New photos of Margot Frank, Anne's sister


Feb. 13, 2020 — In the run-up to Margot Frank's 94th birthday on 16 February, the Anne Frank House is sharing two new pictures of Margot, Anne's sister.

Margot is visibly enjoying herself, together with her crew mates. The pictures were taken in the summer of 1941, by their gym teacher and rowing coach Roos van Gelder. It was the last summer in which then 15-year-old Margot would be rowing. The close-up shows Margot on the right, in the other, Margot is in the middle of the outer boat.

Rowing in Amsterdam

Margot Frank (16 February 1926) was a member of the Society for the Promotion of Water Sports among Young People (Vereeniging ter Bevordering van de Watersport onder Jongeren). The rowers went to the Girls' Lyceum and used the facilities of the club, located near the Berlage Bridge in Amsterdam. Roos van Gelder was their coach. Due to ever stricter anti-Jewish measures, Margot was no longer allowed to row from mid-September 1941 onwards, and Roos van Gelder, who was also Jewish, was no longer allowed to coach the girls. Their non-Jewish teammates showed solidarity and gave up rowing as well. In the summer of 1941, however, the law that banned Jews from participating in public sports had not yet taken force, and Margot rowed with her club to the Frog Island near Ouderkerk. 


Teresien da Silva, Head of Collections at the Anne Frank House: ‘Margot was a beautiful, bright, and sporty girl. We already had some pictures of Margot on skis, on ice skates, and on the tennis court, and now we also have photos of Margot with her rowing club. These new photos show a cheerful girl, enjoying herself with her crew mates. They are a delight. We are very grateful to Paul Mensinga, Roos van Gelder’s nephew, for donating both photos.'


Anne frequently wrote about her sister Margot, who was three years older. ‘Margot doesn't need raising, since she's naturally good, kind, and clever,’ Anne wrote in her diary on 27 September 1942. No matter how different the sisters were, their relationship was strong. And it was to grow even stronger during the months after their arrest and being taken from the Secret Annex. They stayed together until the end. Margot Frank, like Anne, succumbed to spotted typhus in February 1945, two months before the camp was liberated by British soldiers.