Scrapbookpages Blog

August 4, 2014

70 years ago today, Anne Frank was arrested in her hiding place in Amsterdam

Famous photo of Anne Frank at the age of 13

Famous photo of Anne Frank at the age of 13

You can read about the arrest of Anne Frank and the 7 other people, who were in hiding with her, in a news article here.

Address of the building where Anne Frank hid for two years

Address of the building where Anne Frank hid for two years

Front door of the building where Anne Frank hid from the Nazis

Front door of the building where Anne Frank hid from the Nazis for two years

Several years ago, I visited the house where Anne Frank lived in hiding; I wrote about it extensively on my website here.

Otto Frank was not a practicing Jew; he did not flee from Germany because he was afraid of being arrested as a Jew. No, Otto Frank was a fugitive from justice.  He had been arrested in Germany for bank fraud after he cheated his banking customers out of their money.  His brother, who was his partner in the banking business, managed to flee to America, but the number of Jews who were allowed into America was severely limited and Otto Frank was denied entry.

Otto Frank, bank fraud criminal

Otto Frank, bank fraud criminal

The following quote is from my website:

Knowing that his family would soon be deported [from Amsterdam], Otto Frank began preparing a hiding place in the annex with a two-year supply of food and other essentials. Five months later, Anne and her family suddenly disappeared, leaving behind notes saying that they had gone to Switzerland, which was a neutral country during World War II. Otto Frank’s brother actually did escape from occupied France to Switzerland, but Otto Frank wanted to remain in Amsterdam because he had a thriving business there [doing business with the German army].

Many other Jewish families in Amsterdam also went into hiding, trusting that their Dutch neighbors and business associates would not betray their hiding places to the police. Approximately 25,000 Dutch Jews hid during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands which began after the Germans defeated the Dutch in May 1940 in the early part of World War II.

Those unfortunate Dutch Jews who did not go into hiding were sent to the transit camp at Westerbork, from where they were then transported by train to Auschwitz, the infamous killing center, located in what is now Poland, where millions of Jews perished in the gas chambers. Many of the 160,000 Jews in the Netherlands were refugees, like the Franks and their friends in the annex, who had escaped from Germany after Hitler and the Nazis came to power in 1933. Westerbork was originally a refugee camp for German Jews who were regarded as illegal immigrants in the Netherlands after they escaped over the border from Nazi Germany before the war.

The Franks went into hiding on July 6, 1942 shortly after Anne’s 13th birthday on June 12th. One week later they were joined by Hermann and Auguste van Pels, their 15-year-old son Peter and Peter’s cat. Dr. Pfeffer joined them on November 16, 1942, bringing along his dentist’s drill.

On August 4th, 1944, the police raided their hiding place in the annex and they were taken to the Westerbork transit camp on a passenger train, after a short stay at the Amsterdam headquarters of the Security Police. On September 3, 1944, all 8 were loaded onto a freight train and taken on the last transport of Dutch Jews to Auschwitz, where they arrived on the night of September 5th and 6th. Otto Frank was the only one of the 8 who survived. He died on August 19, 1980 in Switzerland.

Save your comments about the ball point pen issue.  I have studied this extensively, and I previously blogged about it here.

 Photo Credit: Anne Frank Stichting, Tekening: Eric van Rootselaar


Photo Credit: Anne Frank Stichting, Tekening: Eric van Rootselaar

The photo above shows a cross section of the house and the Annex where Anne Frank hid. On the left, in the photo, is the main house, with the annex on the right. Tourists enter the house through a door that has been cut into the wall of the passageway which connects the main building and the annex on the ground floor. Anne Frank’s room is on the 2nd floor (3rd floor in American terms) on the side nearest to the viewer. The tiny window on the side of the attic had a view of the Westerkerk (church).