WHO IS ANNE FRANK?
“When I write, I can shake off all my cares.”
- Anne Frank (April 5, 1944)
Born on June 12, 1929, Anne Frank was a Jewish teenager from Frankfurt, Germany who was forced to go into hiding during the Holocaust. She and her family, along with four others, spent over two years during World War II hiding in an annex of rooms on Prinsengracht in Amsterdam, today known as the Anne Frank House.
Since it was first published in 1947, Anne Frank’s diary has become one of the most powerful memoirs of the Holocaust. Its message of courage and hope in the face of adversity has reached millions. The diary has been translated into 70 languages with over 30 million copies sold. Anne Frank’s story is especially meaningful to young people today. For many she is their first, if not their only exposure to the history of the Holocaust.
After being betrayed to the Nazis, Anne, her family, and the others living with them were arrested and deported to Nazi concentration camps. In March of 1945, seven months after she was arrested, Anne Frank died of typhus at Bergen-Belsen. She was fifteen years old.
Her wisdom and legacy live on, and she is frequently cited as an inspiration for today, with her insights into human nature, her relentless optimism, and her vivid portrayal of her experience in hiding as a teenager.
Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit.
Copies of the book, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, are available for purchase through Penguin Random House, the English-language publisher of the diary. You can also receive a complimentary copy when you make a $100 donation to the Anne Frank Center, to help us bring the lessons of Anne Frank's life and legacy to children in communities throughout the US.
The Anne Frank Center provides information and educational materials about Anne Frank, the history of the Holocaust, and discrimination today. These downloadable companions for use in the classroom when teaching with the Diary, the Play, or with one of our traveling exhibits, inspire critical thinking, learning-by-doing, interaction, multi-method, and student-centered activities:
EXCERPTS FROM THE DIARY
On writing a diary
Mr. Bolkestein, the Cabinet Minister, speaking on the Dutch broadcast from London, said that after the war a collection would be made of diaries and letters dealing with the war. Of course, everyone pounced on my diary.
- March 29, 1944
When I write, I can shake off all my cares.
- April 5, 1944
On still believing
It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.
It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions.
And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more.
- July 15, 1944
On being herself
Let me be myself and then I am satisfied. I know that I'm a woman, a woman with inward strength and plenty of courage.
- April 11, 1944
On the helpers
It’s amazing how much these generous and unselfish people do risking their own lives to help and save others.
The best example of this is our own helpers, who have managed to pull us through so far and will hopefully bring us safely to shore, because otherwise they’ll find themselves sharing the fate of those they’re trying to protect.
Never have they uttered a single word about the burden we must be, never have they complained that we’re too much trouble. […] They put on their most cheerful expressions, bring flowers and gifts for birthdays and holidays and are always ready to do what they can.
That’s something we should never forget; while others display their heroism in battle or against the Germans, our helpers prove theirs every day by their good spirits and affection.
- January 28, 1944