The most overwhelming element in Anne Frank's life was the growing presence of the Nazis. Going into hiding in the Annexe of her father's office building represented the critical element in her life. Writing in her diary was the means through which she was able to communicate her thoughts and sensations in such a time. Through it, we as the modern reader understand what the Holocaust really was through the eyes of an adolescent. Anne's experience of adolescence through the political hell of the Nazi occupation helped to bring to light why political cruelty can represent some of the most atrocious realities one can perpetrate upon an another.
Just to make a correction on the last post: Anne Frank's last diary entry was on August 1, 1944--not the 1945 date given, since Germany had already surrendered by that time, and Japan would call it quits within a week or two.
The Franks were a Jewish family living in Amsterdam when they decided to go into hiding rather than be arrested during the vast Nazi sweeps of 1942. They began their exile on July 6, 1942 and remained hidden from the rest of the world for more than two years until their capture on August 4, 1944. (Note that Anne did not write in her diary for the final three days of her stay.) Anne and her family were eventually taken to Auschwitz, where she learned that most prisoners were gassed shortly after arrival. Oddly, none of her family were executed. Her mother, Edith, died of starvation at Auschwitz; Anne and sister Margot were transferred to Bergen-Belson where Margo died from a fall from her bed; Anne later died from the weakness brought on by a severe case of scabies. Only father Otto Frank survived the war.
Frank lived well into his 90s, and Miep Gies, who brought food to the Franks during their isolation, died just recently--the last member of the direct contacts to the Frank family.
By all means, if you ever visit Amsterdam, be sure to visit the Anne Frank House. It is an awe-inspiring experience to enter their hiding place from the exact removable bookshelf used by Anne and her family. You can look out the same window that Anne daydreamed from during her two years of hiding and hear the same church bells described in her diary.
Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt am the Mein on June 12, 1929. Her parents names were Otto and Edith Frank. Anne had one sister named Margot who was older than her. After Hitler was elected into office in Germany, Mr. Frank moved his family to Amsterdam, Holland.
Anne was always an energetic outgoing child. Her sister was the opposite. Anne loved the movies and American movie stars. Anne had attended regular public schools until the laws were imposed no longer allowing her to attend. She then went to classes at the Jewish Lyceum. On Anne's 13th birthday she was given a red, white, and blue autograph book from her father.
The living conditions for the Jewish people began to deteriorate in Holland as well. The Van Pels and Mr. Frank were business partners in Amsterdam. When Margot received her work papers and was scheduled for deportation, Mr. Frank and his partner put into place to go into hiding.
The Franks loaded up what few positions that they could take with them and went into hiding in the annex behind a bookshelf. They hid with four other people. The time was difficult for Anne. She could not move around during the day and had to alternate sleeping on the bed. She spent her time documenting the events in the Annex in her diary.
Anne's last entry was on August 4, 1945. She and her family were discovered by the Gestapo. It was believed a thief had heard them and upon being caught had told about them hiding. Anne and her family along with the others were sent to a concentration camp. Anne is believed to have died of Typhus.
After the war Otto Frank returned to the Annex. He found Anne's diary. He was the only survivor and he had her book first published in 1947.