35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family

Trista - December 10, 2019

Dead at the age of 15, Anne Frank lived through more terrifying events than most people do who live to be 100. For years, Anne lived with her family hidden away in an attic, praying every day that the Nazis would not find them. To save their lives, they had to remain as quiet as mice.

Anne and her family successfully hid from the Nazis during World War 2 for two years. While her life ended in the concentration camp, Anne left a legacy behind that would cement her and her family into history.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Bookcase to the secret annex. Anne Frank.org.

35. Johan Voskuijl Constructed The Bookcase To The Secret Annex

After failing multiple times to get his family out of the Netherlands to avoid the Nazis, Otto talked to some of his most trusted employees about a new plan. They decided to use the upstairs of the business as a hiding place. To make this area more secret, Johan Voskuijl, who worked for Otto, constructed the hinged bookcase.

Johan started working on the bookcase in August of 1942 as the Frank family planned to go into hiding a couple of weeks later. Today, a renovated bookcase is part of the Anne Frank tour. Otto opened it to the public in 1960.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Birthplace of Anne Frank, the Maingau Red Cross Clinic. Wikimedia.

34. Anne Frank Lived In Germany Before Moving to Amsterdam

Anne and her family are true Germans in the sense her parents, Otto and Edith, and her older sister, Margot, were all born in Germany. Anne never remembered much of Germany because her family moved to Amsterdam around the age of four.

The uprising of Nazi Germany started years before World War II began, and Otto knew that his family remained in danger if they stayed in Germany. While they tried to leave for the United States and possibly other countries, they only receive acceptance to move to the Netherlands. The Frank family made their move official in 1933.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Anne Frank statue. Wikimedia.

33. The Frank Family Tried To Immigrate To The United States…Twice

Otto and Edith Frank believed Nazi Germany would not make its way to the Netherlands in 1933. Unfortunately, Hitler invaded the Netherlands in 1939 and started forcing Jews to live a certain way. This led Otto to try to get visas for his family to go to the United States.

The first time the Frank family was denied entry into the U.S., Otto started looking at Cuba. When the family received rejection from Cuba, Otto once again looked to the US. Unfortunately, they still didn’t receive entry, so Otto met with friends and started forming a new plan for hiding.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
The apartment block where Anne’s family lived from the 1930s until they went into hiding. Wikimedia.

32. The Frank Family Moved To Amsterdam During 1933 To Try To Escape Nazi Germany

Anne Frank came into this world on June 12, 1929, in Frankfurt, Germany. Around the age of four, Otto and Edith Frank started noticing the frightening rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazis in Germany. They knew they had to escape as Hitler focused on segregating Jews.

Wanting a better life for their children, Otto and Edith started looking for another country. After deliberation, they focused on the Netherlands, deciding Amsterdam would give them a good home. Unfortunately, Nazi Germany quickly made their way into the Netherlands, causing the Frank family to look into other areas around the world.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Otto Frank. Wikimedia.

31. Otto Frank Is The Sole Survivor Of The Holocaust In His Family

When Nazis discovered the Frank family hiding in the Annex, they immediately took them to concentration camps. During transportation, the Nazis separated Otto from his two daughters and wife. When Edith, Margot, and Anne noted that they couldn’t see their father, they assumed the Nazis gassed him immediately.

Unfortunately, Edith, Margot, and Anne died in the concentration camp before World War II ended. When Otto arrived in Amsterdam, he learned his family didn’t make it. He was the sole survivor of all members of the Annex.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Anne Frank Portrait. Smithsonian Magazine.

30. No One Knows The Exact Date Of Anne Frank’s Death

While many historians, Otto Frank, and many other people have tried to pin down the exact date that Anne Frank died, we only know it happened in February 1945. Anne and her sister, Margot, became sick weeks before the sisters died of typhus.

No one is sure if Margot died before or after Anne, but people do know that the sisters remained together until the end. Many eyewitness reports say that Margot, who was 19, did everything she could to take care of her sister, 15. Both died a few weeks before the British Army liberated the camp.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Otto and Edith Frank’s wedding. Anne Frank.cu.

29. Edith Frank Suffered Psychologically In The End

Even though living two years in hiding put a strain on the marriage of Otto and Edith, the couple still loved each other deeply. When the Nazis separated the family when they lived in Auschwitz, Edith convinced herself that they gassed Otto.

