1929 - Anne Frank is born.
Otto and Edith Frank welcome their second child, Annelies Marie, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Their first child, Margot, is 3 years-old. The family lives in a large house in a quiet neighborhood on the edge of the city among Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant families.
1939 - Anne celebrates her 10th birthday in Amsterdam.
Nine girls line up with their arms around each other and pose for a photo in front of the apartments in Merwedeplein, a neighborhood in south Amsterdam. It is Anne Frank’s 10th birthday party. Her father, Otto, snaps the photo and will later give a copy to each girl after they have been developed.
The Frank family has been living in Amsterdam since they emigrated from Germany in 1933. It is just three months before the start of World War II and in 11 months the Netherlands will be invaded by Nazi Germany.
(Photo: Mary (Bos) Schneider, a childhood friend of Anne Frank, visited the Anne Frank in the World exhibit in January 2015. Mary is the third girl from the right in the photo of Anne’s 10th birthday party which can be found on panel 41. Click here to learn more about Mary.)
1942 - Anne receives a diary for her 13th birthday.
Anne’s father, Otto, gives her an autograph book as a birthday gift. She had picked it out from a shop window around the corner from their apartment in Merwedeplein. She begins using it as a diary. Click here to learn about other diarists during the Holocaust.
Anne writes about her birthday party. She writes about her friends, family, and school. She writes about her everyday life. But she also expresses a feeling of wanting to be able to confide in someone about anything other than “ordinary everyday things.”
“This is why I’ve started the diary...I want the diary to be my friend.
In just a few weeks, the Frank family will avoid arrest from the Nazis by leaving their home and going into hiding in a hidden apartment. The first thing Anne will pack is her diary. She will continue writing in it as they continue to live in hiding for over two years.