Who was Anne Frank?

June 11, 2015 Published by

Anne Frank’s Birthday

Anne Frank is one of the most well-known victims of the Holocaust. Born on 12th June 1929, she was a young Jewish girl, famous for recording her life in hiding in a diary. As many celebrate the young writer’s birthday this month, it’s a good time to introduce your children to the experiences of her life and help them gain an appreciation of world war and history on a wider scale. It may be easier and more interesting for children to be able to identify with a real child, helping bring history to life for them.

Anne Frank’s LifeAnne-Frank-Memorial-Statue

Anne and her elder sister Margot lived in Germany until Hitler rose to power and anti-Semitism grew, forcing the family to flee to the Netherlands. Once World War II began and Germany invaded the Netherlands they went into hiding, later joined by four others. Only one of the eight, Anne’s father, would survive the Holocaust.

Anne was given a diary for her 13th birthday and logged her daily life in her secret home. The honest account through this innocent girl’s eyes is a popular read and tells so much about the thoughts and experiences of many during a time of war. She wanted to be a writer or journalist and hoped her diary would be published one day.

Her deportation to a concentration camp and death, aged 15, in early 1945 serves to show the devastating effects of discrimination and how it led to persecution and death for approximately 6 million Jews.

World WarAnne-and-Margot-Frank-Bergen-Belsen-Memorial

Teaching our children about our world’s wars and allowing them to play war games may be something parents avoid. However, the World Wars can be fascinating topics to cover. You could try:

  • Using the war to encourage critical thinking; for example, what did the “winner” gain, and are there any real winners in a world war?
  • Helping your child discover why the war started, and what the main factors were that led to the war
  • Discussing the consequences of war – how each side was affected, not just focussing on lives lost, but in terms of rebuilding afterwards
  • Looking at primary sources – diaries, letters, postcards from real people and what these show us
  • Let your child have a look at any items from great-great-great grandparents that you have – such as ration cards, or identity tags – to help them recognise their ancestors’ places in history.


Historical Events

History on a more general scale can bring the analytical thinking to all age groups and abilities. Teaching about historical events in different ways can be a great use of family time. Providing learning through play opportunities using games that involve history or download some apps that teach history from the Good App Guide to get your child involved in the rich history we have.

Anne Frank’s diary is a personal and educational tale of a real girl’s uncensored views. We are products of our past and our lives are lived as a direct result of that history, so teaching our children that actions have consequences and how that affects them is a wonderful and enjoyable idea.



Anne Frank’s Diary in a Berlin Museum

Anne Frank Statue by Laura is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Bergen Belsen Memorial by Marga en Johan van de Merwe is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Anne Frank Diary at Anne Frank Museum in Berlin by Heather Cowper Website is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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This post was written by Fundamentally Children

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