The story of Anne Frank is one that stands the test of time. Anne Frank was a young Jewish girl that was forced into hiding during World War II to escape the Nazis. Together with seven others, she hid in the Secret Annex at Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam for two years.
Anne Frank, who was born in Germany, was forced to leave the country with her family after Hitler's rise to power. After settling in Amsterdam, Anne's father Otto set up a business and a life for his family with Anne and her sister attending school. When threat of war increased in Europe, Otto attempted to emigrate to England or the USA, but to no avail. Once Germany invaded Poland in 1939, it was the beginning of the Second World War. In 1940, German troops invaded the Netherlands, who surrendered and were then occupied. Soon after being occupied, Anti-Jewish regulations were implemented. On 5 July 1942, Margot Frank, Anne's sister, received a call-up to report for a German work camp. The next day the Frank family went into hiding. They remained in the Secret Annex for more than two years. In hiding, they had to keep very quiet, were often frightened, and passed the time together as well as they could. Shortly before going into hiding, Anne received a diary for her birthday. She started writing about occurrences in the Secret Annex and about herself. Her diary was a great support to her during that time.
The Secret Annex was restored to be opened to the public on 3 May 1960 and the number of annual visitors has grown beyond belief, with several tens of thousands in the first years to nearly 1.3 million a year today. It is now one of the key attractions of Amsterdam and showcases one of the cornerstones of the city's history. The Anne Frank House contains a series of items from that time including letters, documents, books, and photographs of the family.