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Who Is Anne Frank?

During the Holocaust, more than 1. 5 million innocent children died. The Nazis supported the killing of the children because the Nazis thought of the children as “unwanted” or “dangerous. ” The Nazis used the children as subjects to their medical experiments and for forced labor. The Nazis thought of the killings as a “racial struggle” or a measure to protect their people and only their people. Some causes of death for the children were that they were killed upon arrival in killing centers, some children were killed immediately after birth, some children died in the institutions that they were put in.

The children of the Holocaust could either try and hide to survive or they could not hide and try and survive, but that choice was not up to the children. The parents had the hardest choice to make ever. They could either give up their child to potentially save them or they could try and save them by keeping them close and not letting them go. If they were to give up their child they would have to find somewhere where they could hide them or find someone to hide them with. But, it was never that simple. If the parents chose to hide their children with someone, or “rescuers” they would have to pay them.

The “rescuers” would decide how much they wanted to be paid and for how long. If the parents chose to keep their children so they could go with you everywhere there was always a chance that they would take your child away and place them somewhere else. The parents had one of the hardest decisions to make and the safety of their child would rely on what decision they would make. “Rescuers” or foster families were an important part to the decision of the parents of the children. The “rescuers” or foster families were people who would “hide” your child.

According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, “studies showed that more than 80% of the hidden children interviewed were treated well by their rescuers, while 15% were occasionally mistreated, and some 5% were treated badly,” (“Hidden Children: Hardships”). They would try and give your child a normal life by giving them a new name and taking them to school. During the long hours of school the children would have to show no Jewish culture. They could not talk Jewish and they could not do anything that would make them out as Jewish.

The “rescuer’s” lives changed once they took in a child. They had to act and do things differently in their household. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, “foster families created elaborate explanations for the presence of a new face in their home,” (“Hidden Children: Hardships”). “Rescuers” had an important role in the Jewish society and they were just ordinary people helping their community. Separation was hard for older children because they knew who their parents were and they would soon want to reunite with their parents and may not get that opportunity.

As where young children did not know their birth names or had forgotten them since the young children may have been separated close to birth. In some cases the young children thought that their foster parents were actually their biological parents. Some young children thought of their real parents as strangers and wanted nothing to do with them because they did not ever know them so they were strangers to the children. Once reunited with their biological parents many children wanted nothing more than to be back with their foster parents because all their life their foster parents were all that they had known.

Many children even ran away to be with their foster parents. There were many children who even thought that their parents gave them up because they were not wanted and that they must have been bad children for their biological parents to give them up but that was not the case at all. After the Holocaust was over some children were finally found, but the parents did not have any proof that the child was theirs. Most foster parents never wanted to return the child to their biological parents because they had grown such a close bond with them.

So that “happily ever after” was never recognized. If the children never went to a foster home to hide they would eventually go to the Nazi concentration camps. Some of the well known concentration camps were Auschwitz, Bergen Belsen, and Belzec. Inside the concentration camps there was very scarce food. According to The Holocaust Explained, “for lunch prisoners would be given a liter of watery soup, if they were lucky they might find a piece of turnip or potato peel,” (“Meals”). Many prisoners treated food as gold.

When they received food they devoured it without hesitation because they were starving and had nothing else to eat. The lack of food, poor diet, and hard labor caused many prisoners to suffer from starvation. The starvation caused massive weight loss and muscle tissue loss. According to The Holocaust Explained, “for the first two years of the concentration camp’s existence the prisoners had no access to water for washing. When there was water later, it was not clean,” (“Meals”). Many children were forced to do hard labor inside the concentration camps.

Children who were over the age of 12 were used to clean prisoner barracks. Death became normal to those children inside the concentration camps. They would see one person one day and the next day that person might be gone. The children learned to not get attached because they never knew how long someone was going to survive. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, “children were a prime target for the Nazis. More than 1. 5 million children were killed during the Holocaust,” (“Children During the Holocaust”).

Many children died from starvation, exposure, and lack of proper clothing and shelter. There were also experimental trials that the Nazis conducted on children. One of the experiments was only done on twins. According to BBC News, ”Josef Mengele was a well-known researcher who studied twins at Auschwitz, he never got in trouble if the twins died. If one twin died the other would be murdered,” (“The twins of Auschwitz”). There were several different experiments that Mengele had performed on twins. One of the experiments was designed to try and change the eye color of each twin.

According to BBC News, “there were records found of a prisoner doctor and bacteriologist who were forced to work for Mengele. The records showed that 732 pairs of twins were used in all of the different experiments,” (“The twins of Auschwitz”). Liberation would eventually come for those children who could survive the harshest conditions of the concentration camps. According to the Jewish Virtual Library, “only 6 to 11% of children survived as compared to 33% of the adults” (“Death”). Many children were killed by Nazis in spite of fear.

Liberation of several different concentration camps led to the release of several unhealthy and dying children. Most children who were dying could not be helped. They were already at their death point. Those lives of the children who were able to be saved changed forever. Those children who happened to live through the Holocaust had both mental and emotional ramifications. In most cases the children’s family and friends had been killed during the Holocaust and their entire social grid was gone. They would have to adapt to a new family and try and live a normal life but, it never worked that way.

Some children felt guilt and remorse all throughout the rest of their life because they thought they were the one to blame for the killing of their family and friends. Many children who lost their parents and siblings cried for several months because they were severely depressed. To return to a normal life was difficult because they had been in hiding for so long they were used to everything being handed to them. The children never had to do anything because they were in hiding and did not want to get exposed.

Some children decided to share their stories with the world. By telling their stories they were sharing them with the entire world. Although some stories were not made famous all of them are meaningful and extraordinary. Annelies Marie Frank, also known as Anne Frank, was one of the thousands of Jewish children who were killed in the Holocaust. She became a well-known name and a popular victim of the Holocaust after her Diary was published, The Diary of a Young Girl. Anne Frank was born on June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany.

Before the Holocaust, her family was an upper middle-class family. Her mother was Edith Frank and her father was Otto Frank. Anne Frank also had a sister named Margot Frank. Their family was a liberal Jewish family. When Anne was 13 years old her family had to go into hiding from the Nazis. They went into hiding with another family that was also Jewish. Anne’s father owned a company building and inside of the building there was a hiding space for them to hide until the Holocaust got over. They were all able to hide behind a bookshelf door so they could not be found.

During the time of hiding Anne kept a diary of the days in hiding. But, on August 4, 1944 Anne and her family were captured and sent to the concentration camps. Anne Frank died on March 1, 1945 when she was only 15 years old. The only one to survive the concentration camps was Anne’s father, Otto. Otto Frank later found Anne’s diary and decided to get it published so the whole world could see what the family had gone through. Although Anne’s story was famous, there were a thousand more story that did not become as famous and need to be recognized.

Millions of children were killed during the Holocaust. Children were killed because they were seen as dangerous. Children were killed by gas chamber and by medical experiments that somehow never seemed to go according to the plans. Although there were millions of children that were killed there were always those few kids that were somehow able to survive. Those kids who were able to survive shared their story for the whole world to see and some became more famous than others but they will always be remembered for their bravery and courage to share their stories.

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