10 things to know about Anne Frank

We all know Anne Franck. It is mandatory. Imperative. Primordial. Essential. But there may be details of his life that you don’t yet know. Even if you have read and re-read his diary. Elements on his life, his dreams, or even the way in which his writings have come down to us. That’s why we invite you to learn a little more about this young woman, who marked and will mark many generations.

1. Anne was not called Anne

Annelis Marie Franck: that’s her real name. When she writes her story, she decides to replace the denominations of the protagonists. It was after his death that his father decided to keep these nicknames, but to leave them, all the same, their real surname. Initially, Annelis Marie Franck wrote under the names of Anne Aulis or Anne Robin.

10 things to know about anne frank
Photo credits (Public Domain): Unknown photographer; Collectie Anne Frank Stichting Amsterdam

2. Anne wrote for publication

Basically, no. When Anne received this red and white checkered notebook on her thirteenth birthday (1942), she decided to make a diary out of it. respondent. It was in 1944 that she changed her mind, thanks to a few words spoken on the radio by the Dutch minister, Gerrit Bolkestein: History cannot be written solely on the basis of official decisions and documents. If our descendants are to fully understand what we have had to endure and overcome as a nation over these years, then what we really need are ordinary documents »

Anne then rewrote the content of her diary, on loose sheets, adding in particular these famous nicknames. A job that she did not have time to complete: deported on August 4, 1944, the last entry in her rewritten diary dates from March 29.

3. Anne had imaginary friends

Kitty: She’s her most famous friend. It is even the name that she would have given to her newspaper. Moreover, in most published editions, Anne always begins with “Dear Kitty”. It’s wrong. In reality, it was also addressed to “Pop”, “Phien”, “Emmy”, “Marianne”, “Jetty”, “Loutje”, “Conny” or even “Jackie”. According to historians, these names could be taken from a series of Dutch books, featuring the heroine “Joop ter Heul”.

4. Anne was an assumed young girl

In her notebook, she writes about masturbation, periods and talks about her vagina. Too bad his father had all these passages withdrawn from publication. It must be said that at the time, we were not yet very open on the subject… But it might have broken many taboos from college. Fortunately, the dozens of passages in which she discusses sexuality have not been censored.

5. His dad published his diary

Anne was deported on August 4, 1944. A few days later, Miep Gies, the woman who helped the Franck family to hide, found her diary. She keeps it preciously, and hands it over to Otto, Anne’s father and sole survivor of the family, on his return to Amsterdam. He decides to publish it. He then realized his daughter’s dream: to become a writer. Today his diary is one of the most famous books in the world. Know by everyone. And even studied in schools.

6. Anne is famous all over the world

First published in 1947, “The Diary of Anne Frank” has been translated into over 70 languages. Sold over 30 million copies. Adapted into film and play. In 2009, it even entered the international register of “memories of the world”. Everywhere on the planet, schools and streets now bear the name of “Anne Frank”.

7. One of his notebooks has disappeared

Anne didn’t fit two years of life into a single little notebook. If the red and white checkered one is the most famous, there are actually four. However, only three have been found. Do not panic: the year 1943 did not remain secret for as much: the rewritings on loose sheets, they, were found. They made it possible to complete the notes in the notebook.

8. The Annex

This is the place where the Frank family hid as well as four other people of the Jewish faith. It was an unused part of his father’s business premises. Organized on 3 floors and an attic, the front door was camouflaged by a sliding bookcase. The annex is now on display at the “Anne Frank House” museum in Amsterdam.

9. Anne intervened in a gang war

Through her writings, Anne testified, and put words to the ills of thousands of people. But that’s not all: in the 1990s, Erin Gruwell, a young American teacher, arrives in a school divided by gang wars, where violence and racism reign. She then decides to use the “diary of Anne Frank” as the first weapon to teach peace and tolerance, thus putting aside the initial program.

Like Anne, she asks her students to keep a diary, and to share it, if they want, with the class. The students easily identify with the writer: like her, they are young, confronted with regular death scenes, the weight of secrets, fear, and threatened because of their origins. Ultimately, this experience changes their lives. The “Freedom Writers” became known throughout America, and received numerous awards. If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend the movie. Write to exist, who will tell you this story better than me.

10. Anne dies a few days before the liberation of her camp

Anne died between February and March 1945 of typhus. The Bergen-Belsen camp, in which she was detained, was liberated on April 15 of that same year.

Anne and her family members were cowardly reported to the SS. It is not yet known by whom, but many people are trying to find out. A new investigation, recorded in the book Who betrayed Anne Frank? by Rosemary Sullivan, focuses on a Jewish notary. We immediately want to hate him, but we must contextualize: he would have acted under blackmail, to save his own family. In any case, nothing is certain for the moment: there are still many pieces missing from the puzzle to be able to assert the real guilt of this man.

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