Anne Frank: After
the Diary Ends
“It was around ten-thirty. I was upstairs with the Van Daans in
Peter’s room and I was helping him with his schoolwork. I was
showing him the mistake in the dictation when suddenly someone
came running up the stairs. The stairs were squeaking, I stood up,
because it was still early in the morning and everyone was supposed
to be quiet - then the door opened and a man was standing right in
front of us with a gun in his hand and it was pointed at us.”
-Otto Frank
Friday, August 4, 1944, is a day like any other day. The
helpers are working in the office in the front part of the
building. Upstairs, the people in hiding are quietly going
about their business. Suddenly, out front on the
Prinsengracht, a vehicle comes to a halt. Out jumps an
SS-officer and three Dutch policeman. They enter the
building and go directly to the office. Mr. Kraler must
escort them to the Secret Annex. The people in hiding
have been betrayed…
After the arrest, the
people in hiding and
the helpers are
brought to the
German Security
Police's jail on
Euterpestraat in
The people in hiding
and two male helpers
are arrested and taken
for interrogation to a
jail run by the
Germans. The two
helpers are later
transferred to a the
city prison. Miep Gies
and Bep Voskuijl are
left behind on the
Prinsengracht. They
rescue Anne Frank's
diary papers.
Camp Westerbork: Westerbork is a transit camp: from here Jews,
gypsies, and members of the Resistance in the Netherlands are
deported to the concentration and extermination camps.
--On August 8, 1944, the eight people in hiding are taken to Westerbork
by passenger train. Because they did not report voluntarily, but have
been arrested instead, they are assigned to barracks in the punishment
block. They have to work all day breaking up old batteries. Even
though it is grimy and unhealthy work, the prisoners can still talk to
each other.
Every man and woman receives a number, which is tattooed on their
arm. All their heads are shaved bald. They receive prison-camp
clothes, because they are not allowed to keep their own clothes. The
men are placed in one part of the camp, the women in another. Otto
Frank and Peter Van Daan manage to stay together. Most prisoners
have to perform heavy labor digging trenches. Peter is luckier: he is
assigned to the camp post office. Guards and non-Jews may receive
mail. Because Peter handles the packages that arrive, he is sometimes
able to “arrange” a bit of extra food.
“Of course, all of us had to work in the camp, but in the evenings we were free
and we could be together. For the children especially, there was a certain
relief; to no longer be cooped up and to be able to talk to other people.
However, we adults feared being deported to the notorious camps in Poland.”
-Otto Frank
--Freight trains filled with prisoners leave regularly for unspecified destinations in
the East. A long list of prisoners names is read aloud on September 2, 1944.
These people must depart the next day. The names of the eight people in
hiding are also on this list.
On the morning of September 3,
1944, a very long train
comprised of freight cars leaves
Westerbork. There are more
than 70 prisoners packed into
each wagon. Among the 1019
Jewish prisoners are also the
eight people from the Secret
Annex. After a dreadful train trip,
lasting three days, they arrive at
--“I can no longer talk about how I
felt when my family arrived on
the train platform in Auschwitz
and we were forcibly seperated
from each other.”
-Otto Frank
On the platform at AuschwitzBirkenau, the men and women
are separated. Nazi doctors
divide the prisoners into two
groups: prisoners who they
consider fit enough to work
and prisoners who will be killed
immediately in the the gas
chamber. The eight people in
hiding are spared. They are
expected to perform heavy
labor. After a short while, Mr.
Van Daan can no longer do
this kind of work. He is
murdered in the gas chamber.
After the selection, Edith, Margot and Anne are
assigned to the same barrack. Mrs. Van Daan is
most likely sent to a different part of the camp.
During the day, the women have to work very hard
hauling heavy stones or grass mats. They often
have to stand outside for hours on end to be
counted for roll-call, no matter how awful the
weather conditions might be.
In the winter of 1944, the
Russian Army is on the
advance. The Nazis decide to
take as many prisoners as
possible, who are still capable
of working, back to Germany.
The health of the women
prisoners is a primary factor.
