Anne Frank would have been eighty years old today. This anniversary of her birthday seems especially poignant in light of the deadly shooting of a security guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. on June 10, 2009.
On June 12, 1929, Anne Frank was born in Germany. On her thirteenth birthday in 1942, she was given the diary for which she is remembered. By 1945, she was dead, a victim of the Holocaust.
Just imagine how forgetful I’ll be when I’m eighty!
(Anne Frank, May 11, 1944)
Born in Frankfurt, Anne Frank was the daughter of a banker, Otto Frank. In 1933, her family moved to Amsterdam to escape the growing persecution of Jews in Germany. After Germany invaded the Netherlands, the Frank family went into hiding in July 1942 in a secret room in her father’s office building. It was here that Anne Frank wrote the diary that is among the most widely read books in the world. First published in the Netherlands in 1947, it was published in America in 1950 as Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. (Her father, who survived the camps, had edited the diary and an unexpurgated edition was published in 1995.)
“I know I can write. A few of my stories are good, my descriptions of the Secret Annex are humorous, much of my diary is vivid and alive, but… it remains to be seen whether I really have talent.”
Two years later, they were betrayed and transported to concentration camps. Anne Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in early March 1945.
This is a link to the Anne Frank House Museum site. It includes a list of worldwide events marking what would have been her 80th birthday.: