Anne Frank’s Birthday

On 12 June 1942 Anne Frank celebrated her thirteenth birthday. One of her favourite presents was a diary with a checked cover, which she had picked out together with her father. Anne was also given flowers, candy and books, she baked cookies for her teachers and classmates, and she gave a party for her friends. A few weeks later she had to go into hiding, together with her parents and her sister Margot. The first thing Anne packed to take with her was her diary.

The people in hiding in the secret annex tried to keep their spirits up, and they continued to celebrate Anne’s birthday, with the necessary improvisation and the support of their helpers. For Anne’s fourteenth birthday her father Otto put pen to paper and wrote a poem in German, which Margot translated into Dutch. Anne copied out part of the poem in her diary, and wrote that she’d been thoroughly spoiled and been given some lovely presents, including a thick book on her favourite subject, Greek and Roman mythology. ‘As the Benjamin of the Annex, I got more than I deserve.’

On her fifteenth birthday Anne was once again showered with gifts from the people in hiding and the helpers, and again many of the presents were books. Peter gave her a bouquet of peonies. ‘Another birthday has gone by, so now I’m fifteen’, wrote Anne a day later.

It was Anne’s last birthday.

See also

Achterhuis Online

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