Germany / Story

Anne Frank's stay in Aachen




​​The story of Anne Frank is well known due to her father's publication of her diary. Although her life in hiding was well documented through her own thoughts written in the diary, the escape route of her family had several stops before ending in Amsterdam. One stop was the house of her grandmother in Aachen, where she stayed for several months.

​​Annelies 'Anne' Marie Frank was born in Frankfurt/Main on 12 June 1929, and died in Bergen-Belsen in 1944. She became known through the posthumous publication of her diary by her father. Since then she has been perceived as representing persecuted and murdered children.

Anne's private records cover a time period from 12 June 1942 to 1 August 1944. Not only do they give the reader insight into the adolescent's daily life in hiding in Amsterdam, but they also describe the life of the Jewish Frank family before their long and carefully planned escape from Germany in 1933. The city of Aachen played a central role in this journey. Since 1932, Anne's parents, Otto and Edith Frank (née Holländer), had been considering leaving Germany as their daily lives and professional opportunities were increasingly affected by the strengthening National Socialist policies. Otto, who worked in the banking industry, decided to follow the advice of his brother-in-law. He gave up the apartment in Frankfurt and left to build up a new professional existence in Amsterdam, in order to be able to offer his family a new livelihood there.

To this end, the family separated for several months. During this time, Anne and her older sister Margot initially lived with their mother in Frankfurt at Otto's mother's house. Then, from September 1933 to 7 December 1933, they lived on the 1st floor of the house at Pastorenplatz 1 in Aachen with Edith's mother, Rosa. Anne herself stayed longer in Aachen, remaining at the house with her grandmother until 16 February 1934, even after her sister and mother moved to Amsterdam to join her father in December 1933. Although in her diaries Anne later described strong affection for her grandmother Rosa, according to a former neighbouring Jewish boy her stay in Aachen was determined by loneliness, especially in the period after her sister had left.

After the Reichsprogromnacht in 1938, the family also tried to get grandmother Rosa out of the country to Amsterdam. In March 1939 they succeeded in doing so. In January 1942, after a long illness, Rosa Holländer died in Amsterdam.

Pastorplatz 1, 52070 Aachen