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1945 Joy and sadness
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© AVRO © erven Miep Gies

Otto Frank returns

Otto Frank is the only one of the people in hiding in the secret annex to survive the persecution of the Jews. When he returns to Amsterdam he goes to Miep and Jan Gies, two of his helpers during the period in hiding.

On 27 January 1945 concentration camp Auschwitz is liberated by Russian troops. Otto Frank is one of the few survivors. He only weighs 52 kilos. When he is a little stronger he is repatriated with other ex-prisoners. He remains for another 4 months in Poland and Russia.

Return journey

Here Otto learns that his wife Edith is no longer alive. But he has hope that his daughters Anne and Margot are still alive. It is not until 21 May that he leaves Odessa by boat for Marseilles in the south of France. Otto Frank arrives back in Amsterdam on 3 June 1945.

Otto receives Anne’s dairy

Straightway he goes to Miep and Jan Gies. After he hears that his daughters are dead, Miep gives him Anne’s diary. She has kept it all this time in her desk drawer. Later Miep Gies says this:
‘I didn’t hand Anne’s writings immediately on his arrival, as I still hoped, even though there was only a slight chance, that Anne would come back…When we heard in July 1945, that Anne, like Margot, had died in Bergen-Belsen, I gave what pieces of Anne’s writing I had back to Mr. Frank.’

Moving house

Otto Frank lives with Miep and Jan Gies until he moves to Basel in Switzerland in 1952.

In this picture: Otto Frank photographed with the people who helped him in the hiding place. Left to right: Miep Gies, Jo Kleiman, Otto Frank, Victor Kugler, Bep Voskuijl. August 1945.

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Otto Frank

In 1933 Otto and Edith Frank decide to leave Frankfurt am Main. Partly due to the economic situation and partly due to the rise of National Socialism. Otto is able to start a business in Amsterdam. He sells Opekta, pectin which housewives can use to make their own jam. It’s not easy to establish the business. When the German army attacks the Netherlands in May 1940 the Frank family is once again in danger.

More about this person

1938 Many Jewish refugees after Kristallnacht

Many Jewish refugees flee to the Netherlands after Kristallnacht. Princess Juliana also feels connected to the Jewish community. But while more attention is drawn to the admittance of more Jews, NSB members threaten more intervention.

1940 Amsterdam occupied

Nothing changes too much for the Frank family in the beginning. Opekta moves to the Prinsengracht. During air raids bombs cause death and injury in Amsterdam.

1940  Amsterdam occupied

1941 Jews allowed to do and less

It starts with a cinema ban but rapidly Jews are banned from virtually all public places. Jewish children must attend separate schools. This also applies to Anne and Margot Frank.

1941  Jews allowed to do and less

1942 It becomes more dangerous for Jews

On her thirteenth birthday Anne Frank receives a diary. A few days later she writes about the situation in Amsterdam. The introduction of the Jewish star and the raids. In July the Frank family goes into hiding.

1942  It becomes more dangerous for Jews

1943 Deportations and attacks

While the Frank family is in hiding thousands of Jews are deported from Amsterdam. The resistance tries to hinder the deportations by attacks including one on the Public Registry. It doesn’t stop them.

1943  Deportations and attacks

1944 Discovered and arrested

On 4 August the people in hiding in the secret annex are discovered and arrested. From Westerbork they are taken to Auschwitz. When the Allies land in the south of the Netherlands there is hope that the country will be liberated. German soldiers and NSB members flee the country after Dolle Dinsdag (‘Mad Tuesday’).

1944  Discovered and arrested

1945 Joy and sadness

A celebration at the Dam on 7 May is ruined when people are killed after German soldiers shoot at the crowd. On 8 May Amsterdam is officially liberated. Otto Frank returns. He knows that Edith is dead. He only hears later that his two daughters have not survived.

1945  Joy and sadness

1946 Slowly the threads are picked up again

On 3 May 1946 the first official commemoration for those who died during the war is held. Anne Frank’s diary is published on 25 June 1947. Life in Amsterdam slowly gets back to normal. Of the 70,000 Jews who lived in the city in 1940 only 10,000 have survived the war.

1950 Lasting memory

Even five years after the liberation the reverberations from the war are still clearly noticeable. The Jewish community thanks Amsterdam for the help given to Jews with a monument.

1950  Lasting memory
  • 1950
  • To those who protected the Dutch Jews during the years of the occupation. Protected by your love. Encouraged by your resistance. Mourning with you.

    Part of the citation on the monument ‘Jewish Gratitude’
  • picture:Once a year, two minutes silence

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Bird’s eye view of Anne Frank’s Amsterdam

View the most important places with their story from Anne Frank’s Amsterdam. Click to the Timeline and see how Amsterdam changed from being a safe haven in 1933 to an occupied city. Zoom in by clicking on the plus sign on the left. This way you can click more easily on the places on the map