The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam — the home where Anne and her family hid during Nazi occupation in World War II, now a museum in her honor — has just released heartbreaking research that suggests the beloved diarist died earlier than previously thought. Previously, the Red Cross estimated that Anne Frank died of typhus, aged 15, sometime in March 1945, just weeks before the Bergen-Belson concentration camp where she was imprisoned was liberated. But now, based on eyewitness testimonies and archives from Bergen-Belsen, the Red Cross, and the International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen, it is believed that Anne died a month earlier, in February.
“One day they simply weren’t there anymore,” said Rachel van Amerongen, a Holocaust survivor and friend to Anne and her sister, Margot. Researchers have concluded that “it is unlikely that [Anne and Margot] survived until the end of March. In view of this, the date of their death is more likely to be sometime in February. The exact date is unknown.”
The news is a heart-wrenching reminder of what this young woman endured, but it is also a reminder of Frank’s persevering spirit in the face of tragedy. Her memory, and her words, still hold so much meaning and relevance today.
Anne Frank’s diary remains one of the most essential pieces of writing in existence — a 13-year-old girl’s account of the most horrifying genocide in modern history. But more than that, Anne’s diary was a beautifully-written autobiography of a brilliant young girl, full of hope, potential and bravery. This year marks the 70th anniversary of Anne’s final diary entry, and she continues to inspire us with her spirit and courage. Today, we’re remembering her with a few of her most empowering quotes — because she so very much deserves and needs to be remembered for them.
1. “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.“
2. “It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”
3. “I know what I want, I have a goal, an opinion, I have a religion and love. Let me be myself and then I am satisfied. I know that I’m a woman, a woman with inward strength and plenty of courage.”
4. “No one has ever become poor by giving.”
5. “People can tell you to keep your mouth shut, but it doesn’t stop you having your own opinion. Even if people are still very young, they shouldn’t be prevented from saying what they think.”
6. “Generally speaking, men are held in great esteem in all parts of the world, so why shouldn’t women have their share? Soldiers and war heroes are honored and commemorated, explorers are granted immortal fame, martyrs are revered, but how many people look upon women too as soldiers?”
7. “Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”
8. “Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!”
9. “What is done cannot be undone, but one can prevent it happening again.”
10. “I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.”
11. “In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.”
12. “Writing in a diary is a really strange experience for someone like me. Not only because I’ve never written anything before, but also because it seems to me that later on neither I nor anyone else will be interested in the musings of a thirteen-year old school girl. Oh well, it doesn’t matter. I feel like writing.”