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It would be difficult to type out a biography of Anne Frank without mentioning her diary. Honestly, there’s no separating her life from the perspective she provided of the Nazi dictatorship. And she’s one of the few people whose full legacy you might already know before you even reach the end of this introduction. You might have even read her book and came here only to remember her wisdom.
But if you haven’t gotten around to finishing the book yet or simply want to be reminded, then below is a quick introduction to Anne Frank.
There was life before Hitler’s rise and, to many others, there was a life after. Anne Frank, being born on July 12, 1929, saw four years before the Nazi party rose to power. Considering the “chaos, suffering, and death” detailed in her diary, one hopes that these short years provided her with blissful ignorance. Her sister and companion later in life, Margot, was her senior by three years.
When the situation was proving tumultuous, they decided to leave Germany like many other Jewish families. Otto Frank, her father, moved his family from Frankfurt to Holland in 1933. Otto was a businessman and he provided for his family by setting up shop in Amsterdam. For a while, they were able to put up some semblance of family life. Edith, Anne’s mother, looked after them and they were able to attend school.
There was still the looming threat of the war in Europe, however. And with antisemitism fueling one side of it, they tried to get as far away from the conflict as possible. They made attempts to emigrate as far as America, but these failed.
World War II began when Germany invaded Poland in 1939. Holland followed suit a year later. Strict sanctions were upheld. These sanctions were such that the girls were required to transfer to a Jewish school. In addition, Jewish people weren’t allowed to own businesses and Otto had to lose his company.
Diary and Hiding
The book that held Anne’s encapsulating diary (or the first one, anyway) was a gift from Otto for her 13th birthday. It was originally an autograph book with a red plaid cover and a small lock on the front. The rest of her exile she chronicled on exercise books and separate sheets of paper.
She dreamed of being a writer. And she rewrote her diary into 215-page compilation when she heard that they’ll be collected after the war. She wanted to edit her story and turn it into a novel called “The Secret Annex.” She wasn’t able to finish this, but later on, family friend Miep Gies hands Otto Frank the diary and he publishes it for her.
This diary would tell the story of their hiding, which started in July 1942 after Margot receives an order for deportation to a work camp. They hid in the warehouse of Otto’s old business and friends like Miep Gies would smuggle them necessities. They shared this space with four other people.
Anne would start her entries with “Dear Kitty,” and her entries ended in 1944. This marked the year they were raided and captured.
Aftermath, Mysteries, and Death
Perhaps it’s because her diary provided such detail and familiarity that its sudden end leaves a lingering bad taste on the mouths of anyone who has read it. And perhaps this too is the reason why people are still enticed by the mystery surrounding their capture.
To this day, the details of what happened after remain rather obscure. The fact is that she and Margot were first sent to Auschwitz. Afterwards, they were sent to Bergen-Belsen and died sometime later.
The standing idea seems to be that the sisters died from the typhoid epidemic in March 1945. However, research from as recent as 2015 suggest that their deaths occurred a month earlier.
The raid that lead to their capture is usually pinned on a betrayal as well, with one of Otto’s old business partners as a suspect. But, again, there is a study to denounce that theory. Instead, it blames the raid on “economic violations.”
As previously mentioned, Otto Frank published her diary in 1947. To date, it has about 70 available translations. It’s been converted to both play and film. This is due in large part to Anne’s spectacular gift of expression.
Today, the Anne Frank House stands as a monument against persecution and discrimination of all forms. It stands as a reminder of the chaos we put ourselves through when we let anger and hatred win.
But beyond that, it’s the monumental reminder that there is remarkable strength in individuals and there is an end to the chaos. Anne Frank didn’t write exclusively about the horrors she faced, she wrote of her hope, too. She wrote of her undiminished belief that a better world is within reach.
And in tough times, that’s what people need to remember most. So, if everything starts feeling bleak for you, then read on and remember that things will get better.
Anne Frank Quotes
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank
“In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.” – Anne Frank
“No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank
“Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.” – Anne Frank
“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” – Anne Frank
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God.” – Anne Frank
“I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.” – Anne Frank
“People can tell you to keep your mouth shut, but that doesn’t stop you from having your own opinion.” – Anne Frank
“In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.” – Anne Frank
“Whoever is happy will make others happy.” – Anne Frank
“As long as this exists, this sunshine and this cloudless sky, and as long as I can enjoy it, how can I be sad?” – Anne Frank
“There’s only one rule you need to remember: laugh at everything and forget everybody else! It sound egotistical, but it’s actually the only cure for those suffering from self-pity.” – Anne Frank
“Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power, but in character and goodness.” – Anne Frank
“Where there’s hope, there’s life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.” – Anne Frank
“Those who have courage and faith shall never perish in misery.” – Anne Frank
“The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!” – Anne Frank
“Sympathy, love, fortune…We all have these qualities but still tend to not use them!” – Anne Frank
“Dead people receive more flowers than the living ones because regret is stronger than gratitude.” – Anne Frank
“I can’t imagine how anyone can say: ‘I’m weak’, and then remain so. After all, if you know it, why not fight against it, why not try to train your character?” – Anne Frank
“I think it’s odd that grown-ups quarrel so easily and so often and about such petty matters. Up to now I always thought bickering was just something children did and that they outgrew it.” – Anne Frank
“An empty day, though clear and bright, is just as dark as any night.” – Anne Frank
“We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.” – Anne Frank
“I must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out.” – Anne Frank
“Whoever doesn’t know it must learn and find by experience that ‘a quiet conscience makes one strong!’” – Anne Frank
“The young are not afraid of telling the truth.” – Anne Frank
“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.” – Anne Frank
“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” – Anne Frank
“I’ve found that there is always some beauty left — in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can all help you.” – Anne Frank
“Because paper has more patience than people.” – Anne Frank
“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.” – Anne Frank
“I don’t want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death!” – Anne Frank
“Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power, but in character and goodness. People are just people, and all people have faults and shortcomings, but all of us are born with a basic goodness.” – Anne Frank
“I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness; I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too.” – Anne Frank
“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.” – Anne Frank
“All I think about when I’m with friends is having a good time.” – Anne Frank
“I can’t bring myself to talk about anything but ordinary everyday things.” – Anne Frank
“I hope I’m going to be a little like him, without having to go through what he has!” – Anne Frank
“I found that it was easier to think up questions than to ask them.” – Anne Frank
“People who are religious should be glad, since not everyone is blessed with the ability to believe in a higher order.” – Anne Frank
“Ordinary people don’t know how much books can mean to someone who’s cooped up.” – Anne Frank
“What’s the point of the war? Why, oh why can’t people live together peacefully? Why all this destruction?” – Anne Frank
“A person can be lonely even if he is loved by many people, because he is still not the “One and Only” to anyone.” – Anne Frank
“The nicest part is being able to write down all my thoughts and feeling; otherwise, I might suffocate.” – Anne Frank
“I know I’m far from being what I should; will I ever be?” – Anne Frank
“In spite of everything I still believe people are really good at heart.” – Anne Frank
“At such moments, I don’t think about all the misery, but about the beauty that still remains.” – Anne Frank
“Riches can all be lost, but that happiness in your own heart can only be veiled, and it will bring you happiness again, as long as you live.” – Anne Frank
“The weak fall, but the strong will remain and never go under!” – Anne Frank
“As long as you can look fearlessly at the sky, you’ll know that you’re pure within and will find happiness once more.” – Anne Frank
“Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction.” – Anne Frank