The Forgotten Tragedy of Anne and Margot Frank

I am a member of several history websites receiving daily notifications about events that happened in history this day. Today, I received a notification of the anniversary of the 1945 death of Anne Frank at Bergen Belsen.

I don’t know how they came to that conclusion, because the exact date of Anne and Margot Frank’s deaths is not known. But this is that forgotten tragedy of their deaths their families like Otto Frank and the girls’ Aunt Leni Frank Elias did not have a date where they could remember the death of the two girls, and maybe light a candle for them. Nor would they have had a date where they could say a specific prayer.

Luckily, Leni Frank-Elias moved to Basel in Switzerland in the 1930s together with her husband and sons Stephan and Bernhard (Bernd) aka Buddy.

Anne Frank, clearly, was very fond of her cousin Bernhard.

Buddy (Bernd), was born in Frankfurt in 1925 and grew up in Basel. After his international career as an ice clown and actor, he became the President of the Anne Frank Fonds in Basel.

In a letter to Alice Fran dated 13 January 1941, Anne Frank wrote:

«I’m at the rink every spare minute. (…) I’m taking skating classes regularly now, where we’re learning how to dance and jump and everything else. (…) I hope that I’ll learn to skate as well as Bernd someday. (…) Bernd, maybe we can skate as a pair together someday, but I know I’d have to train very hard to get to be as good as you are.»

On 3 June 1942, Anne writes a birthday letter to her cousin Buddy. This is the last direct contact between the two cousins. One month later, on 6 July, the Franks leave their apartment in Merwedeplein in Amsterdam and go into hiding in the secret annexe, which had been prepared for them months before.

It is a tragedy that Anne and Margot Frank’s family and friends were even denied the date of their death.


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