History: Otto Frank

Otto Frank was a business man and the only survivor of the Secret Annex. He was born May 12, 1889 in the German Empire to Alice Betty and Michael Frank . Him being born in 1889 and being a survivor of the Holocaust means he lived through both WW1 and WW2. In his early life, during WW1, he served in the Imperial German Army. In August 1915, he was promoted lieutenant and served at the Battle of Cambrai. On the 12th of May, 1925, He married Edith Holländer and had two children. Their eldest daughter was Margot Frank and youngest was Anne Frank. When the Nazi’s and anti-Jewish decrees took hold of Germany, Otto moved his family to live with is mother-in-law in Aachen; then moved to Amsterdam. He attempted to get a visa for his family to the US or Cuba, but when war was declared it became impossible. Otto then decided to go into hiding with his family in July 6, 1942 after Margot received a notice to report to a labor camp. He lived in the Annex with 7 others for two years. They then were found in 1944 of August by the Nazi’s and in September Otto was separated from his family and sent to Auschwitz. During his time in Auschwitz wrote to his mother who was able to escape to Switzerland. January 27, 1945 the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by Soviet troops. By that time Otto was to near death and found himself in the sick barracks. He later learned of the death of his family, and that he was the only survivor. In 1945 Anne’s death was confirmed and her diary was given to Otto. He at first didn’t read it, but later was convinced to publish it. Although some thing in the diary was edited out; on June 25, 1947, the first edition of the book was issued in Dutch under the title “Het Achterhuis“. In 1905, he remarried and moved to Switzerland. Later he and Johannes Kleiman (one of the helpers) established the Anne Frank Foundation to save the building that once hid them, and turned it into a museum (opened 1960). Otto later died August 19, 1980 in Basel, Switzerland of lung cancer. He lived to be 91 years.

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