story of the Frank family began in Germany in the 1920's when Otto and
Edith Frank led a happy life, highlighted by the births of their daughters
Margot and Anne.
The children frequently spent their
summer in Aachen, Germany, with their grandmother. In 1933, in response to
Hitler's anti-Jewish decrees, Otto Frank opened a branch of his company,
Opteka, in Amsterdam and began planning to bring his family there.
The Frank family finally moved into a house on Medwedplein in southern
Amsterdam in 1933 and Anne began to attend the nearby Montessori school,
where she excelled. Anne made many friends and was an exceptional student.
The family's feelings of security collapsed, however, when in 1940,
Hitler and his troops conquered Holland and the freedom of the Jews
began to be severely restricted. Dictates on where Jews could shop, swim
or go to school became a part of everyday life.
Aware of where those restrictions might ultimately lead, Otto Frank spent
the year preparing and stocking an annex behind his business office at
Prinsengracht 263 into a hiding place.
On her 13th birthday in 1942 Anne received as a gift from her parents, a
diary. She immediately took to writing her intimate thoughts and musings.
A few short weeks later, however, Margot received a notice from the Nazi
SS to report for work detail at a labor camp.
On July 5th, 1942, Anne and the Frank family moved to the "Secret
Annex" adjacent to Otto Frank's former office on Prinsengracht.