By Kayla Green
Every day, countless tourists flock to the Anne Frank House to visit the hiding place of young Anne, her family and acquaintances. The widespread popularity of her diary, which is one of the world’s most widely read books and the basis for several plays and films, has made Anne Frank one of the most well-known Jewish victims of the Holocaust. While the Diary of Anne Frank is an undeniable historical gem, as well as an extraordinary source of first hand emotion, one story remains relatively overlooked: that of her sister Margot, The Other Frank. Though a temporary exhibit running at the Anne Frank House is dedicated to shining some light on Margot, its title, “Anne’s Sister,” still casts her as a secondary character.
Notwithstanding, Margot is referenced many times in the diary. Through Anne’s narrative, one is able to get a general sense of Margot’s personality, background, and living conditions. We learn that Margot spoke Dutch, made friends and continued to do her Latin homework, even when in hiding. We know that she was born in 1926 and aspired to be a maternity nurse in Palestine. She played sports such as tennis and skating and participated in rowing races until 1941, when she was forced to leave the rowing club because she was Jewish. Along with the rest of the family, Margot spent the months between July 1942 and August 1944 hiding in the secret annex. In March, 1945, she died in the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen, just weeks before its liberation.
Of, course, her sister’s diary cannot provide a very profound and sensitive understanding of Margot’s thoughts and emotions. Margot also kept a diary, however, unlike her sister’s, it was never found. The world will never know what kind of effect her words might have had. The girls’ father, Otto Franks, the sole survivor of the family, expressed his astonishment that Anne’s diary that became renowned; the depth Anne displayed in her diary was a quality he usually attributed to Margot.
The exhibit also includes insight from Margot’s best friend who resents the lack of attention paid to Margot’s story. “After the war Otto Frank was so busy with Anne Frank’s diary. He was very impressed with what readers of the diary had written to him. I told him then. ‘I think it’s wonderful what you are doing for Anne, but I think it’s a pity that nothing is mentioned anymore about Margot. She is also worthy of being mentioned.’”
One of the many reasons The Diary of Anne Frank is so popular is that readers can relate to it. The personal journey of a young girl allows readers to empathize with Anne, reminding them that every Holocaust victim was a real person, just like them. Furthermore, the relatable nature of the book allows Anne to speak for countless young victims whose words were lost and voices were silenced. It is all too easy to forget that Margot Frank was among those silenced voices.
4 thoughts on “The Lost Diary of Margot Frank”
Well done. How interesting to find a new perspective in which to view this family’s history. Thank you for giving me another reason to peruse it.
You have made Margot come to life and be remembered. Ironically, although she is mentioned in the Exhibit, she still is not given her due. Thanks for making us more aware of Margot and of course, not forget those that suffered and lost their lives without having a diary of their own.
Interesting Margots’ was never found could some of the scattered papers been some of Margots why was it never looked for, seems like by now someone after 70 some of years would have found it somewhere maybe Anne alludes to where the diary may be. Fwhat I found real interesting is to this day noone knows whom turned them in, that would also be interesting to know and whos to say that person found Margots diary.
Margot probably packed up her diary and brought it with her after their arrest. But wouldn’t it be incredible if it was hidden somewhere in the annex… behind a wall or underneath a floorboard.