Anne Frank’s last months
Margot and Anne, 1933, Aken. Photo E. Kuphaldt.
Amsterdam , 3/31/2015
It is 70 years ago this year that Anne Frank died of typhus in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, as one of the many victims of the camp. The exact date of her death is unknown. At the time, the Red Cross officially concluded that she died at some time between 1 and 31 March 1945. Now new research by the Anne Frank House has shed fresh light on the last months of Anne Frank and her sister Margot. It is unlikely that they were still alive in March; their deaths must have occurred in February 1945.
On the desolate expanse of the Lunenburg Heath, the former site of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, stands a small memorial to Anne and Margot Frank. Flowers and tokens of remembrance are often left there, as if it were their grave. In reality they, like tens of thousands of other victims of Bergen-Belsen, died at an unknown time in an unknown place.
The Red Cross concluded that Anne and Margot died at some time between 1 and 31 March 1945. The Dutch authorities later set the official date of death at 31 March for both Anne and Margot. But where does this date come from? The Anne Frank House has carried out new research into the last months of Anne and Margot. The archives of the Red Cross, the International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen and the Bergen-Belsen Memorial were studied, together with as many eyewitness testimonies of survivors as possible. Research was also carried out into the existing literature.
The research sheds new light on the last months of Anne and Margot. It is unlikely that they were still alive in March. Seventy years later, we can state that the date of their deaths must have been in February 1945.