After the Nazis moved her daughters to Bergen-Belsen, she believed they died as well. Unable to handle the grief, many people feel Edith suffered a mental break down. Authorities moved Edith to Auschwitz-Birkenau sickbay in early 1945, where she died just weeks before the camp’s liberation. Unknown to her, Otto lived a mile away.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Miep Geis (front left), Otto Frank (center), Johannes Kleiman (back left), Victor Kugler (back right), and Elizabeth Voskuijl (front right). NY Times.

28. Several People Helped Hide The Frank Family

When Otto Frank could not get visas for his family to head to the United States of Cuba in the early 1940s, he talked to some of his most trusted friends and employees. Together, Otto, Miep Geis, Victor Kugler, Johannes Kleiman, and Elizabeth Voskuijl came up with a plan to hide the Frank family.

The Franks would take refuge in the annex of Otto’s business. It was a secret spot, the only doorway closed by a bookcase, so people wouldn’t think there was another floor. The employees also spread rumors that the family ran off to Switzerland.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Opekta advertisement. Wikimedia Commons.

27. Otto Frank Served In World War I And Owned A Business

Otto Frank knew the dangers of war very well. Otto joined the German Military during World War I. After the war, he went back to Germany and began working in his family’s bank business. In the early 1930s, the recession in Germany caused several banks to close, including Otto’s bank.

Once Otto closed the bank, he decided to start his own business where he sold spices and pectin called Opekta. Otto took this business with him when he moved his family from Germany to Amsterdam. Otto went back to managing his business until he officially retired in 1956.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Otto Frank in front of the secret annex entrance in 1964. History.

26. Otto Frank Remarried In 1953 To A Family Friend

Like many other people, Otto lost his family in the concentration camps. Starting life after living in the camp is something that Otto struggled with. Fortunately, he met an old family friend and neighbor, Elfriede (Fritzi) Markovits, in 1953.

The couple became closer after World War Two because they understood the loss and life they lived. Elfriede and her daughter, the same age as Anne, received liberation from their Russian concentration camp in 1945. However, Elfriede lost her husband and son during the war. Once married, Eva officially became a stepdaughter to Otto and stepsister to Anne and Margot.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Reconstruction of the store room of the annex. Anne Frank.org

25. Two Other Families Joined The Frank Family In The Annex

The Frank family tried to escape to the United States to avoid the Nazis. When this didn’t work, they had to formulate another plan. Otto, who owned a business, knew of the perfect hiding spot in the annex of his company. With the bookcase in place of a door, the Frank family moved in on July 6, 1942.

The family planned to move later but had to make a quick move due to a letter Margot received. A week later, the Van Pels family joined the Franks. Fritz Pfeffer, another acquaintance of the Franks, moved to the annex in November.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Margot and Anne Frank. PUBLIC DOMAIN EDIT NOS.

24. Anne Frank Lived Two Years And 35 Days In Hiding

No one knew how long they would live in hiding once they entered the secret annex. The hope for the Frank family became they would stay there peacefully until the end of the war. While the family lived in hiding, for over two years, Anne couldn’t see the sky or feel the sun.

To keep herself busy, Anne turned to writing and reading. She spent time teaching herself history and read the same books over and over. She also focused on her appearance and made lists of what she wanted to do once she could live on the outside again.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Margot Frank about 1941. Holocause.Georgia.Gov.

23. Margot Frank Remained A True Older Sister Until The End

Born on February 6, 1926, Margot Frank is about three years older than Anne. While the girls didn’t always get along, their relationship became stronger once they went into hiding. There are several points where Anne writes about the close relationship she had with her sister in her diary.

While most of the Frank family became separated over their time in Auschwitz, the sisters stayed together. Even when Margot received word that she could follow her father to a different camp, she refused to leave Anne. The sisters died days apart, though there is no true timeline of dates.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl. Mirror.co.uk

22. There Is More Than One Diary, But Some Might Be Lost Forever

Anne celebrated her 13th birthday right before her family went into hiding. Anne and her family knew they would soon go into hiding, so Otto decided to let Anne pick out her own birthday present. She decided on a red checkered autograph book that she started writing on June 14, 1942.

