The final entry in Anne Frank’s diary is dated August 1, 1944 – the same year she decided to rewrite her diary in the form of a novel, which she intended to publish after the war.
Three days later, she was taken by the Gestapo, imprisoned, and later sent to Auschwitz. Her father Otto Frank’s business partner had informed the Nazis of the family’s whereabouts, and they were taken by surprise when their secret annex was suddenly invaded by the Gestapo.
The entrance to the secret rooms was behind this bookcase:
Their living quarters were cramped, but still full of life, love, and hope:
Anne would sit at the desk to write in her journal or stare at the photos of movie stars on the wall and dream of one day being free again.
But, as we know all too well, that day would never come. The Gestapo ultimately crushed those dreams (to say the very least) when they performed a raid that was led by this man, Karl Silberbauer:
The entire family was taken to prisons and detention centers, bouncing around until they were finally placed in Auschwitz on September 6, 1944.
There, Otto was separated from his wife and children – who assumed he was dead, as many of the prisoners were sent straight to the gas chambers upon arrival. He ended up being the only member of the Frank family to survive.
Knowing her mother had died of starvation and assuming her father to be dead as well, Anne told other prisoners that she no longer wished to live.
She and her sister Margot had been transferred to Bergen-Belsen, which was plagued with a typhus epidemic that killed 17,000 people. While the true cause of Anne’s death is unknown, it was likely due to one of the many diseases that were rampant about the camp. The dates of her death were unrecorded, but she succumbed a few days after Margot, who had, in weakness, fallen from her bunk and died of shock.
The camp was liberated less than two months after their deaths.
Just six months prior, Anne was still a precocious, optimistic young woman of 15, who wrote down her deepest secrets and inner-most thoughts in her diary.
Tuesday, 1 August, 1944:
“A bundle of contradictions” was the end of my previous letter and is the beginning of this one. Can you please tell me exactly what “a bundle of contradictions” is? What does “contradiction” mean? Like so many words, it can be interpreted in two ways: a contradiction imposed from without and one imposed from within.
The former means not accepting other people’s opinions, always knowing best, having the last word; in short, all those unpleasant traits for which I’m known. The latter, for which I’m not known, is my own secret.
As I’ve told you many times, I’m split in two. One side contains my exuberant cheerfulness, my flippancy, my joy in life and, above all, my ability to appreciate the lighter side of things. By that I mean not finding anything wrong with flirtations, a kiss, an embrace, an off-colour joke. This side of me is usually lying in wait to ambush the other one, which is much purer, deeper and finer. No one knows Anne’s better side, and that’s why most people can’t stand me….