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1942 It becomes more dangerous for Jews
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© Archief boekhandel Blankevoort en stichting Geheugen van Plan Zuid

A diary for Anne

On her thirteenth birthday Anne Frank receives a diary as a present. It’s not really a surprise because she’s already chosen it from the bookshop called Blankevoort, around the corner.

She’s really pleased with it, Anne loves writing. Anne has been writing to her cousin Buddy and her aunt in Basel for a long time. She starts her diary with a description of how she celebrated her birthday and then writes about her life. Quite quickly she starts to write about her school friends and their characters.

Kitty

Anne’s diary becomes her best friend and that remains so for more than two years. In the second version of her diary Anne explains it as:
‘In order to enhance in my mind’s eye the picture of the friend for whom I have waited so long I don’t want to set down a series of bald facts in a diary like most people do, but I want this diary, itself to be my friend, and I shall call my friend Kitty.’

Becoming a writer

Anne wants to be a writer. She wants to publish her diary as a novel after the war. This wish is fulfilled by Otto Frank. The book is published in 1947. Anne Frank’s diary is now one of the most translated books in the world.

A statue for Anne

The shop which was the Blankevoort bookshop is now the Jimmink bookshop. The owner of this shop arranged in 2005 for a statue of Anne Frank to be erected on the Merwedeplein. During the unveiling of the statue he said: ‘Why is a thirteen year old girl with a Jewish star on her coat looking back at her home, standing there? She reminds us that during World War Two 13.000 neighbours were taken away and murdered. Her  statue stands there as a warning about intolerance, antisemitism and racism.’

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Merwedeplein

Square in the Amsterdam Rivieren neighbourhood. From 1933 many Jewish refugees from Germany settle here. The Frank family lives at number 37-2 from 1933 to July 1942.

More about this location More about this location

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