In 1942, Anne Frank's family went into hiding for two years. In her diary, Anne looked back wistfully at her time on "the Merry", as she called the square.
The dinner room
Shortly after Hitler and the Nazis came to power in Germany in January 1933, Anne's parents Otto and Edith decided to leave their country and their home in Frankfurt and settle in the Netherlands. Their decision was influenced by the rising antisemitism.
The living room
By November, Edith had found a place on the Merwedeplein, in Amsterdam. It was a new neighborhood and most of the houses had been built between 1920 and 1933. It was "all equipped with central heating and hot water on tap," the Hilwis property company reported proudly.
"Anne was not a strong child. For a while, when she was having a growing spurt, she even suffered heart trouble and had to rest every afternoon. She was not allowed to do any exhausting sports, but she did attend rhythmic gymnastics classes, which she liked," wrote her father.
The parent's bedroom
In the early hours of May 10, 1940, the German army invaded the Netherlands. Anne’s neighborhood was woken early by the rumble of aircraft and the thud of bombs near Schiphol airport. The battle was over within days and the Netherlands was occupied by Nazi Germany.
Her sister's bedroom
In October 1940, Jews were ordered to register their businesses. Otto expected that they would no longer be allowed to own companies. Helped by his non-Jewish employees and friends, he managed to keep his business out of Nazi hands, despite no longer being the director.
On July 5, 1942 a policeman appeared at the door with a call-up notice. Anne's sister Margot was being sent to a labor camp in Nazi Germany and had to report the next day. The family went into hiding that morning. They were well prepared: a secret hiding place had been set up.
The Frank family on the Merwedeplein, April 1941. (1941-04)Anne Frank House
Anne’s family had been in hiding for a month and two years by the time they were discovered in August 1944. They were arrested by German police, taken to Westerbork in the north-east of the country, and then deported to the concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz. Anne and Margot were sent on to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they died in February 1945. Edith Frank died in Auschwitz in January 1945 and only Otto survived after he was liberated by the Soviet army the same year.