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R.1, R.2, R.4, R.5, R.7, W.2, SL.1, SL.6, L.4, L.6 

The Girl Who Lived Forever

She was murdered during a time of evil and hatred. But her diary survived. This is the story of how Anne Frank became one of the most important writers in history. 

Anne Frank Fonds - Basel via Getty Images 

Before You Read: Check out our Background Builder slideshow

 

    It was early morning. Thirteen-year-old Anne Frank was hurrying down the street with her parents and sister. The day was warm, but Anne was wearing two vests, three pairs of pants, a dress, a jacket, a skirt, and more. 

    Sweat rolled down Anne’s face. She felt foolish wearing so many clothes—but this was a life-or-death moment. Anne knew it.

    It was July 6, 1942, in Amsterdam, a city in the Netherlands. Because they were Jewish, the Franks were in danger. They had made the daring decision to go into hiding—to disappear without a trace. 

    Anne and her family had to pretend that they were simply out for a stroll. They had to wear all their clothing because carrying suitcases would make people suspicious. 

    If anyone discovered what they were doing, they could be arrested and killed.

    It was early morning. Anne Frank, 13, hurried down the street with her parents and sister. The day was warm, but Anne was wearing two vests, three pairs of pants, a dress, a jacket, a skirt, and more.

    Sweat rolled down Anne’s face. She felt silly wearing so many clothes. But this was a life-or-death moment. 

    It was July 6, 1942, in Amsterdam, a city in the Netherlands. Because they were Jewish, the Franks were in danger. They had decided to go into hiding.

    The Franks had to pretend they were just out for a walk. They wore all their clothing because suitcases would make people suspicious.

    If anyone knew what they were doing, they could be arrested and killed.

    It was early morning. Thirteen-year-old Anne Frank was hurrying down the street with her parents and sister. The day was warm, but Anne was wearing two vests, three pairs of pants, a dress, a jacket, a skirt, and more.

    Sweat rolled down Anne’s face. She felt foolish wearing so much clothing—but this was a life-or-death situation, and Anne knew it.

    It was July 6, 1942, in Amsterdam, a city in the Netherlands. Because they were Jewish, the Franks were in danger. They had made the daring decision to go into hiding—to disappear without a trace.

    Anne and her family had to pretend that they were simply out for a stroll. They had to wear all their clothing because carrying suitcases would make people suspicious.

    If anyone discovered what they were doing, they could be arrested and killed.

A Terrifying Leader

    Anne Frank wasn’t so different from you and your friends. She decorated her room with posters of movie stars. She worried about boys and struggled with math. But this ordinary girl lived during one of the most evil periods in history. 

    A German leader named Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party were spreading fear across Europe. 

    Hitler’s rise to power started before Anne was even born. After Germany lost World War I in 1918, jobs were hard to find. Anger swept the country. Hitler blamed Jewish people for Germany’s problems. He believed that they did not deserve to live.

    The Franks had lived peacefully in Germany for generations. But with Hitler in power, life had become dangerous. When Anne was 4, her father, Otto, moved the family to Amsterdam. For six years, the family was happy and safe there.

    Otto had a successful business. Anne and her sister, Margot, made many friends. And Hitler and his Nazis seemed like faraway monsters.

    Anne Frank was a normal teen. She had posters of movie stars on her walls. She worried about boys and struggled with math. But she lived during a terrible and evil time. A German leader named Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party were spreading fear across Europe.

    Hitler’s rise to power started before Anne was born. In 1918, Germany lost World War I. After that, jobs were hard to find. People were angry. Hitler blamed Jews for Germany’s problems. He said they had no right to live.

    The Franks had lived in Germany for generations. But with Hitler in power, life grew dangerous. When Anne was 4, her father, Otto, moved the family to Amsterdam. 

    At first, it went well. Otto ran a business. Anne and her sister, Margot, made new friends. Hitler and his Nazis seemed far away.

