5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Anne Frank

On this day in 1944, the Nazi Gestapo captured 15-year-old Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family in a sealed-off area of an Amsterdam warehouse.  nne spent much of her time in the “secret annex” working on her diary.  Here are five interesting things you probably didn't know about Anne Frank...


She Addressed Many of Her Entries to "Kitty." # Photo of Anne Frank writing in her diary from 1940. Image source: WikiCommons Scholars have long debated who exactly "Kitty" was to Anne. Some believe it's the nickname of her closest friend before going into hiding. Others think it relates to a character from Anne's favorite book. While we likely will never know the truth, one thing's for certain: Kitty isn't the only "person" Anne wrote to in her diary. There are letters addressed to Conny, Marianne, Emmy, and Pop, too. 

The Woman Who Found the Diary Said She Would Have Burned It if She Read It. Miep Gies, a secretary at the factory where the Franks hid for two years, was a supporter of the family and regularly visited with Anne. After the raid on August 4, 1944, Gies went up to the attic and found Anne's diary strewn across the floor. She collected the papers but never read them, instead storing them safely and returning them to Otto Frank after the war. It's a good thing she didn't read them, too: Gies later confessed that had she read the pages, she would have burned them because they implicated her and everyone else involved in a crime that could have cost them their lives.


Otto Frank Possibly Saved the Arresting Officer Who Sent His Family to the Camps from Losing His Job. Karl Silberbauer was an SS officer in Amsterdam during the war who received the orders from his superior on August 4, 1944, to investigate an anonymous tip of hidden Jews in the top floor of Prinsengracht 263. Sillberbauer later said he vividly remembered the arrest and even complimented Otto Frank on his lovely daughters. In 1963, people made the connection between Sillberbauer—then a Viennese police officer—and Anne Frank. Austrian officials immediately suspended Sillberbauer without pay and set up a hearing. Otto Frank attended the hearing and testified that Sillberbauer had only done his duty and acted with civility throughout the process. He did not believe Sillberbauer needed to lose his job, but requested to never see the man again in his life.

The Diary of Anne Frank has Regularly Been Banned from Schools. # First edition copy of The Diary of Anne Frank. Image Source: WikiCommons Despite being a prolific writer and deep thinker, Frank was still just a young girl, and therefore, some of the entries depict the natural thoughts and curiosities of a young girl discovering her own anatomy. Because of a brief passage where Frank wonders about her own body, the book has been regularly banned from school reading lists. But that's not even the dumbest reason for banning the book: schools in Alabama once banned it for being a "downer." Yikes.

Some People Think Anne's Diary is a Fake. We've all heard of those crazy Holocaust deniers who don't think millions of Jews died during the Holocaust. Well, those same deniers have made ludicrous claims that Anne Frank's diary is a forgery and the events described never really happened. Not to worry—the documents have been thoroughly analyzed for handwriting, glue and binding methods, and the types of ink and paper. To no sane person's surprise, the document came back 100% authentic.

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