Anne would not fit all of the two years into her autograph book. The last date in the checkered book is December 5, 1942. She then started to write in notebooks. Unfortunately, many people believe that some diaries are lost because the notebooks began on December 22, 1943.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Edith with baby Anne Frank. Wikitree.

21. Despite The Rumors, Edith and Anne Frank Had A Great Relationship

It is well-known that Otto edited out parts of Anne’s diary at first. He didn’t like the way Anne portrayed her mother. Even though Otto and Edith sometimes had a rocky relationship, Edith adored her daughters, and Anne loved her mother.

Anne became a typical teenager while the family hid in the secret annex. She struggled to find her alone time and didn’t always get along with her mother. However, witnesses who knew the family in Auschwitz stated that Edith and Anne showed a loving and healthy relationship. Edith even gave Anne her food to try to keep her alive.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Page from Anne Frank’s diary. Wikimedia.

20. Anne Rewrote Her Diary For Publication

Anne wanted to become a famous writer, and she felt her first step to this dream meant she needed to rewrite her diary for publication. After hearing that the Dutch minister of education wanted to eyewitness accounts of World War II, Anne immediately began rewriting her diary.

Anne didn’t want every published, so she wrote her second diary in a way that was fit for everyone to read. She planned to title her published diary, The Secret Annex, but she never finished this diary. Authorities came and arrested everyone in the annex before she had a chance to finish.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Anne Frank and her family. Pinterest.

19. Anne And Her Family Faced Criminal Punishments At The Concentration Camp

Because Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis for over two years, every member of the Annex became a criminal. When they arrived in Auschwitz, authorities separated Otto from the rest of his family because of the gender rules. However, they all received intense labor assignments due to their criminal behavior.

Anne, Margot, and Edith often needed to carry heavy stones and grass mats. Given some of the toughest jobs did not help the mental, emotional, or physical help of Edith or her daughters. Furthermore, they received little food and quickly became weak and sick.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Otto Frank at a “Diary of Anne Frank” event. AP News

18. Otto Frank Spent The Rest Of His Life Talking About Anne’s Diary

Otto arrived back in Amsterdam after World War II. He made his way up to the annex to try to piece together his life after learning his wife and daughter perished in the concentration camp. Miep Geis found Anne’s diary after the Nazi raid and saved it. She gave it to Otto upon his return.

Otto immediately decided to publish his daughter’s diary. He spent the rest of his life traveling and making sure that people knew who Anne was and the legacy she left behind. He accepted awards on behalf of Anne, gave speeches, interviews, and so much more.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Edith Frank. Flickr.

17. Edit Frank Died Just Weeks Before The Camp’s Liberation

Every member of the Frank family went to Auschwitz. While they couldn’t always communicate, they stayed together as much as possible. Eventually, the Nazis separated Otto from his wife and daughters. While the rest of the family stayed together, they were all deteriorating rapidly. In October of 1944, Margot and Anne traveled to Bergen-Belsen.

Because of Edith’s declining health, the Nazis sent her to Auschwitz-Birkenau. With a 106-degree fever and believing her daughters died, Edith passed away on January 6, 1945. The camp received liberation three weeks later.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
The little table in the room of Anne Frank and Fritz Pfeffer in the Secret Annex. Anne Frank.org

16. The Frank Family Purposely Left Their Apartment A Mess To Throw Off Authorities

The Frank family knew Nazis would knock on their door because of the letter Margot received saying she needed to go to a labor camp in Germany. Therefore, the family not only had to go into hiding several days before their planned date, but they had to throw off the authorities.

To make it look like the family left in a hurry, they left their apartment a mess. Otto even decided to write a quick note to make it look like the family escaped to Switzerland, so authorities would not look for the family in Amsterdam.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Miep Gies. Biography.

15. Family Friend, Miep Gies Saved Anne Frank’s Diary

Miep Gies is best known as the woman who helped hide the Frank family and saved Anne Frank’s diary after the Nazis stormed into the annex and arrested everyone on August 4, 1944. The authorities, who received an anonymous tip about the Franks’ hiding spot, were all sent to concentration camps where everyone but Otto would die.

Miep Gies, who worked as Otto’s secretary, visited the family often and brought anything they needed. On one of her trips to clean up the mess the authorities left, she took Anne’s diary in hopes that she could give it back to Anne.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
The bookcase with its glass case. Anne Frank.org.

