BACK IN TIME is ED’s newspaper type column that reports an incident from the past as though it has happened just yesterday. It allows the reader to re-live it several years later, on the date it had occurred.
4th August, 1944 : On this day in 1944, 15-year-old Jewish diarist of the international bestseller Diary Of A Young Girl, Anne Frank along with her family was captured by the Nazi Gestapo in a sealed-off area of an Amsterdam warehouse.
In the hiding, young Anne had spent much of her time working on her diary. The diary survived the war, overlooked by the Gestapo but Anne and almost all of the others perished in the Nazi death camps.
Annelies Marie Frank was born in Frankfurt, Germany, on June 12, 1929. She was the second daughter of Otto Frank and Edith Frank-Hollander, both from Jewish families that had lived in Germany for centuries.
In 1933, Otto had moved his family to Amsterdam to escape the escalating Nazi persecution of Jews which came along with the rise of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
Anne attended a Montessori school with other middle-class Dutch children in Holland, but with the German invasion of the Netherlands in 1940 she was forced to transfer to a Jewish school.
In 1942, out of fear of deportation to a Nazi concentration camp, the Franks had taken shelter at the warehouse. They occupied the small space with another Jewish family and a single Jewish man, and were aided by Christian friends.
Following her 13th birthday in 1942, Anne had began writing a diary relating her everyday experiences, her relationship with her family and friends and observations about the increasingly dangerous world around her.
For two years, Anne kept a diary about her life in hiding that is marked with pain, innocence, humour and insight.
In June 1944, Anne’s spirits were raised by the Allied landing at Normandy, and she was hopeful that the long-awaited liberation of Holland would finally begin.
But sadly on August 1, 1944, Anne made her last entry in her diary. Three days later on 4th August, 1944, 25 months of seclusion ended with the arrival of the Nazi Gestapo.
Anne and the others had been given away by an unknown informer, and they were arrested along with two of the Christians who had helped shelter them.
They were sent to a concentration camp in Holland, and in September Anne and most of the others were shipped to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland.
In 1944, with the Soviet liberation of Poland underway, Anne was moved with her sister Margot to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. Suffering from the horrible conditions of the camp, the two sisters caught typhus and died in 1945.
Otto Frank was one of the 10 survivors of the Nazi death camps. After the war, he returned to Amsterdam and was reunited with one of his former employees who handed him Anne’s diary, which she had found undisturbed after the Nazi raid.
In 1947, Anne’s diary was published by Otto in its original Dutch as Diary of a Young Girl. It was an instant best-seller and was eventually translated into more than 50 languages and Frank family’s hideaway was turned into a museum.
The Diary of Anne Frank has served and will continue to serve as a literary testament to nearly six million Jews, including Anne herself, who were silenced in the Holocaust.
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