January 28, 2021

Margot Frank also wrote a diary | Culture


“We often listen to the radio because we are in a difficult time, having a border with Germany and being [Países Bajos] small; We never felt safe. ” Margot Frank, Ana’s older sister, thus expressed the concern of the family in a letter written in Amsterdam on April 27, 1940 addressed to Betty Ann Wagner, a teenager who lived in Danville (United States) and was the same age: 14 years. It is one of the few testimonies of Margot Frank that have survived because the newspaper he kept during his days in Amsterdam it has been lost, unlike what happened with that of her little sister. In July 1942, and shortly before hiding with her family and four other people, Ana wrote in her diary that her sister was wearing her own and describes her with admiration: “If there were a mention cum laude, they would have given it to him. This is the list. ”

The two sisters had the same dreadful end, a few days apart, in February 1945 in the Nazi concentration camp in Bergen-Belsen, but the strength (and survival) of Ana’s account during her confinement has eclipsed Margot’s figure, almost unknown. The recent donation of two photographs in which he appears smiling, before everything took an irreversible turn, provide some details about his life.

Margot Frank was born in 1926 in Frankfurt, just like Ana, and emigrated with her parents, Otto and Edith, to the Netherlands in 1933, when measures against the Jews began in Germany. Hitler was elected Chancellor that year, and Otto Frank opened in Amsterdam the branch of a pectin factory – a thickener used in food – and spices. Margot was then seven years old and, although he came to class without knowing Dutch, he soon excelled in studies. After primary school, he attended the women’s municipal high school, and excelled in science and mathematics. One of her companions, Jetteke Frijda, said of her that “she is the best in everything, but she does not presume; You can trust and learn from his example. It speaks little of itself and little in general, ”as stated in the documentation presented at the Anne Frank House.

Margot Frank, in the middle in the back boat, in a rowing club in 1941.


Margot Frank, in the middle in the back boat, in a rowing club in 1941. Anne Frank House

When the Nazis expelled the Jews from public schools, Margot went to the Jewish Lyceum. Shortly after, the young woman received an order to be transferred to a German labor camp, and her parents decided to hide in the back of a house. Before they had tried unsuccessfully to march to the United States.

The donated images, in black and white, are dated in the summer of 1941. In the first, Margot, who was then 15 years old, appears on the right, next to a friend of the rowing club. In the other, it is in the center, in one of the boats. The images were taken by Roos van Gelder, the rowing instructor, who worked at the Association for the Promotion of Water Sports in Amsterdam. A month later, everything changed: neither of the two sisters could return to the club because they were Jewish. The photos have been transferred to the Anne Frank House by Paul Mesinga, the instructor’s nephew.

Margot would have liked to be a midwife, and in 1941 he joined the Dutch Zionist club for young people who wanted to emigrate to Palestine and found a Jewish state. In the hiding place, until his arrest by the Gestapo, on August 4, 1944, the relationship with his little sister had ups and downs. “I don’t get along with Margot (…) his way of being and his mother’s are so different from mine,” Ana notes in the Diary. He also says that he jokes about “what perfect lady” Margot looks like, because “maybe I will teach her not to be so good.” Despite the tensions, coexistence finally improved. Affection prevailed: “Last night we were together in my bed. We couldn’t fit, but that made it very fun. ” On February 16, Margot Frank would have turned 94.

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