14. The Anne Frank Museum Struggles To Keep The Famous Bookcase From Wear and Tear

Between 1958 and 1960, Otto Frank took care of restoring the famous bookcase that led to the secret annex because it was in deplorable shape. He wanted to do everything he could to keep the memory of his family alive, and this included giving people the right to enter the secret annex.

Unfortunately, the bookcase continues to show signs of wear and tear. Some of this is from aging, while other reasons include visitors. The Anne Frank Museum tries continuously to ensure the bookcase is taken care of, including building a glass case to help protect it.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Anne Frank relaxing outside. Wall Street Journal.

13. Everyone Can Get To Know Anne Through The Pages Of Her Diary

Otto stated that he learned more about Anne as he continued to read through her diary. This is something that everyone can share with Otto as Anne gave the world everything she had when it came to writing in her journal.

Anne became truthful when it came to Kitty as she needed something she could tell her deepest and darkest secrets to. She had several people to talk to living in the annex, but Kitty became her constant companion, and she showed her personality through its pages.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Anne, Otto, and other family members at Miep Gies’ wedding. Anne Frank.org.

12. Otto Became Overwhelmed As He Read Anne’s Diary

It is no surprise that reading Anne’s diary for the first time overwhelmed Otto Frank. However, what is surprising, at least to Otto, is how much he didn’t know about his youngest daughter. He read the pages of Anne’s diary slowly for several reasons as they became increasingly difficult. Yet, he couldn’t stop reading because he started to understand his daughter truly.

Later in his life, Otto stated, For me, it was a revelation. There was revealed a completely different Anne to the child that I had lost. I had no idea of the depths of her thoughts and feelings.”

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Illustration of Anne Frank and a cat. Jewish Journal.

11. Anne Frank Gave A Her Neighbor Several Of Her Possessions

The Frank family couldn’t take much with them when they prepared themselves for hiding. They could only take the essential items that they needed to survive and a few invaluable items. Even though Anne would have a cat while living in hiding, the family could not take their family cat, Moortje.

Anne decided to give Moortje to a young girl, Toosje Kupers, who lived in a nearby apartment. Along with the cat, Anne gave Kupers a tea set, marbles, and a book. You can still see the marbles that belonged to Anne as they are preserved.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Colored image of Anne Frank. The JC.

10. Anne Lived A Life Of Segregation During The 1940s

Nazi Germany took over the Netherlands in the fall of 1939. When this happened, Anne’s life began to change quickly. She soon found herself heading to a different school, one that only allowed Jewish children. She couldn’t hang out with some of her old friends because they weren’t Jewish.

Anne, along with all other Jews, had to wear a yellow Star of David at all times to show people her Jewish roots. She also needed to live by a strict curfew and watch her father lose his business he spent years building.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Pages of Anne Frank’s diary. History.

9. Anne Frank Opened Up About Her Emotional And Mental Health In Her Diary

Most of us cannot even begin to imagine what living a life of hiding is like. But, through the pages of Anne’s diary, we can start to understand a little more. Anne wrote about everything in her diary as it became her companion. She felt it would never judge her.

Along with writing about the daily struggles the members of the annex faced, Anne discussed her own psychological and emotional health. In February 1944, Anne wrote, “I’ve reached the point where I hardly care whether I live or die.” Later she admitted she shakes off her cares as she writes.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
A young Anne Frank. islington.media.

8. Anne Frank Lived The Life Of A Deep And Emotional Person

Anne Frank had more talents in her short life than people realize. Not only was Anne a great writer, but she was extremely passionate. In fact, Otto stated later in his life that Anne suffered from terrible mood swings because of her strong emotions.

Otto stated of his relationship between his daughters that he became closer to Anne because “Margot rarely showed her feelings and didn’t need as much support because she didn’t suffer from mood swings as much as Anne did.” In response, Margot became closer to her mother.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Image of Anne Frank with writing. Tampa Bay.

7. Anne Frank Planned Her Future In Her Diary

Anne Frank spent most of her days while in hiding writing. She had several notebooks along with her famous red checkered diary named Kitty. Anne wrote about everything her heart desired from the day’s events to the news about World War II, and her dreams of the future.

Anne wrote in her diary, “I need to have something besides a husband and children to devote myself to!” and “I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living after my death!”

