On this day: July 1942

The Georgia Commission on the Holocaust's educational series On This Day in History provides summaries of historical events as the anniversaries fall on the current calendar. Be sure to follow along on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates and further information like photos, maps, and videos.

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July 5 - Margot receives a “call up.”

3:00 p.m. The postman rings the bell at the Frank family’s home in Amsterdam with a letter for Margot. Anne is sitting in the sun reading as her older sister answers the door and opens the sealed envelope. It is an official letter from the Central Office for Jewish Emigration in Amsterdam, ordering sixteen-year-old Margot to report for “work” in Germany in 10 days. If she does not obey, the whole family will be arrested. 

The Nazis have occupied the Netherlands for over two years now. Anne and Margot's father, Otto, has just begun preparing for a situation like this. He has a plan to resist arrest by going into hiding in a secret apartment behind his company offices. Even though preparations are not entirely complete, Margot’s call-up spurs everyone to action.

July 6 - The Frank family goes into hiding.

7:30 a.m. Miep Gies, a secretary at Otto’s company and a friend of the family, arrives at the Frank’s home according to plan. She and Margot leave on their bicycles. It is raining and Margot is wearing multiple layers of clothing beneath her coat. 

Click here to watch an interview excerpt with Miep Gies in which she describes the first day in hiding.

When they arrive at Otto’s company warehouse, they hide their bikes in a store room then ascend the stairs behind the offices to the hidden apartment. The warehouse workers and other office staff will begin arriving soon so Miep takes her place in the office.

8:00 a.m. Otto, Edith, and Anne leave their home and travel through the city by foot. The walk to the company offices takes about an hour. When they arrive, Miep hurries them up to the hiding place where Margot has been waiting. The family is together again.

July 13 - The Van Pels family goes into hiding.

Another Jewish German family joins the Franks in hiding. The Van Pels family moved to the Netherlands in 1937. Hermann van Pels became a partner in Otto Frank’s business in 1938. Hermann lived with his wife, Auguste, and their son, Peter, in an apartment in a building behind the Franks. Peter is fifteen years-old.

The Van Pels were initially supposed to arrive on July 14, but as Anne writes in her diary:

...but between the thirteenth and sixteenth of July the Germans called up people right and left which created more and more unrest, so they played for safety, better a day too early than a day too late.

The Franks and Van Pels are not the only people to go into hiding. It is later estimated that approximately 300,000 people (28,000 of which were Jews) went into hiding in the Netherlands during this period. Circumstances varied - from the duration of time spent in hiding to the location and type of hiding place. Some people hid in the country while others, like those in the "secret annex", hid in the city. 

July 15 - Margot does not report for work duty according to her call up.

Margot's call up ordered her to report to Central Station in Amsterdam on July 15 at 1:50 p.m. to be taken by train to Germany. She does not report. Margot and her family have resisted the Nazis and avoided arrest by going into hiding. No one knows how long they will be living in hiding at 263 Prinsengracht.

Sources and Related Links

Margot Frank is called up

In hiding

Miep Gies describes the first day in hiding

The Secret Annex Online

Others went into hiding too

Holocaust Encyclopedia: Rescue

Holocaust Encyclopedia: The Netherlands

Anne Frank's Amsterdam

Who is who?