Remembering Anne: Rare Video Footage of Otto Frank

by on December 25, 2014

‘To build up a future, you have to know the past.’

In this rare archive footage, Otto Frank, the father of Anne Frank – who is immortalised through her diary – talks about¬†one of the most important and moving documents to have come out of World War II. Anne Frank’s diary, which she kept between the ages of 13 to just short of 16, are a catalogue of the years the Frank family spent in hiding, when Hitler’s Nazi Germany prosecuted the Jewish community home and abroad.

In her diary, Anne Frank writes about the war and her experience of living in hiding in the ‘Secret Annexe’ in the office of an old office building. Cloistered together with a dozen other people, Anne movingly and honestly writes about her aspirations, dreams and fears, her personal relationships with her parents, and the larger issues of life, hope, death, and suffering.

Anne Frank’s diary has come to be recognised as one of the most important voices of our time, rediscovered each year by generations of readers. One of the reasons her diary is so enduring is because the 13 year old girl who wrote it conveys issues both big and small, that mattered then and that matter now – her voice is timeless, honest, and stunningly articulate.

After he lost his entire family in the events leading up to the prosecution and extermination of Jews across Germany and other parts of Europe – what came to be known as the Holocaust – Otto Frank, the only survivor of his family, rounded up the documents and writings left behind in the Secret Annexe. What he found left him stunned and immeasurably moved: Anne’s writings: among them her short stories and, most¬†importantly, her diary.

At the urging of his friends, Otto Frank first published the diary in Dutch in the summer of 1947. Since then, the diary has only grown more popular and beloved with each passing year. Reflecting on his daughter and her diary, Otto Frank recollects the memories of Secret Annexe. He also reflects on the true nature of the parent-child relationship, and how, as evidenced by his own personal experience, most parents ‘don’t really know their children’. Stressing the importance of drawing from history, Otto Frank looks towards the future with hope, and gives us a lasting message to look back and learn from the past.

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