Anne Frank: A Young Girl's Legacy
A symbol of hope for many during Nazi occupation, Anne Frank has recently been memorialized at the Madame Tussauds wax museum in Berlin Germany. The wax statue is based on the last pictures of Anne and shows her seated at a desk, surrounded by her favorite books including her diary and a copy of Uncle Tom's cabin by Harriet Beecher Stove.
Eighty years after Anne Frank's family fled Frankfurt, her family's belongings including thousands of letters and toys were returned to the city to be displayed at the Jewish Museum. However, Anne Frank's diary will continue to remain in Amsterdam, the city she called home when she wrote her diary. Coincidentally, the anniversary of her death also lies in early March.
We remember a girl who, trapped under the strains of hiding, weaved a beautiful story about life during the reign of the Nazis, showing how the pen can triumph over the sword.
Who was Anne Frank?
Anne Frank, a Jewish girl, lived her early years in the city of Frankfurt, Germany. Her happy, bubbly personality gave no hint of the deep thoughts she engaged in when alone. During her teen years, she was forced to flee to Amsterdam after the Nazi invasion. When Netherlands came under Nazi occupation, her family went into hiding in an empty section of the building owned by Otto Frank's (her father) company. A bookshelf concealed the entrance to the hiding place.
Despite the limitations, Anne appeared as a normal teenager, her diaries mentioning romance and family arguments. However, in many of her entries she acknowledges her faults as well as her positives, and displays remarkable maturity for a girl her age.
A few days after her last sorrowful entry, her family was betrayed anonymously and taken to a German concentration camp called Bergen-Bensen. The quarters were terrible with hundreds of people living in a small space, and the food was measly for any human appetite. Eventually Anne Frank fell to the disease typhus, in early March of 1945. It was heartbreaking that her family had evaded capture for most of the war and met their end just two months before World War II ended.
Anne’s hiding place, named the “Secret Annexe”, has been catapulted to fame. Otto Frank, her father, returned alive after the war and published her diary to the world. Now, people can see a lonely girl gazing out the beautiful window, longing for the sun on her face – longing for freedom.
The Diary and Her Legacy
Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has given us an insight into life during the Nazi occupation. It was tough for families and many did not even live in conditions like those of the Frank family. Many were ruthlessly persecuted, and the Nazi concentration camps were so badly managed that the prisoners lived on scraps of food and were in danger of catching innumerable diseases.
Many flock to Amsterdam to see her “Secret Annexe”, and vivid pictures have been captured to the point where one can visualize the family living there. The diary itself has been published worldwide in more than 60 different languages, and has been translated into award-winning plays and movies.
Hitler's Germany was one of the darkest periods of the 20th century. Anne's story is a reminder that we as a society must stand up against persecution of innocent people.