    Anne Frank wasn’t so different from you and your friends—she struggled with math, worried about boys, and decorated her room with posters of movie stars—but this ordinary girl lived through one of the most evil periods in history. A German leader named Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party were spreading fear throughout Europe.

    Hitler’s rise to power started before Anne was even born. After Germany lost World War I in 1918, unemployment was widespread and money was scarce. People felt angry and resentful. Hitler blamed Jewish people for Germany’s problems and said that they did not deserve to live.

    The Franks had lived peacefully in Germany for generations—but with Hitler in power, life had become dangerous. When Anne was 4, her father, Otto, moved the family to Amsterdam. For six years, the family was happy and safe there.

    Otto had a successful business. Anne and her sister, Margot, made many friends. And Hitler and his Nazis seemed like faraway monsters.

Invasion!

    Then, in May 1940, Nazi forces invaded the Netherlands. They began passing laws to remove Jewish people from daily life. Anne and Margot were kicked out of their school. They couldn’t ride buses, see movies, or be outside after 8 p.m. 

    Soon Jewish people started to vanish. There were rumors about concentration camps—horrible places where the Nazis were murdering Jews. But Anne’s family couldn’t leave Amsterdam. By 1942, Jewish people were not allowed to travel. 

    The Franks were trapped. So Anne’s father came up with an idea: The family would hide. 

    Behind Otto’s business was a smaller building—an annex. It could be reached only from inside the main building. It seemed like the perfect hiding place. Four of Otto’s workers agreed to help them by sneaking them supplies.

    And that’s where the Franks were headed that hot morning in July 1942.

    Then, in May 1940, Nazi forces invaded the Netherlands. They made laws to remove Jewish people from daily life. Anne and Margot were kicked out of their school. They couldn’t ride buses, see movies, or be outside after 8 p.m.

    Soon Jewish people started to vanish. There were rumors about concentration camps—horrible places where the Nazis were murdering Jews. But Anne’s family could not leave Amsterdam. By 1942, Jewish people were not allowed to travel.

    The Franks were trapped. So Otto made a plan: They would hide.

    Behind Otto’s business was a smaller building, an annex. It could be reached only from inside the main building. It seemed like a good hiding place. Four of Otto’s workers said they would sneak supplies to the family.

    And that’s where the Franks were headed that hot morning in 1942.

    Then, in May 1940, Nazi forces invaded the Netherlands and began passing laws to remove Jewish people from society. Anne and Margot were kicked out of their school. They couldn’t ride buses, see movies, or be outside after 8 p.m.

    Soon Jewish people started to vanish. There were rumors about concentration camps—horrible places where the Nazis were murdering Jews. But Anne’s family couldn’t leave Amsterdam. By 1942, Jewish people were forbidden to travel.

    With his family trapped and in peril, Otto Frank came up with an idea: The family would hide.

    Behind Otto’s business was a smaller building, an annex that could be accessed only from inside the main building. It seemed like the perfect hiding place. Four of Otto’s employees agreed to help the Franks by sneaking them supplies.

    And that’s where the Franks were headed that hot morning in July 1942.

Jim McMahon/Mapman ® (Map)

A World at War
Anne’s story takes place during World War II. This map shows Europe in 1942, in the middle of the war. By then, the Nazis controlled most of Europe. Can you find Amsterdam, where Anne and her family went into hiding?

Living in Fear 

    After the Franks arrived at the annex, they were joined by another family and a dentist named Fritz Pfeffer. In total, eight people hid in the annex. It was barely big enough for four. 

    Living in such a small space was difficult. Anne’s only comfort was her diary. In it, she could write down her feelings. “I’m longing—so longing—for everything,” Anne wrote. “To talk, for freedom, for friends, to be alone.”

    Meanwhile, Otto’s business kept running. Aside from the four helpers, no one knew that people were hiding a few feet away. Anne and the others in the annex spoke in whispers. The smallest noise could give them away. 

    Occasionally the helpers came with supplies—and news. World War II was raging across Europe. People were starving. And many Jewish people had been taken away by the Nazis.

