August 4, 1944 – Anne Frank Was Captured

On this sad date in 1944, young 15-year-old Anne Frank was discovered by the Nazi police hiding in a tiny attic room above her father Otto’s factory in Amsterdam, Holland. She and her family and four others were living in a secret annex concealed behind a moveable bookcase.

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In the annex, Anne started to write regularly in a diary that she had been given for her 13th birthday. Early on, she observed the weekly trainloads of Jews taken from the city:

“We assume that most of them are being murdered. The English radio says they’re being gassed. Perhaps that’s the quickest way to die.”

And in fact, more than 100,000 Dutch Jews – 70 percent of the community – were deported to concentration camps in Germany. Most were gassed upon arrival.

Anne and the others had been in hiding for 25 months. No one knows for sure who betrayed them to the Nazis, but it is believed to have been a former business associate of Otto’s.

[New research suggests that the German Security Service may not have been looking for hidden Jews when they found Anne and the seven others hiding with her. Rather, they might have been investigating other activities at the office and simply stumbled across the hidden families by chance, according to historians at the Anne Frank House, the museum in Amsterdam dedicated to preserving the “Secret Annex” where Frank, her sister, her parents and four other Jews spent more than two years in hiding.]

After their capture, Anne and her sister Margot were taken to the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen. In March, 1945, both girls succumbed to typhus, just a few weeks before the camp was liberated by the British Army.

Miep Gies, one of Otto’s employees who helped the Franks, found Anne’s diary on the day of the arrest and secreted it for the remainder of the war.

Miep Gies, who worked as Otto Frank’s secretary at Opekta, his trading company in gelling agents for making jam.

Miep Gies, who worked as Otto Frank’s secretary at Opekta, his trading company in gelling agents for making jam.

Otto managed to survive the war, and upon his return to Amsterdam, Miep gave him the diary. In her diary, Otto read that Anne had planned – after the war – to publish a book about the time she spent in the Secret Annex. She had even edited and rewritten a large portion of her original diary. Initially, Otto Frank was uncertain what to do but he finally decided to fulfill his daughter’s wish.

Otto Frank died in 1980. Anne’s diary, now translated into over 30 languages, still lives on.

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She is perhaps most well-known for one of her last entries, less than three weeks before her capture:

“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

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20 Responses to August 4, 1944 – Anne Frank Was Captured

  1. This is one my favourite books of all times. A must read for all!

  2. Debbie F. says:

    Do you know I’ve never read this!!! My last name is Frank and I’ve always wanted to! I’m going out and getting this book this week!

  3. bermudaonion says:

    It is a sad day indeed. I like to re-read Anne Frank’s book every few years – it’s a reminder of how bad and how good humans can be.

  4. Margot says:

    A very sad day indeed. Thanks for the reminder. I think it’s time for me to re-read this book again.

  5. Toni says:

    What a sad day. Thank you for posting. You know that last quote is a gut wrencher. It is indeed a must read.

  6. Alyce says:

    That quote always makes me so sad in light of what happened to her. I’ve read the book by Miep Gies as well and thought it was informative.

  7. Nymeth says:

    So sad 😦 I grew up reading the diary – I must have read it like 6 times between ages 9 and 14. Still one of my favourite books.

  8. diane says:

    I read this in high school, and tried it again several years ago, but it was too painful for me to read the second time. Just so sad.

  9. Matt says:

    I read Anne Frank’s book in high school but am not aware of her arrest.

  10. Bumbles says:

    This book touched me very much because I first read it when I was her age and loved to sneak off to secret spots and write – so I felt like I was hidden away somewhere with her at times. In a way it was my introduction to war because it stuck with me much more than history books ever did.

  11. zawan says:

    I loved her diary, it was so poignant. It also sheds light on people like Miep and Kraler who risked their lives to help the Franks.

    I’ve never seen that black and white picture of Anne Frank, looks nice.

  12. nicole says:

    as i serched the net and looked for anne’s diary I can say that she could change life, as what she did when the freedom writers read the story she wrote, they begin to change there life, well with the help of ms. G too…

  13. Bookjourney says:

    What a great tribute to Anne Frank. I did not know the whole story of how her book had been published.

    I am saddened at the memory of all those people who lost their lives… and for what?

  14. Wisteria says:

    Thanks for your tribute.

  15. MARIE BURTON says:

    I am also saddened by her story.. but glad that Miep Gies was able to hang on to that diary! She almost destroyed it for fear of the German’s finding out all the other people who helped hide Anne and her family.
    Miep’s book was a wonderful companion to the Anne Frank story and tells the behind the scenes of what was going on while Anne was writing the diary. My Ma href=”http://burtonreview.blogspot.com/2009/06/book-review-anne-frank-remembered-story.html”>review is here which has a couple of useful links. I’d love for you to stop by!

  16. Rebecca says:

    Oh thank you for reminding us about this date. I loved her story when I read it as a young adult and it is still a sad story today.

  17. AnnY says:

    Thank you for posting so everyone can stop and remember. I was moved by Anne’s story when I first read the book at age 12. Now a school librarian, I re-read it every few years and just got the new “graphic novel” version. While it is not the original diary, it is introducing Anne to a new generation. A dream of mine was realized this Spring when my wonderful husband flew me to Amsterdam for a getaway and our first stop was the Anne Frank House. One of the most moving experiences of my life was to go behind that bookcase, touch the sink where she stood, and see the photos she pasted to her bed room wall. I was eppecially impressed with the way Anne’s story is take to a new generation at the museum and urges tolerance and acceptance in today’s world.

  18. Kerry says:

    Let us, who have the honour of reading Anne’s book, remember always what humans who hold hate can do to others. For me, I never shall take for granted the freedom I have to live in Australia. I relate to her having ‘Kitty’ as a best friend. Doesn’t Anne write beautifully, can we imagine that she is writing about all the living together ups and downs while at the same time locked behind a door, never to see the sunrise or sunset, snow, to feel the wind, hear the birds, see the autumn leaves and living with the fear of getting found by Germans.
    In memory of Anne, I will never feel the wind, watch the sunrise or sunset, hear the birds in the same way again. I shall forever share each of the blessings I have with her.
    And knowing that she died weeks before the Americans liberated the camps. Tragic!
    Goodness help anyone of us who forget this story. May anyone who goes into her room in the factory spend the moment it takes to connect with her spirit and send their love and thanks for the honour.

  19. sally says:

    I love this story, she is so full of life! Over two years hidden and trapped in a small place hoping to see the night blue sky! Unbelievable! More than anything the fact that if she had just survived a few more weeks…!

    I read her diary and all I could think of was my government (Iran) who denies all the misery that Jews have had! I am so very very sorry for this and I know the majority of us (Iranians) feel the same.

    I wish for a world that people are recognised and respected as individuals rather than judged by their nationality and worse than that by their religion and belief! I hope no war ever happens between my country and Israel since it will be nothing but misery for all, innocent normal people loosing their lives with no good reason after all! and somehow the guilty ones who started the war or made it start always escape and survive! I like this line from Gone with the Wind: When a war finishes no one knows why it started!

    I honour Anne Frank, her family and all the Jews that lost their lives in World War II.

  20. Annaieise says:

    Anne frank is my fifteenth cousin and I just learned English

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