Anne Frank Essay, Research Paper
I can remember the first time I knew of
Otto Frank’s idea for the Secret Annex. Otto had been paying attention
to the Nazis for quite some time, and had noted their strong desire towards
the expansion of Nazi rule. I myself must admit that I knew nothing
of the terror we were about to face. Soon Jews were wearing Yellow
stars on their chests, not allowed into public places, not allowed to associate
with non-Jews, and finally being deported to “work camps”. Since
Otto and his family were Jewish, I began worrying about their safety.
I had worked for Otto at the Dutch Opetka Company in Amsterdam for quite
some time, and in that time, we had become close friends and I admired
Otto for his wit, and love for his family. I believe that during
my worrying, Otto had been secretly making plans for his family to move
into the hidden apartment above the company offices. He continued
to prepare the annex for over a year, until finally the Frank family had
it’s first encounter with a deportation scare. Otto’s two daughters
Margot and Anne were his pride and joy, so naturally when Margot received
a deportation notice on July 5, 1942, Otto told the family of the “Secret
Annex” he had been preparing for over a year. In addition to his
wife Edith, Margot, and Anne, he also told me; Miep Gies. I was astounded
by this plan, for it consisted of absolute seclusion from the outside world,
and complete silence during business hours. I knew Anne and Margot
would have to miss a great deal of school, social gatherings, and the normal
events that teenaged girls attend. I knew Anne in particular would
not be happy about the move, because of her love for movie stars, boys,
and friends which she would not be able to indulge while living in closed
quarters. I was relieved however to learn that not only I would have
the knowledge of this plan, but Otto’s business partners Victor Kugler,Johannes
Kleiman, friend Bep Voskuisl, and her father would also help with the tedious
task of concealing a family from police, and the rest of the world.
Bep, Victor, Johannes, and I would have the great task of operating the
business with an absence of our employer, hiding a family, pretending to
know nothing of the Frank’s whereabouts, and bringing the Franks clothes,
food, literature, news, and hope. I knew my role was of great importance
to the family, I would serve as the messenger, and would visit daily to
tell of recent war developments and bring extra treats to the family.
Some of my fondest memories are of Anne’s smiling face, when she saw me
enter the annex with outstretched arms eager to embrace her.
Before the Franks would move into the Secret
Annex, they would leave a false trail behind which implied that they had
gone to Switzerland. This trail would lead Nazi officials elsewhere,
so that the Franks would be able to move in to the Annex quickly and carefully.
Finally on July 6, 1942 the Frank family would leave their comfortable
home, friends, and lives, for The annex, which would hold them for over
two years. Soon Otto’s friend and business associate Hermann Van
Daan, his wife, and son Peter would join the Franks in the Secret Annex.
This would make the living arrangements a bit cramped for the Franks.
I was aware of Mrs. Van Daan’s low tolerance for nonsense, and since I
knew Anne so well, I was certain that the two quite possibly would have
many quarrels. I tried to help Anne and Margot’s adjusting
process by bringing magazines, books, and news of the war going on outside.
Anne even confided to me of her secret blooming romance with Peter Van
Daan, who was a bit older than Anne. However the romance did not
have much of a chance, since the Annex was small and there was not much
room for privacy. For the secret annex now held a new occupant; my
dentist Fritz Pfeffer arrived to share the hideaway. This would prove
to be another problem to the Families, since in addition to Anne’s disagreements
with Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan, she would soon have to share a room with Pfeffer,
and the two would bicker day in and day out. But worse than that
I began to notice a great change in Mrs. Frank. She had always held
a great hope inside her, and always looked for the bright side of things,
but the confining quarters had finally gotten to her, because she had become
severely depressed. I began to wonder what would become of the secret
annex’s occupants if the war did not end soon.
I did not wonder long sadly, because on
August 4, 1944, an unknown source would betray the Franks, And others by
notifying the police of the secret annex’s secret occupants. I will
never forget the way the police came in so fast and suddenly, and charged
at the bookcase which covered the entrance to the annex. So determined
they were to discover eight innocent people, who had hid for two years
in the confines of a tiny apartment. My worse fears had come true
as the police hauled away spirited Anne, wise Otto, depressed Edith, and
the others. I barely had a chance to look at the Franks, as they were put
into trucks headed towards their fates at concentration camps. I
could not even register what was happening since the shock was so great.
The police took Kugler, and Kleiman, but Bep and I were spared. I
was taken in for questioning but luckily not arrested. Shortly after the
Franks deportation to Gestapo- a Nazi police center, I tried to gain back
their freedom, but to no avail, the police scoffed at me and threatened
imprisonment if I returned again. Disappointed by my failure, I headed
back to the Annex looking for anything at all to remind me of the family
that I had grown to love, risked my life to protect, and failed to hide.
I was overcome with joy as I found a small journal, belonging to Anne.
I recalled how she poured her thoughts in to it daily, and how she had
named it “Kitty”. I quickly pocketed it. And brought it home, to
hide away in case any of my friends returned. I prayed several times
a day that someday I would see my friends again, and that I would have
the chance to return Anne’s beloved diary to her.I would not have the chance
to see Anne, Margot, or Edith. For all three would perish from typhus
disease all within months of each other. I gasped at the news of
their deaths, but was relieved to hear of the surviving of Otto!
Here was our chance to show the world what
really happened during the war, and a view of a girl who’s dreams of becoming
a movie star, and whose talented writing skills had been destroyed simply
because of her religion. Otto and I worked together once again, except
this time it was not at the 263 Prinsengracht office building, but we worked
to publish Anne’s diary. A true account of our lives during the Holocaust.
Otto remarried and we remained friends, Anne’s diary had been published
and we were proud when we knew that millions had read it, and were enchanted
by our Anne, whose life had become widely publicized in many countries,
and printed in many languages. Otto and I spoke often recalling memories,
and discussing Anne’s diary and it’s importance. Otto died in 1980.
He was the last of the secret annex’s survivors, and it pained me once
again as I remembered how the seven others had died in concentration camps.
I am now eighty seven years old and my memory serves me well. I feel
honored to have been a part of the Frank’s lives, and I continue
to this day to tell the story of the Frank family, and my role in hiding
them. And I will continue to do so until the day I join the Franks,
and others who had died at the hands of the Nazis.