Holocaust victim; famous diarist. Anne Frank was born Annelies Marie Frank on June 12, 1929, in Frankfurt, Germany. Her mother was Edith Frank, and her father,Otto Frank, was a lieutenant in the German Army during World War I who later became a businessman in Germany and the Netherlands. Frank also had a sister named Margot, three years her senior. The Franks were a typical upper middle-class German-Jewish family living in a quiet, religiously diverse neighborhood near the outskirts of Frankfurt. However, Frank was born on the eve of dramatic changes in German society that would soon disrupt her family's happy, tranquil life as well as the lives of all other German Jews.
Due in large part to the harsh sanctions imposed on Germany by the 1919 Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I, the German economy struggled terribly in the 1920s. During the late 1920s and early 1930s, the virulently anti-Semitic National German Socialist Workers Party (Nazi Party) led by Adolph Hitler became Germany's leading political force, winning control of the government in 1933. "I can remember that as early as 1932, groups of Storm Troopers came marching by, singing 'When Jewish blood splatters from the knife,'" Otto Frank recalled. When Hitler became Chancellor of Germany on January 20, 1933, the Frank family immediately realized that it was time to flee. Otto later said, "Though this did hurt me deeply, I realized that Germany was not the world, and I left my country forever."
The Franks moved to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in the fall of 1933. Anne Frank described the circumstances of her family's emigration years later in her diary: "Because we're Jewish, my father immigrated to Holland in 1933, where he became the managing director of the Dutch Opekta Company, which manufactures products used in making jam." After years of enduring anti-Semitism in Germany, the Franks were relieved to once again enjoy freedom in their new hometown of Amsterdam. "In those days it was