The Story of Anne Frank

The Story of Anne Frank :: The Story of Anne FrankWar, persecution, and economic depression affect not only adults, but also old people, children, babies, the sick and the handicapped. Since history is written mostly about politicians, soldiers, intellectuals and criminals, we don’t read very often about how events affect ordinary people. Now and then a special book will shed light on what it was like to live in the midst of terrible events. Such a book is “The Diary of Anne Frank.” Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, in 1929. Her father Otto Frank was a businessman who moved the family to the Netherlands in 1934. In Amsterdam, Otto started a company selling pectin to make jams and jellies. Later he began a second company that sold herbs for seasoning meat.

Otto Frank had decided to leave Germany because of the policies and personality of the new German Chancellor Adolph Hitler. Hitler had a personal hatred not only for Jewish people but also for everything Jewish. He felt that one way to strengthen Germany and solve its problems was to kill or drive out all the Jews. Hitler also felt that other groups, such as blacks, gypsies, the handicapped, homosexuals and the chronically unemployed should be eliminated. Then only strong healthy “true Germans” would be left.

Since Hitler had a plan to solve Germany’s economic problems, he received a lot of popular support. Very few Germans realized that he was mentally and emotionally unbalanced and would kill anyone who got in his way.

The Frank family was Jewish, and they felt that they would be safe in the Netherlands. However, in May 1940, Germany invaded the Netherlands and soon took over the government. In 1941, laws were passed to keep Jews separate from other Dutch citizens. The following year, Dutch Jews began to be shipped to concentration camps in Germany and Poland. Just before this began, Anne Frank, Otto’s younger daughter, received a diary for her 13th birthday. Less than a month later, the whole family went into hiding.

Otto Frank had made friends with the Dutch people who worked with him in his business operations. Now these friends were ready to help him, even though hiding Jews from the authorities was treated as a serious crime.

Behind Otto Frank’s business offices, there was another house that was not visible from the street. Here the Franks moved many of their things. Only a few trusted people knew they were living there. The Franks moved into these small rooms on July 6, 1942, and they lived there with another Jewish family, the Van Pels, until the police captured them on August 4, 1944. So, for more than two years, the two families never went outside. All their food and supplies had to be brought to them.

During this period, Anne Frank told her diary all her thoughts and fears. Like any teenage girl, she hoped that good things would happen to her, that she would become a writer or a movie star. She complained that her parents treated her like a child. She insisted that she was grown up.

She also talked about how difficult it was to live in a small area with seven other people and not be able to go outside. She wrote about the war and hoped that the Netherlands would soon be liberated from the Germans. Anne sometimes envied her older sister, Margot, who was so much more mature, and who never got into trouble. She and Margot wrote letters to each other to pass the time. Anne even had a romance with Peter van Pels, who was seventeen.

Then all their fears came true. All the eight Jews hiding in the house were arrested and eventually sent to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. Although the war was ending, it did not end soon enough for the Frank family. Only Otto Frank survived the war.

One of their helpers, Miep Gies, saved Anne’s diary and kept it. After the war, Otto Frank decided to publish it. Since 1947 more than 20 million copies have been sold in 55 languages. Anne’s diary shows the terrible cost of hatred, persecution and war better than any history book.

1 thought on “The Story of Anne Frank

  • Persecution

    Source 1
    PersecutePersecute somebody (for something) To treat somebody in a cruel and unfair way, especially because of their race, religion or political beliefs
    Throughout history, people have been persecuted for their religious beliefs.
    Persecuted minorities
    Persecution noun [uncountable, countable]
    The victims of religious persecution
    They fled to Europe to escape persecution.

    Usage note: Race and immigration

    Prejudice and racismExperience/encounterracism/discrimination/prejudice/anti-semitism
    Face/suffer persecution/discrimination
    Fear/escape from/flee racial/political/religious persecution
    Constitute/be a form of racial/race discrimination
    Reflect/reveal/show/have a racial/cultural bias
    Be biased/be prejudiced against (especially British English) black people/(both especially North American English) people of color/African Americans/Asians/Africans/Indians, etc.
    Discriminate against minority groups/minorities
    Perpetuate/conform to/fit/defy a common/popular/traditional/negative stereotype
    Overcome/be blinded by deep-seated/racial/(especially North American English) race prejudice
    Entrench/perpetuate racist attitudes
    Hurl/shout (especially British English) racist abuse; (especially North American English) a racist/racial/ethnic slur
    Challenge/confront racism/discrimination/prejudice
    Combat/fight (against)/tackle blatant/overt/covert/subtle/institutional/systemic racism