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Reconstruction of the secret annex bathroom. Anne Frank.org

6. Anne Frank Struggled To Live In The Secret Annex With So Many People

It is well-known that Anne Frank had a talent for writing. She loved to be alone with her thoughts so she could continue to write and let her creativity flow. She struggled when it came to this while living for two years in the secret annex.

Anne wrote in her diary that a life of hiding is complicated in several pages of her journal. She wrote about how quiet everyone needed to be and that they could rarely go outside, except during the night. Because of this, Anne wrote about a lot of arguments and irritability within the group.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Memorial for Anne Frank and her sister, Margot. Wikimedia.

5. Just Days Before Authorities Raided The Annex, Anne Felt Hopeful For The World

No matter how much Anne struggled emotionally and mentally during her two years in hiding, she continued to plan for her future and remained hopeful. While no one knows her direct thoughts living in the concentration camp, Anne felt much hope for the world.

Just days before authorities arrested everyone in the annex, Anne wrote in her diary, “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.”

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Peter van Pels and Anne Frank. NY Daily News.

4. Anne Frank Received Her First Kiss While Hiding

Even though Anne Frank felt she couldn’t confide everything to one person, she developed a close relationship with the son of Otto’s business partner, Peter van Pels. Peter and Anne were close in age, though Peter was closer in age to Margot.

Anne confessed in her diary that she didn’t truly love Peter. Instead, he became a stand-in for the real boy she loved, also named Peter. The two remained close, which caused Margot to become a bit jealous. Anne received her first kiss from Peter but didn’t cite any incredible magic with the kiss.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Anne Frank’s Diary, “Dear Kitty.” Anne Frank.org

3. Anne Planned On Publishing Her Diary After World War II

Anne Frank used her diary, whom she named “Kitty,” to open up about her fears, daily life, and everything else. Her diary became her best friend, and she spent hours writing. Anne wanted to become a famous writer, and she felt her diary would lead her to this goal.

The idea to publish her diary happened on March 28, 1944, when her family listened to a BBC broadcast that stated the Dutch minister of education, art, and science, Gerrit Bolkestein, wanted to publish eyewitness accounts after the war. Anne planned on publishing her diary, calling it The Secret Annex.

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family
Anne Frank writing in 1941. Columbian.

2. Anne Frank Dreamed Of Becoming A Famous Writer

No one knows precisely when Anne’s dreams of becoming a writer came to be, but she spent most of her time writing while hiding in the secret annex. Anne hoped that after the war, she could return to school and then begin traveling the world.

In addition to writing in her diary, Anne wrote several short stories. She also collected quotes from books and wrote them in various places in a notebook. On May 11, 1944, Anne opened up about her dreams for the future when she wrote she wanted to become “a journalist, and later on a famous writer.”

35 Captivating Facts About Anne Frank And Her Family

Anne Frank’s signature. Wikimedia.

1. The Diary Of Anne Frank Is The Most Read Account Of The Holocaust

There are many stories and novels about the Holocaust. It is a part of history that remains one of the most read topics. However, Anne Frank’s diary is the biggest story to come out of the Holocaust. The book is translated into 70 different languages and sold millions of copies.

Otto Frank debated for a while on whether to publish Anne’s diary. While he made a few changes, from the moment he released the journal until he died, Otto did everything he could to keep the memory of Anne and the rest of his family alive.


Where did we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

“30 Eye-Opening Facts About the Life and Tragic Death of Anne Frank”. Trista. History Collection. January 11, 2019

“Fascinating Things Most People Don’t Know About Anne Frank’s Family.” Phil Gibbons, Ranker.

“Anne Frank’s Family Tried to Escape to US, Hit Roadblocks.” Kristen Grieshaber, AP News. July 2018.

“Memento Of A Lost Childhood: Anne Frank’s Marbles.” NPR. February 2014.

“35 Unbelievable Anne Frank Facts.” Serious Facts.

“10 Facts About Anne Frank.” Laura Mackenzie, History Hit. June 2018.

“47 Tragic Facts About Anne Frank.” Stephanie Kelsey, Factinate.

“12 things you need to know about Anne Frank and her diary.” Zoe Waxman, History Extra. June 2019.

“How Anne Frank’s Diary Survived”. BY DANIEL S. LEVY. Time Magazine. JUNE 14, 2017