Temporary exhbition on Edith Frank-Holländer, with many newly discovered photos from her youth. The exhibition was on display in the Anne Frank House in 2011-2012.

Edith Frank-Holländer, Anne's mother

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Most people know little more about Anne Frank’s mother than what her daughter wrote about her. And that isn’t always flattering. The acquired photos give us a glimpse of Edith’s life before she was married. We see a cheerful young woman, beautifully dressed, enjoying herself at parties and trips to the seaside. Later, after the birth of Margot and Anne, she still seems happy and full of confidence in the future.

Edith and her family

On 12 May 1925 Edith marries Otto Frank, eleven years her senior. Edith and Otto go to live in Frankfurt am Main. They have two daughters.

Life in the Netherlands

When Hitler comes to power in 1933, the Frank family emigrates to Amsterdam. In the Netherlands too the family do not escape persecution by the Nazis.


She hasn’t told me anything about herself, and I’ve never asked her to. What do we know of each other’s thoughts?  

Anne Frank, 8 February 1944

A Jewish family

Edith Holländer was born on 16 January 1900 in Aachen, the fourth child of a well-off religious Jewish family. Her forefathers emigrated from the Netherlands to Germany at the end of the eighteenth century, which is why they were called Holländer.

The first known photo of Edith Holländer, from 1915, then aged 15. The photo was probably taken during a school trip. Edith is the fifth girl from the right.

Edith's youth

Edith has two older brothers, Julius and Walter, and an older sister, Bettina. Bettina dies in 1914. After leaving the evangelical Viktoriaschule in 1916 Edith works for several years in the family firm, a successful machinery and components, scrap metal, and old clothes and paper business.

Photo portrait of Edith from 1918.
Edith (second from the left) and her brother Walter with two unknown friends at the seaside.


Religion is important to Edith. She reads a lot, enjoys going to parties and loves beautiful clothes. Anne writes in her diary on 8 May 1944: ‘we’ve listened open-mouthed to stories of private balls, dinners and engagement parties with 250 guests’.

A festive gathering, around 1920. Edith is at the front on the left.
Edith Holländer, around 1920
On a day trip. Year and place unknown.
Edith (second from the left) with some unknown friends.

Edith and her family Edith, Otto, Margot and Anne

On 12 May 1925 Edith Holländer marries Otto Frank, eleven years her senior.


Life in Amsterdam Emigration to the Netherlands

When Hitler comes to power in 1933, the family emigrates to Amsterdam.