Meanings of Anne Frank (02:48)
Dr.Michael Berenbaum says that any discussion of Anne Frank must occur on many levels—as a person, an icon, a victim of the Holocaust, and as someone we project feelings onto.
Early Years in Amsterdam (03:53)
In 1934, Frank's family escaped Nazi Germany to Amsterdam. Her childhood friend, Hanna Pick-Goslar, describes Anne as clever. In 1940, the Germans invaded Amsterdam, changing an integrated city into a place where Jews were segregated.
After the Nazi invasion, Dutch bureaucrats began collaborating with their conquerors. Anne’s childhood friend Nanette Blitz Konig describes the Nazi’s method of dealing with Jews. Though 25,000 Jews went into hiding, one third of them were turned in, including the Frank family.
Concentration Camps (03:23)
In July 1942, over 20 concentration camps were under construction. Some were penal colonies, some were slave labor camps, and others were death camps. Approximately 250,000 Jews were murdered at Sobibor. The camp opened in May 1942 and was destroyed by Nazis in November 1943.
Excavating Sobibor (03:33)
Experts have found the foundations of eight gas chambers, human remains, and objects. Berenbaum says we have a moral obligation to confront the Holocaust, understand it, and face up to what really happened.
Hiding from Nazis (04:09)
The Frank family and four others went into hiding in July 1942 for two years. Though the war was effectively ending, Nazi bureaucracy continued to function; it offered monetary rewards for information on the whereabouts of Jews.
Frank Family Arrested (04:46)
On August 4, 1944, the Franks and the others hiding from Nazis were arrested by SS officer Karl Silberbauer and a group of Dutch policemen. Silberbauer dumped the contents of Otto Frank’s briefcase, which included Anne’s diary, on the floor. Miep Gies, who had been helping the family, found the diary and kept it safe.
Westerbork Concentration Camp (04:29)
After their arrest, the Franks were sent to North Holland. Photos taken by inmates under orders, document the camp as normal; Michael Berenbaum describes it as a way station to death. Konig describes it as terrible; everyone was depressed.
Leaving Westerbork (04:04)
Anne Frank and her seven companions were put to work recycling materials. Considered criminals for hiding, they were sent to Auschwitz after four weeks. They boarded the final train to leave the camp as many camp inmates were murdered.
Increased Killing of Jews (05:57)
On September 3, 1944, the Franks were sent to Auschwitz. The Allied plan to stop the death camps was to win the war as quickly as possible; losing the Battle of Arnhem prolonged the war. Despite lessening resources, the killing of Jews increased because it was more important for the Germans to win the war against the Jews than the world war.
Business and Morality of Killing (06:12)
Auschwitz, the biggest of concentration camps was a complex of a penal colony, a slave labor camp, and the death camp Birkenau. Rudolf Hess, Josef Kramer, and Josef Mengele, ran it like an ordinary business. David Silberklange says that in the Nazi cosmology, killing Jews was a moral act. Berenbaum adds that these men who committed such evil were banal people caught up in extraordinary circumstances.
Arrival in Auschwitz (03:01)
On September 5, 1944, the Frank family arrived at Auschwitz. Prisoners spent days on trains, living in feces and urine. Women were sent to Birkenau’s “sauna” for branding, shearing and processing while able-bodied men were sent to the labor camp.
Fate of Frank Party (05:19)
The women were sent to Birkenau and the men went to Auschwitz 1 to work. Hermann van Pels died in the gas chamber; his wife and Fritz Pfeifer died. In October 1944, the Frank family was still alive, but Anne and Margot were sent to another camp.
In late July 1944, concentration camps began to be liberated as Soviet troops advanced. A decision was made to bring prisoners westward and after two months in Auschwitz, Anne and Margot Frank were sent to Bergen-Belsen.
Final Days of Camps (04:11)
The camp system began to collapse as the Nazi regime began to fall. At Bergen-Belsen, Anne Frank encountered two old friends from Amsterdam.
Chance Meeting with Old Friends (05:38)
Konig and Hanna Pick-Goslar recall seeing Anne miserable, frightened, and hopeless, on the other side of a barbed-wire fence. After failing once, Pick-Goslar, managed to throw a small package of food to Frank; this was the last time she saw her. Anne's father survived, but her mother died.
Anne and Margot Frank's Deaths (04:29)
In the last year of the war, epidemics raged through the camps. Overcrowding of Bergen-Belsen made removal of bodies impossible. Anne and Margo Frank died sometime in February 1945, probably from typhus.
Horror of Bergen-Belsen (03:31)
When the British arrived at Bergen-Belsen, thousands of corpses littered the grounds. Photographs and films from the camp became iconic images of the Holocaust. Berenbaum says that the killing 1.5 million children murdered the possibility of possibility.
War Criminals (03:17)
Josef Kramer was arrested, put on trial, and hanged in December 1945. In 1972, Simon Wiesenthal found Karl Silberbauer; Silberbauer died in his sleep, never showing remorse.
Konig recalls having a sheet and bed after her ordeal at Bergen-Belsen. Peter van Fels died at Matthuasen a few days before liberation. Pick-Goslar was sent away on a train, but liberated by the Russians ten days later.
Legacy of Anne Frank (03:59)
Konig says that Anne Frank would have had tremendous satisfaction knowing her diary was published. In 2005, the Frank family archives returned to Frankfurt. How we measure and respond to evil is important.
Remembering the Holocaust and Credits (01:28)
Konig says it is important to continue to speak about the Holocaust. Berenbaum quotes Yehuda Baur. (Credits)
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