Why Is Anne Frank Important to History?

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Anne Frank is important to history because her diary provides a first-hand account of a Jewish teen whose family went into hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands. On a tip from an unknown informant, the Germans arrested the family and transported them to a concentration camp. Anne, her mother and sister all died before Germany was defeated, but her father survived and published her diary.

The Frank family fled Germany after Anne’s birth when Hitler became chancellor. They moved to Amsterdam, where they enjoyed freedom for several years until the Germans defeated the Dutch Army in May, 1940. In July, 1942, the Germans ordered Anne’s older sister Margot to a Nazi work camp and the family went into hiding in the annex, a small space above her father’s business. The family and a few friends remained in the safety of the annex for two years. During the time, Anne passed her time by writing in her diary.

After their arrest, the Germans shipped the Franks to Camp Westerbork in the Netherlands, and the women lost contact with Anne’s father. Less than a month later, they were transferred to Auschwitz, a death camp in Poland. After several months, the Germans shipped the girls to Bergen-Belsen, but their mother remained at Auschwitz, where she died of starvation. Both the girls died of typhus at Bergen-Belsen.