Each week Albany Herald researcher Mary Braswell looks for interesting events, places and people from the past. You can contact her at (229) 888-9371 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It was on August 1, 1944 that the young German girl Anne Frank made her last entry in her now-famous diary. Here is a brief look at just how this record of two years in her life came to exist.
* Adolph Hitler was made chancellor with 566,000 German Jews under his power. He then became dictator.
* Jewish stores were boycotted and Jews were no longer allowed to own land.
* The Nazis became the only party in Germany, the Gestapo was formed and the definition of a non-Aryan was defined.
* Jews were prohibited from practicing medicine or law. Jewish students were expelled from non-Jewish schools.
* Nazis forced sterilization on those found to have any physical defects.
* Jews were forbidden to have radios, forced to hand over all gold and silver items, and could no longer hold government jobs.
* Nazis invaded Poland. The Jewish populaion totaled about 3.35 million-all over the age of 10 were required to wear a yellow star.
* The Lodz Ghetto was formed where 230,000 Jews were locked inside. The Warsaw Ghetto was sealed with 470,000 Jews inside.
* Jews ages 14 to 60 were sent from the ghettos to work camps for hard labor or death camps for extermination.
* Hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed all over Europe. In addition to the Jews, homosexuals and Jehovah's Witnesses were eliminated.
* Jews were killed in mass numbers with the use of Zyklon-B. One report stated that 97,000 persons had been "processed' in mobile gas vans.
* By May, Germany was declared "Jew-free". On one day, Auschwitz set a new record with 9,000 killed and burned.
* Inhabitants of the concentration camps are liberated by the tens of thousands. By the time the war ended, 89.5 percent of all Jews from Poland were dead, the greatest percentage of any one country.
* On April 30, Adolph Hitler committed suicide.
* For her 13th birthday on June 12, 1943, Anne received a book she had shown her father in a shop window a few days earlier. The book, bound with red and green plaid fabric, was actually an autograph book with a small lock on the front. Anne decided it would work well for a diary and began writing almost immediately.
* Anne's sister , Margot, received a call-up notice from Nazi officials in July 1942 ordering her to report for relocation to a work camp. She was 16 years old.
* On the morning of July 6, 1942 the family, which included Anne, Margot and their parents Otto and Edith, moved into their hiding place or Secret Annex, as it became known. The hiding place was behind and above a business -its entry hidden by a bookcase.
* The family left their home in disarray in hopes of creating the impression they had left in a hurry. The four walked wearing several layers of clothes so as not to attract attention with suitcases.
* The hidden home consisted of a three-story space with two small rooms and an adjoining bathroom and toilet on one level. On the second level was a larger open room with a smaler room beside it. From the small room a ladder led to the attic.
* On July 13, 1942 the Frank family was joined by the van Pels family-two adults and a 16-year-old boy. In November Fritz Pfeffer, a dentist, joined them.
* After 25 months in seclusion, an informant, who was never identified, tipped off the German Security Police and the hiding place was raided on August 4, 1944.
* The Franks, van Pels and Pfeffer were considered criminals because they had been hiding and were sent to the Punishment Barracks for hard labor.
* Meip Gies and Bep Voskuijl, two of the people that had helped the families in hiding, were questioned but not detained. The pair returned to the annex and collected Anne's diary and all other papers as well as family photographs. The plan was to return her writings to her after the war.
* On September 3, 1944, the group was deported from the work camp to the Auschwitz concentration camp. As the trains unloaded, the men were forcibilly separated from the women. Of the 1,019 passengers, 549 were sent directly to the gas chambers. Those immediately exterminated included all children under 15-Anne had turned 15 just three months earlier.
* Food was scarce and disease was rampant. On October 28,1944, Anne and her sister Margot were relocated to Bergen-Besen concentration camp. Left behind, Edith Frank soon died from starvation.
* In March 1945, a typhus epidemic spread throughout the camp. Margot died and a few days later, Anne also secummbed to the disease. Just a few weeks later, on April 25, the camp was liberated by British troops.
* In July 1945, after the Red Cross confirmed the deaths of Anne and Margot, Miep Gies gave Otto Frank the diary as well as a bundle of loose notes. Otto would later describe in his own memoir the painful process of reading his daughter's chronicles.
* Otto Frank, the lone survivor from the Secret Annex, removed entries that her felt were too personal or mundane. The original diary was filled by December 5, 1942. All other writings were in notebooks.
* The diary was first published in the Netherlands in 1947 followed by a second run in 1950.
* The first edition in English was published in 1951. It has now been translated into more than 65 languages with an estimated sales of 31 million copies.
* With Otto Frank's death in 1980, the orginal diary, including letters and loose sheets, were examined for authenticity. Despite allegations and propangabda by German leaders that the diary was a forgery, the diary was found to authentic and it was so ruled in a court of law.
Two world views
The following are quotes from Adolph Hitler and Anne Frank, one of his estimated 10 to 25 million victims.
Hitler- Demoralize the enemy from within by surprise, terror, sabatoge, assassination. This is the war of the future.
Anne - How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
Hitler- Humanitarianism is the expression of stupidity and cowardice.
Anne - Those who have courage and faith shall never perish in misery.
Hitler - If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.
Anne - Whoever is happy will make others happy, too
Hitler - The day of individual happiness has passed.
Anne - I don't think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.
Hitler - What good fortune for governments that people do not think.
Anne - Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart. (This entry was made less than a month before the Secret Annex was raided.)