    Race and societyDamage/improve (especially British English) race relations
    Practise/(especially US) practice (racial/religious) tolerance/segregation
    Bridge/break down/transcend cultural/racial barriers
    Encourage/promote social integration
    Outlaw/end discrimination/slavery/segregation
    Promote/embrace/celebrate cultural diversity
    Conform to/challenge/violate (accepted/established/prevailing/dominant) social/cultural norms
    Live in a multicultural society
    Attack/criticize multiculturalism
    Fight for/struggle for/promote racial equality
    Perpetuate/reinforce economic and social inequality
    Introduce/be for/be against (British English) positive discrimination/(especially North American English) affirmative action
    Support/be active in/play a leading role in the civil rights movement

    ImmigrationControl/restrict/limit/encourage immigration
    Attract/draw a wave of immigrants
    Assist/welcome refugees
    House/shelter refugees and asylum seekers
    Smuggle illegal immigrants into the UK
    Deport/repatriate illegal immigrants/failed asylum seekers
    Assimilate/integrate new immigrants
    Employ/hire migrant workers
    Exploit/rely on (cheap/illegal) immigrant labour/(especially US) labor
    Apply for/gain/obtain/be granted/be denied (full) citizenship
    Have/hold dual citizenship

    Source 2
    persecute [transitive]
    to treat someone cruelly or unfairly over a period of time, especially because of their religious or political beliefs:
    The Puritans left England to escape being persecuted.
    persecution noun [uncountable and countable]
    the persecution of writers who criticize the government


    Source 1
    Aperson who is well educated and enjoys activities in which they have to think seriously about things

    source 2
    an intelligent, well-educated person who spends time thinking about complicated ideas and discussing them [↪ academic]:
    a leading British intellectual

    Shed light on something

    Source 1
    Cast/shed/throw light on somethingTo make a problem, etc. easier to understand
    Recent research has thrown new light on the causes of the disease.

    source 2
    to provide new information that makes a difficult subject or problem easier to understand:
     Melanie was able to shed some light on the situation.
    These discoveries may throw new light on the origins of the universe.

    pectin Source 1
    Asubstance similar to sugar that forms in fruit that is ready to eat, and is used to make jam/jelly firm as it is cooked

    source 2
    a chemical substance that is found in some fruits and is sometimes added to jam and jelly to make it less liquid


    Source 1
    Aplant whose leaves, flowers or seeds are used to flavour food, in medicines or for their pleasant smell. Parsley, mint and oregano are all herbs
    Aherb garden

    source 2
    a small plant that is used to improve the taste of food, or to make medicine:
    Sprinkle the dish with chopped fresh herbs.


    Source 1
    To add salt, pepper, etc. to food in order to give it more flavour
    Season the lamb with garlic.
    Add the mushrooms, and season to taste (= add as much salt, pepper, etc. as you think is necessary).

    source 2
    to add salt, pepper etc to food you are cooking
    season something with something Season the chicken with pepper.
    Mix and season to taste (=add the amount of salt etc that you think tastes right).


    Chronic adjective
    Lasting for a long time; difficult to cure or get rid of
    Chronic bronchitis/arthritis/asthma
    The country’s chronic unemployment problem
    Achronic shortage of housing in rural areas
    Opposite: acute
    Chronically Adverb
    Ahospital for the chronically ill

    Get in the way of

    Source 1
    To prevent somebody from doing something; to prevent something from happening
    He wouldn’t allow emotions to get in the way of him doing his job.

    source 2
    to prevent someone from doing something, or prevent something from happening:
    Your social life must not get in the way of your studies.


    Source 1
    To enter a country, town, etc. using military force in order to take control of it
    Troops invaded on August 9th that year.
    Invade something When did the Romans invade Britain?

    source 2
    to enter a country, town, or area using military force, in order to take control of it:
    The Romans invaded Britain 2000 years ago

    Take over

    To gain control of a political party, a country, etc
    The army is threatening to take over if civil unrest continues.

    source 2
    to take control of something [↪ takeover]
    take something ↔ overHis only reason for investing in the company was to take it over.
    Ruth moved into our apartment and promptly took over.

    Concentration camp

    Source 1
    Atype of prison, often consisting of a number of buildings inside a fence, where political prisoners, etc. Are kept in extremely bad conditions
    ANazi concentration camp

    source 2
    a prison where political prisoners and other people who are not soldiers are kept and treated cruelly, especially during a war


    Source 1
    Liberate somebody/something (from somebody/something) To free a country or a person from the control of somebody else
    The city was liberated by the advancing army.

    source 2
     to free prisoners, a city, a country etc from someone’s control:
    A few days later, our armies liberated the city.


    Source 1
    To wish you had the same qualities, possessions, opportunities, etc. as somebody else
    Envy somebodyHe envied her—she seemed to have everything she could possibly want.
    Envy something She has always envied my success.
    Envy somebody somethingI envied him his good looks.
    Envy somebody doing something I envy you having such a close family.

    source 2
    to wish that you had someone else’s possessions, abilities etc:
    I really envy you and Ian, you seem so happy together.
    She has a lifestyle which most people would envy.
    envy somebody somethingHe envied Rosalind her youth and strength.

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