Anne was born in June 1929. She lived in Germany until 1934, when Hitler took control of Germany and the Frank family was forced to flee to the Netherlands. They took residence in Amsterdam.
After the Netherlands surrendered to Germany in 1940, the Franks, being Jewish, started being restricted by many rules and regulations that the Germans had made. Among these were, that Jewish people could not use public transport, Jewish people had to wear a star of David, Jewish people had to go to certain stores and had to send their children to Jewish schools, and many, many more. These rules had started accumulating in Germany over a long period since years before the war, but as they kept getting added, the Jews got more and more restricted. Soon they weren't allowed to have bikes, and they had to walk everywhere.
In June 1942, Anne got a notebook for her thirteenth birthday. She decided to use it as a diary, and started writing in it. On the fifth of July, her family received a call-up from the Nazis and had to move their plan to go into hiding ten days forward. They took their possessions and moved to a section in the back of the factory where Anne's father had worked. They started staying there with another Jewish family.
Anne was the youngest of the people in hiding. She was with her mother and father, Edith and Otto Frank, and her older sister Margot. They were hiding with the Van Pels family, who Anne called the Van Daan family in her diary. The Van Pels family included Auguste and Hermann Van Pels, and their 16-year-old son Peter. In November, since both families had agreed that their hiding place could fit another resident, they were joined by Fritz Pfeffer, a German dentist who wanted to hide from the Nazis but unlike the Franks, who had become fluent at Dutch, Pfeffer spoke a mix of Dutch and German. He was referred to as Albert Dussel in Anne's diary.
In her diary, Anne called their place of hiding the "Achterhuis", translated into English as "secret annex". It was a three-storey area at the back of the factory. The people who worked there brought them food and told them what was happening in the outside world. They also designed and built a bookshelf to conceal the door to the Achterhuis. The bookshelf was on hinges, so that the helpers could easily get in and out.
The residents had to be extremely quiet during the day, to avoid being heard by the people in neighboring buildings. They had to tiptoe around the house, and whisper to each other. Being seen on the street was too risky, and they had to stay in the building for all of the two years they lived there. Everyone there knew, that at any minute they could get arrested by the Germans, and this caused a lot of stress and tension among them. Despite all this, Anne kept a lot of hope and optimism.
During March 1944, Anne Frank heard on the radio that manuscripts such as diaries written during the war would have a chance of being published after the war. Anne, with a view of becoming the author of a published novel, started writing a second edition of her diary, excluding some parts, rewriting others, adding new text, and giving all of the helpers and all of the residents of the Achterhuis pseudonyms.
In the October of 1944, Anne Frank and the other Jews in hiding were found and arrested by German troops. Anne and her sister Margot were taken to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they died of typhus in February 1945, only two months before the camp was liberated by English soldiers.
Right after the families' arrest, one of the helpers, Miep Gies, found the diary that Anne Frank had left behind. She hoped to return it to Anne after the war. She did not want to read it, because she knew that if she did, she would want to burn it, due to the fact that it contained the names of all of the people who were helping the Franks.
After the war, Anne's father Otto Frank, who, out of the eight Jews that had lived behind the factory, was the only one that survived the war, came back to the place where they had lived for two years. Once Anne's death was announced, Miep gave him the diary, along with the other notebooks and papers that the second edition was written on. Otto used both the original manuscript and the extra notes to construct a version of Anne's diary that got published in Dutch in 1947. The diary was titled "Het Achterhuis" and had five printings by 1950. Otto also assisted in rescuing the building from demolition and turning it into a museum. The museum is known as the "Anne Frankhuis" in the Netherlands and is still accessible today.
Today, Anne Frank's diary is well known and has been translated into 67 languages with over 30 million copies sold. Anne is seen as a symbol of the persecution of Jews during the second world war.