Edith may not go along. Margot
and Anne are then considered.
Margot and Anne Frank are
crammed into a crowded freight
train bound for the
concentration camp at BergenBelsen. Edith Frank is left
behind at Auschwitz. She falls
ill and dies on January 6, 1945.
After an awful train journey lasting three days, Margot
and Anne arrive at Bergen-Belsen. More and more
prisoners are being sent to Bergen-Belsen from the other
concentration camps. The camp is already much too full
when their transport gets there, so the new women are
placed in tents. A few days later the tents are destroyed
in a heavy storm. These prisoners must then find a
space in one of the already overcrowded barracks.
Mrs. Van Daan arrives at Bergen-Belsen with another
transport of prisoners in November 1944. There she
meets Anne and Margot again. Mrs. Van Daan is only at
Bergen-Belsen for a short while and probably dies during
a transport of prisoners to Theresienstadt. She dies
somewhere in Germany or Czechoslovakia, probably
between April 9 and May 8, 1945.
In the winter of 1944-1945, the
situation at Bergen-Belsen
deteriorates. There is little or
no food and the sanitary
conditions are dreadful. Many
of the prisoners become ill.
Margot and Anne Frank come
down with typhus. They both
die just a few weeks before the
camp is liberated. Janny
Brilleslijper witnesses their
deaths: “First Margot had
fallen out of bed onto the stone
floor. She couldn’t get up
anymore. Anne died a day
On January 27, 1945,
Russian soldiers
liberate AuschwitzBirkenau. There are
only 7650 survivors.
Otto Frank is one of
the prisoners who are
still alive. He weighs
less than 115 pounds,
while he weighed over
150 pounds in the
Secret Annex.
Shortly before
liberation, the Nazis
evacuate the camp.
Prisoners, who can still
walk, must go with
them. Peter Van Daan
is among these
prisoners. He arrives
at the Mathausen
concentration camp in
Austria at the end of
After a grueling
journey, Peter lands
in the Mathausen
concentration camp
in Austria. There he
has to perform heavy
labor in a stone
quarry. Exhausted
and sick, he dies on
May 5, 1945.
Otto Frank needed this document, a Repatriation Card, to travel
through France on his way back to the Netherlands.
-- In the weeks after his liberation from Auschwitz, Otto Frank
slowly begins to regain his strength. On March 31, 1945, Otto
and other prisoners can finally begin their journey back to the
Netherlands. Otto Frank arrives back in Amsterdam on June 3,
1945. He immediately goes to Miep and Jan Gies’ home. They
are overjoyed to see him again. They tell him that all of the
helpers have survived the war.
Otto Frank decides to have
Anne’s diary published. The
first printing is quickly sold-out,
a second printing follows in
Decmber 1947, and in
February 1948 the book is
printed for a third time in an
edition of 10,000 copies. In
1950, German and French
translations of Het Achterhuis
appear. Two years later,
English translations are
released in both Great Britain
and the United States.
 By now the diary has been
translated into more than sixtyfive languages and has sold
more than thirty million copies.
Right up to the end of his
life, Otto Frank dedicated
himself to helping to create
a better world. A year
before his death, he said: "I
am now ninety, and my
powers are slowly waning.
But the task that I received
from Anne constantly gives
me new strength to struggle
for reconciliation and human
rights around the world."
Otto Frank died on August
19, 1980.
Who betrayed
the people in
Somebody called the German Security Police to notify
them that Jews were in hiding at 263 Prinsengracht.
Exactly who that was has never been discovered. This is
a question that many people still want answers to. There
were certain suspicions and a first investigation was
conducted in 1948. Fourteen years later, once again, an
attempt was made to unravel the mystery of who was
responsible for the betrayal. In 1998, Melissa Müller, in
her biography about Anne Frank, suggests a woman
named Lena-Hartog van Bladeren as a possible suspect.
Two years later, another writer, Carol Anne Lee,
presents a new theory in her biography about Otto
Frank. She believes the guilty party is Tony Ahlers, an
acquaintance of Otto Frank.