    After the Franks arrived at the annex, others joined them. In all, eight people hid in the annex. It was barely big enough for four.

    Living in such a small space was hard. Anne’s only comfort was her diary. In it, she wrote down her feelings. “I’m longing—so longing—for everything,” Anne wrote. “To talk, for freedom, for friends, to be alone.”

    Meanwhile, Otto’s business kept running. Aside from the four helpers, no one knew that people were hiding a few feet away. Anne and the others spoke in whispers. The smallest noise could give them away.

    The helpers brought supplies—and news. World War II was raging across Europe. People were starving. And many Jewish people had been taken away by the Nazis.

    After the Franks arrived at the annex, they were joined by another family and a dentist named Fritz Pfeffer. In total, eight people hid in the annex—a space barely big enough for four.

    Living in such a small space was difficult. Anne’s only comfort was her diary, where she could write down her feelings. “I’m longing—so longing—for everything,” Anne wrote. “To talk, for freedom, for friends, to be alone.”

    Meanwhile, Otto’s business kept running. With the exception of the four helpers, no one was aware that people were hiding a few feet away. Anne and the others in the annex spoke in whispers. The smallest noise could give them away.

    Occasionally the helpers came with supplies—and news. World War II was raging across Europe. People were starving, and many Jewish people had been taken away by the Nazis.

Central Press/Getty Images (Adolf Hitler); Granger, NYC/The Granger Collection (All other Images)

Rise of Hitler (left)
Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party rose to power in Germany in 1933. He blamed Jewish people for the country’s problems. Many Germans were already prejudiced against Jews because they had different beliefs.

The Secret Annex (right)
This is the attic in the annex, where food and supplies were stored. Anne liked to come here to write and look out the window. In the small photo, Anne’s family is pictured from left to right: Margot, Otto, Anne, and her mother, Edith. They lived in the tiny annex with four other people.

Dragged Out

    Anne would live in the secret annex for two long years. During that time, she recorded everything that happened in her diary. She described dinners made from rotting potatoes. She wrote about trying to find enough privacy to take a bath. 

    In beautiful cursive, Anne wrote that she wanted to live forever. She wanted her life to have meaning. She vowed to become a famous writer. “I can shake off everything if I write,” Anne wrote in April 1944. “My sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” 

    Then came catastrophe. 

    In August 1944, Dutch police and a Nazi officer forced their way into the annex. They dragged everyone away at gunpoint. 

    When the officers were gone, two of the helpers—Miep and Bep—crept into the annex. The officers had stolen anything they thought held value. But they had left something special behind: Anne’s diary.

    Anne lived in the annex for two years. She wrote about life in her diary. She described meals made from rotting potatoes. She wrote about trying to find privacy to take a bath.

    Anne wrote that she wanted to live forever. She wanted her life to have meaning. She planned to be a famous writer. “I can shake off everything if I write,” she wrote. “My sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”

    Then came catastrophe. In August 1944, Dutch police and a Nazi officer forced their way into the annex. They dragged everyone away at gunpoint.

    Two of the helpers, Miep and Bep, went into the annex. The officers had stolen things they could sell. But they had left Anne’s diary.

    Anne would live in the secret annex for two long years. During that time, she chronicled her experiences in her diary. She described dinners made from rotting potatoes and the difficulty of finding enough privacy to take a bath.

     In beautiful cursive, Anne wrote that she wanted to live forever. She wanted her life to have meaning. She vowed to become a famous writer. “I can shake off everything if I write,” Anne wrote in April 1944. “My sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”

    Then came catastrophe.

    In August 1944, Dutch police and a Nazi officer forced their way into the annex and dragged everyone away at gunpoint.

    When the officers were gone, two of the helpers—Miep and Bep—crept into the annex. The officers had stolen anything they considered valuable, but they had left something precious behind: Anne’s diary.

Alexander Vorontsov/Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images

Death Camp  
During the Holocaust, the Nazis murdered about 6 million Jews. This image was taken at Auschwitz, in Poland. It was one of the many concentration camps where Jewish people were forced to live in horrible conditions before being killed.

