Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank was a European Jewish girl who wrote a diary while in hiding with her family and four friends in Amsterdam during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. Anne was born in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1929 but her family moved to Amsterdam in 1933, after the Nazis gained power in Germany. However, she and her family were trapped when the Nazi occupation extended into The Netherlands. As persecutions against the Jewish population increased, the family went into hiding in July 1942 in hidden rooms in her father Otto Frank's office building. After two years in hiding the group was betrayed and transported to concentration camps. Seven months after her arrest, Anne died of typhus in Bergen-Belsen within days of her sister, Margot Frank. Her father, Otto, the only survivor of the group, returned to Amsterdam after the war ended, to find that her diary had been saved. Convinced that it was a unique record, he took action to have it published. It was published originally in Dutch under the name The Backhouse: Diary notes from 12 June 1942 – 1 August 1944.
For her thirteenth birthday on June 12, 1942, Anne received a small notebook which she had pointed out to her father in a shop window a few days earlier. Although it was an autograph book, bound with red-and-white plaid cloth and with a small lock on the front, Anne had already decided she would use it as a diary. She began writing in it almost immediately, describing herself, her family and friends, her school life, boys she flirted with and the places she liked to visit in her neighborhood. While these early entries demonstrate that, in many ways, her life was that of a typical schoolgirl, she also refers to changes that had taken place since the German occupation.
On the morning of Monday, July 6, 1942 the family moved into the hiding place. Four of their employees were the only ones who knew of the people in hiding, and were their "helpers" for the duration of their confinement. Anne wrote of their dedication during the most dangerous of times. In late July, the Franks were joined by the Van Pels family: Anne wrote of her pleasure at having new people to talk to, but tensions quickly developed within the group forced to live in such confined conditions. Her relationship with her mother was strained, and although she sometimes argued with her sister Margot, she wrote of an unexpected bond that had developed between them, but she remained closest emotionally to her father. Anne spent most of her time reading and studying, while continuing to write and edit her diary. In addition to providing a narrative of events as they occurred, she also wrote about her feelings, beliefs and ambitions, subjects she felt she could not discuss with anyone. As her confidence in her writing grew, and as she began to mature, she wrote of more abstract subjects such as her belief in God, and how she defined human nature stating “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”She continued writing regularly until her final entry of August 1, 1944 when they were discovered and arrested by the Nazis. Anne Frank’s diary has been translated into more than 50 languages and is the most widely read diary of the Holocaust, and Anne Frank is probably the best-known of Holocaust victims.