrawled across the pages overwhelmed Otto. It was days before he was able to actually get down to reading the diary.
Sensitively written the diary was an account of a girl’s blossoming into teen age life. The pressures of a life in hiding were visibly marked in the words that she wrote on every page. After being isolated from the world for nearly 16 months Anne wrote, “l feel like a song bird whose wings have been brutally torn out and who is flying in utter darkness against the bars of its own cage’. The problems of coping with the unanswered questions of life were all portrayed with vivid clarity and depth.Beneath the veneer of a cheerful chatterbox was a girl with the most passionate heart and a profound insight into life that was almost ascetic. On religion she wrote, “People who have religion should be glad, for not everyone has the gift in believing in heavenly things."
Otto Frank was painfully torn by the past that was gone forever. Reading the dairy he rediscovered the person that was behind the sprightly little girl. His daughter’s attempt to conceal her inner fear and uncertainty so as to save her family from undue anxiety could only be categorized as brave. Her extreme love for her father her inevitable adolescent conflict with her mother, together with the sibling rivalry between the two sisters documented in all sincerity made Otto Frank understand Anne even more intimately. It was this mass appeal that made Anne Frank's diary such a success all over the world. For generations now young girls who have read the diary have identified with Anne. After its publication Otto Frank was overwhelmed with the response he received from all over the world. A typical letter read, "Oh Mr. Frank, she is so much like me that sometimes l do not know where myself begins and Anne Frank ends”.
At first Otto had no intention of publishing the book. He started to copy parts of the manuscript for his old mother who was still alive. He gave one typed copy to a close friend who inturn lent it to a professor of modern history. The professor devoted an entire article to it in the Dutch newspaper. The article was widely read. On popular demand Otto half heartedly gave the manuscript to Dutch some publishers, two of whom refused publication. The third publisher accepted it. It was an instant success. He sold 150, ooo copies of the Dutch edition alone. Other editions followed. The figure of the sale was phenomenal. Otto received letters from all over the world. Some were just addressed to, “Otto Frank, the father of Anne Frank, Amsterdam.”The response was global. Otto had to retire from his business and take up the care of his daughters’ book as a full time job. He answered each of the letters he received personally. All the royalties of the book were devoted to humanitarian causes. Otto felt that this is what his daughter would have wanted.
Anne Frank's life though short touched people all over the world. The dramatization of the book by Francis Goodrich and Albert Hackett, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1956-57. It played in 20 different countries to two million people. It ran in London for six months at the Phoenix Theatre. Twentieth Century Fox turned it into a film. The diary of Anne Frank written by an impressionable 15 year old girl in such candid simplicity captured the hearts of millions all over the world. Anne's story retold in dramatic artistic mediums turned the cold facts of history into pulsating reality. Audiences when confronted with the thumping of Nazi boots on the stage were at once faced with their own failure as human beings. The onus lay, not on the Germans alone, but, on the whole human race for being nothing more than helpless spectators. The audience while seeing the play in heavy remorseful silence was afraid to face each other. Each one felt the burden of guilt. The Dusseldorf, producer of Anne Frank the play in Germany, talking of the success of Anne Frank said, “Anne Frank has succeeded because it enables the audience to come to grips with history, personally and without denunciation. We watch it as an indictment, in the most humble pitiful terms of inhumanity to fellow men. No one accuses us as Germans. We accuse ourselves. "The drama strove to portray the futility of Anne's death and above all the futility of hatred itself.
Anne's life was an embodiment of faith in humanity. Midst such perils and racial prejudice Anne never abandoned hope in humanity. Despite harsh rejections Anne continued to trust. A passage in Anne's journal reads, “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”At Auschiwitz she proved to be a courageous leader. She dared to stand up for her rights and ask for food. Having lost her mother on their way to Auschwitz in a cattle-truck and being forced to separate from her father, Anne gained strength only from her sister’s presence. Margot became Anne’s reason for living this life of painful hardship inside the iron gates of Auschwitz where it was ironically inscribed "Work makes men free." Soon they were deported to Belsen camp where due to the unhygienic conditions of living, both the sisters caught typhus. They nevertheless struggled on until one day Margot lying above Anne's bunk bed suddenly collapsed due to fatigue. Margot’s death snapped Anne's last tenuous link to life. It broke her spirit. Anne died in March 1945, two months before Holland was free and three months before her sixteenth birthday.
Anne's life healed scars that even a veteran psychologist would have found a daunting task. It instilled in the Germans a sense of shame and a desire to make amends for the past wrongs. German school children would often write to Otto Frank voicing their opinion against racial persecution. Any social home for young people, organizations combating Anti-Semitism or any other champions of human rights in Germany after the war all bore Anne Frank’s name. Her name had become a symbol of secular and religious tolerance. Headmistress of one of the largest schools in England wrote to Otto Frank, “It must be a source of deep joy to you in your sorrow to know that Anne's brief life is in the deepest sense only just beginning". In 1957 a group of 120 students cycled to Belsen to lay wreaths of flowers on the graves there. For one unnamed grave in the hundreds there, spoke a story of complete courage and faith in humanity. It had to be honoured.
Though gone forever Anne Frank has left behind a legacy of courage| faith and love for the future generations to benefit from. Anne wrote “I want to go on living after my death. And therefore I am grateful to God for giving me this gift. . . of expressing all that is in me."

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