A Special Gift

    About nine months later, in May 1945, the fighting in Europe ended. The Nazis were defeated. By then, they had murdered 6 million Jews. This genocide is known as the Holocaust. 

    Otto Frank was rescued from a concentration camp. But when he returned to Amsterdam, he got terrible news. His wife and daughters hadn’t survived. Otto went into his office and shut the door. Then Miep knocked softly. She had something to give him: Anne’s diary. Now Otto could share Anne’s words with the world. 

    The Diary of a Young Girl was first published in 1947. It gave a voice to those who died in the Holocaust. Now it is one of the most-read books in the world. In this way, Anne’s wish came true. Through her diary, Anne Frank lives forever.

    In May 1945, the fighting in Europe ended. The Nazis had lost. By then, they had murdered 6 million Jews. This genocide is known as the Holocaust.

    Otto was rescued from a concentration camp. Back in Amsterdam, he learned that his wife and daughters had not survived. He went into his office and shut the door. Then Miep knocked. She gave him Anne’s diary.

    The Diary of a Young Girl was first published in 1947. It gave a voice to those who died in the Holocaust. Now it’s one of the most-read books in the world. And so Anne’s wish came true. Through her words, she lives forever.

    About nine months later, in May 1945, the fighting in Europe finally ended. The Nazis were defeated. By then, they had murdered 6 million Jews. This genocide is known as the Holocaust.

    Otto Frank was rescued from a concentration camp—but upon his return to Amsterdam, he learned that his wife and daughters had not survived. Otto went into his office and shut the door. Then Miep knocked softly. She had something to give him: Anne’s diary.

    Now Otto could share Anne’s words with the world.

    The Diary of a Young Girl, first published in 1947, gave a voice to those who died in the Holocaust. Today, it is one of the most-read books in the world. In this way, Anne’s wish came true. Through her diary, Anne Frank lives forever. 

Anne Frank Fonds - Basel via Getty Images

This is Anne’s diary. She named her diary Kitty and wrote each entry as a letter.

Background Builder

ACTIVITY: 
Finding text evidence

Anne Frank Fonds - Basel via Getty Images

Proud Father  
Otto Frank holds Anne’s diary in 1975. He was the only person from the annex to survive the Holocaust.

You’ve just read “The Girl Who Lived Forever”. Now do this activity to help you better understand the article.

Tip: Text evidence means details in a story that support an answer, or show that it is true.

What to do: Use text evidence—or details from the article—to answer the questions below. We did the first one for you.

You’ve just read “The Girl Who Lived Forever”. Now do this activity to help you better understand the article.

Tip: Text evidence means details in a story that support an answer, or show that it is true.

What to do: Use text evidence—or details from the article—to answer the questions below. We did the first one for you.

You’ve just read “The Girl Who Lived Forever”. Now do this activity to help you better understand the article.

Tip: Text evidence means details in a story that support an answer, or show that it is true.

What to do: Use text evidence—or details from the article—to answer the questions below. We did the first one for you.

In what ways was Anne a typical teen?

HINT: Look for the answer in the section “A Terrifying Leader.”

Answer: Anne did many of the things teens still do. She hung posters of movie stars and worried about boys and school.

In what ways was Anne a typical teen?

HINT: Look for the answer in the section “A Terrifying Leader.”

Answer: Anne did many of the things teens still do. She hung posters of movie stars and worried about boys and school.

In what ways was Anne a typical teen?

HINT: Look for the answer in the section “A Terrifying Leader.”

Answer: Anne did many of the things teens still do. She hung posters of movie stars and worried about boys and school.

Why was going into hiding so dangerous for the Frank family?

HINT: Look for the answer in the first section and “Living in Fear.” 

Why was going into hiding so dangerous for the Frank family?

HINT: Look for the answer in the first section and “Living in Fear.” 

Why was going into hiding so dangerous for the Frank family?

HINT: Look for the answer in the first section and “Living in Fear.”