Anne Frank

Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1929. When Hitler seized power, the Frank family emigrated to Amsterdam. Subsequently, Holland was overrun by the Nazis and persecution of the Jews began there, too. The five years of Nazi rule in Holland were years of oppression, terror, slavery, hunger, fear and wholesale killing of innocent people. Amongst the local population, there were many who collaborated but, at the same time, there was opposition and an active underground movement.

The Franks, together with two other Jewish families, found a hiding place in a secluded part of Otto (Anne's father) Frank's business premises. The entrance to this part of the building was hidden by a moveable cupboard. For over two years the eight Jews remained in their hiding place, where at great personal risk they were cared for by Dutch employees of Mr. Frank's business.

In August 1944 the Franks' secret hiding place was betrayed. Anne and her family were deported first to Westerbork concentration camp in Holland and later to Auschwitz. Anne and her sister Margot were finally transferred to Bergen-Belsen in Germany. Anne Frank died there of typhoid fever in February or March 1945, not yet 16 years old. Only her father, Otto Frank survived the camps. On his return to Amsterdam after the war, he learned that the rest of his family had perished and Anne's diary was given to him.

Anne Frank wrote her diary during the 26 months in hiding, describing her life and the lives of her fellow Jews before their deportation to the death camps. Through her diary she became a symbol for all innocent victims of racial and religious prejudice, not only during the terrible years of the Second World War but also for all time.

The diary of Anne Frank was first published in Holland in 1947. It was translated from its original Dutch and first published in English in 1952 as The Diary of a Young Girl, with an introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt. It has since been translated into many languages. It has also been made into a play and a film. The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, where Anne and her family were hidden, is now a museum, administered by a foundation set up in 1957. The purpose of the foundation is to keep alive the memory of the Shoa (Holocaust) and to fight and denounce intolerance, racism and anti-Semitism wherever and whenever they appear.

The famous Italian-Jewish writer and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi said: "One single Anne Frank moves us more than the countless others who suffered just as she did, but whose faces have remained in the shadows. Perhaps it is better that way: If we were capable of taking in the suffering of all those people, we would not be able to live."

The stamp was issued in 1988. Designer: A. Vanooijen.