Otto Frank

Otto Frank is born on May 12, 1889 in Frankfurt am Main. He has an older brother Robert (1886), a younger brother Herbert (1891) and a sister Helene (1893). His father Michael heads the family bank, which specializes in currency trading. The Franks are liberal Jews.

In her autobiography, Miep Gies describes Otto Frank as: "The calm one, the children’s teacher, the most logical, the one who balanced everything out. He was the leader, the one in charge. When a decision had to be made, all eyes turned to Mr. Frank.”

Studies cut short

After completing high school, Otto studies art history for a summer semester at the University of Heidelberg. He works at a bank for a year and then has the opportunity, via a school friend, to do an internship at Macy’s Department Store in New York City. Otto leaves for the States at the beginning of September 1909. Unfortunately, he must return shortly after his arrival due his father's death on September 17, 1909.

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Various jobs

After a short time, Otto Frank once again leaves for the United States. This visit lasts two years. He first works for Macy’s Department Store and then in a bank. In the fall of 1911, Otto returns to Germany. He lands a job working for a company in Düsseldorf that manufactures window frames, then he changes over to a company that produces horseshoes for the German Army. After World War I Otto Frank reluctantly takes over in charge of the family bank with his brother Herbert from his mother. Herbert has not shown a real talent for banking and the family business does not interest his older brother Robert.

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Otto in the First World War

World War One begins in 1914. Otto Frank is drafted into the German Army that next year, just like his brothers. His mother and sister work as volunteers at a military hospital in Frankfurt. Otto is sent to the western front and during the war is promoted to the rank of lieutenant. The war comes to an end in 1918, having claimed a million lives. Otto Frank and his brothers, as well as his mother and sister, survive the war.

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May 12, 1889

Born in Frankfurt am Main (Germany).

1908

Studies art history in Heidelberg (Germany).

August 1909-1911

Leaves for New York to gain work experience at Macy’s department store and in a bank.

August 1915

Otto is drafted into the military.

1917

Otto is promoted to the rank of army lieutenant.

May 12, 1925

Otto marries Edith Holländer in Aachen (Germany).

February 16, 1926

Margot Frank is born.

June 12, 1929

Anne Frank is born.

Summer 1933

Edith, Margot and Anne stay with their grandmother in Aachen. Otto travels on to Amsterdam.

September 1933

Otto sets up the Opekta company and becomes director.

1938

The Pectacon company is set up.

December 1940

Opekta and Pectacon move to Prinsengracht 263.

December 1941

Jews are forbidden to own their own businesses, so Otto appoints Mr Kleiman and Mr Kugler as directors, but remains in charge behind the scenes.

July 6, 1942

The Frank family goes into hiding.

June 25, 1947

Otto gets the diary published in the Netherlands.

1952

Otto moves to Basel (Switzerland).

November 10, 1953

Otto marries Elfriede (Fritzi) Markovits.

May 3, 1960

Otto attends the opening of the Anne Frank House.

August 19, 1980

Otto dies in Basel (Switzerland).

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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Edith Frank Anne and Margot's mother, Otto's wife

Edith has trouble settling down in the Netherlands.

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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 writes:

Besides, I can't confide in anyone unless they tell me a lot about them-
selves, and because I know very little about Pim [Otto],
I can't get on a more intimate footing... I've hid anything having to do with me from Father, never shared my ideals with him, deliberately alienated myself from him.