Previously published in Examiner
Part 5 of the Anne Frank series
On August 4, 1944, the family was uprooted, the Germans caught them and the informant was never made known. The family was sent to the detention center and interrogated all night. Since they were in hiding they were considered criminals. They were transferred to a holding camp and then on to the punishment barracks to do hard labour. They were then transferred to Auschwitz concentration camp where Otto was separated from his family.
Anne had just turned 15 so she was spared the gas chamber, where younger children were immediately murdered. Anne was stripped naked and disinfected, her head was shaved and she was given the infamous tattoo.
Note: Can you imagine the terror this young girl was going through?
The surviving women and young girls were used as slave labour during the day hauling heavy rocks. Anne got sick and she and her sister developed scabies and were sent the dark rat infested infirmary.
Note: Young girls and women hauling heavy rocks, backbreaking work, then getting physically ill and having to deal with rats, poor health and mental anguish, that most of us will never face in our lifetime, was levied on these poor innocent women and children. Of course men had their stories to tell as well.
By October 28 the two sisters were sent to Bergen-Belsen with 8000 other women and young girls. The mother was left behind to die of starvation. Anne and her sister died of typhus just shortly before the camp was liberated. They were never meant to see freedom again.
The father, Otto Frank, was the only survivor of the family and he was fortunate enough to find her diary, her legacy to the world, which he published in 1947. The Diary of a Young Girl as it was called, has sold millions worldwide. Anne Frank was named one of the 20th century’s Heroes and Icons by Time Magazine in their 100 Most Important People of The Century.
The Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre
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H3W 1M6 Canada
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Website : www.mhmc.ca