Edith Frank

Edith Holländer is born in Aachen on January 16, 1900. She has two older brothers, named Julius (1894) and Walter (1897), and an older sister called Bettina (1898). The Holländer family celebrates the Jewish holidays and and keeps a kosher household. The Holländers are leading members of Aachen’s Jewish community. Father Holländer trades in scrap metal and owns several industrial processing plants.

In his memoirs, Otto Frank remembers the relationship between Anne and her mother: “I was concerned that there was not a particularly good understanding between my wife and Anne, and I believe my wife suffered more from this than Anne. In reality, she was an excellent mother, who went to any lengths for her children. She often complained that Anne was against everything she did but it was consolation for her to know that Anne trusted me."

Her sister Betti

Edith Holländer attends the Protestant Victoriaschule, a private school. In 1914, shortly after the outbreak of World War One, there is an unexpected family tragedy: Edith's sister Betti dies. Twelve years later, in memory of her sister, Edith will give her first child Margot the middle name Betti. But her mother in law’s second name is also Betty.

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Engaged to Otto

Otto Frank and Edith Holländer announce their engagement on April 5, 1925. A Jewish wedding is planned, more than a month later in the Aachen synagogue, at the request of the Holländer family. Not much is known about the years following Edith’s graduation from high school or how she and Otto Frank first meet. There are, however, photos of carefree vacations on the German coast. In her diary, Anne later writes about her mother’s life: “Mother's family wasn't as wealthy, but still fairly well-off, and we've listened open-mouthed to stories of private balls, dinners and engagement parties with 250 guests.”

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Gloomy in the Secret Annex

During the hiding period, Edith is often depressed. Miep describes a confidential conversation with Edith Frank: “What she needed to talk about, which she couldn’t talk about in front of the others, was that she was suffering under a great weight of despair. Although the others were counting the days until the Allies came, making games of what they would do when the war was over, Mrs. Frank confessed that she was deeply ashamed of the fact that she felt the end would never come."

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Exhibition

An exhibition on Anne's mother could be seen until mid-march 2012. For more information have a look at Museum > Exhibitions > Temporary exhibitions.

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e-book

'Anne Frank in the Secret Annexe: who was who?' is an extraordinary portrait of the eight people in hiding, their helpers and others in and around the shelter. The e-book, featuring many previously unpublished photos, depicts their life stories and how they related to each other, and describes the background to the period in hiding and its inexorable end.

Can be read on all e-readers, tablets, smartphones and PCs. Not for Amazon Kindle.

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January 16, 1900

Born in Aachen (Germany). Edith has two brothers and one sister: Julius, Walter and Betti.

September 22, 1914

Betti dies, aged sixteen.

1916

Edith completes her final exams at the Viktoriaschule in Aachen, a Christian girls’ high school.

May 12, 1925

Edith marries Otto Frank and goes to live in Frankfurt am Main (Germany).

February 16, 1926

Margot Frank is born.

January 19, 1927

Edith’s father dies, aged 66.

June 12, 1929

Anne Frank is born.

July-August 1933

Otto Frank goes to the Netherlands while Edith and her daughters stay with her mother in Aachen.

September 15, 1933

Otto Frank sets up his Opekta business in Amsterdam.

November 1933

Edith moves to the Netherlands.

December 1933

Margot moves to the Netherlands.

February 16, 1934

Anne moves to the Netherlands.

1939

Edith’s mother, Rosa Holländer, comes to live with the Frank family.

January 29, 1942

Rosa Holländer dies of cancer.

July 6, 1942

The Frank family go into hiding in the secret annex.

August 4, 1944

The people in hiding are arrested.

August 8, 1944

The people in hiding are sent to the Westerbork transit camp (Netherlands).

September 3, 1944

The people in hiding are deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp (occupied Poland).

September 6, 1944

Arrival at Auschwitz. Edith survives the selection.

October 1944

Anne and Margot are deported to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. Edith remains in Auschwitz-Birkenau.

January 6, 1945

Edith dies in Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Otto Frank Anne and Margot's father, Edith's husband

Otto sets up a business in the Netherlands. After that, his family can come over too.

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Margot Frank Daughter of Otto and Edith, sister of Anne

Otto and Edith’s daughter, Anne’s sister Margot is a quiet, serious girl who enjoys studying.

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Anne Frank Daughter of Otto and Edith, sister of Margot

Otto and Edith’s daughter, Margot’s sister Anne often plays the clown, but has a serious side too

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Anne writes:

And, in most things, my mother is an example for me, but precisely an example of how it shouldn't be."