Vandaag eren we Anne Frank

Vandaag eren we Anne Frank

Vandaag eren we Anne Frank – This post includes mentions of the Holocaust, which may be sensitive to some readers. 

Today’s slideshow Doodle honors globally renowned Jewish German-Dutch diarist and Holocaust victim Anne Frank. Although only written between the ages of 13-15, her personal account of the Holocaust and events of the war remains one of the most poignant and widely-read accounts to date. Today’s Doodle features real excerpts from her diary, which describes what she and her friends and family experienced in hiding for over two years. Today is the 75th anniversary of the publication of her diary, which is widely considered one of the most essential books in modern history. 

Anne Frank was born on June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany, but her family soon moved to Amsterdam, Netherlands to escape the increasing discrimination and violence faced by millions of minorities at the hands of the growing Nazi party. World War II ignited when Anne was 10 years old, and soon after, Germany invaded the Netherlands, bringing the war to her family’s doorstep. Jewish people were particularly targeted by the Nazi regime, experiencing imprisonment, execution, or forced relocation to inhumane concentration camps. Unable to live and practice freely and safely, millions of Jews were forced to flee their homes or go into hiding. In the spring of 1942, Anne’s family did just that, hiding in a secret annex in her father’s office building to avoid persecution.

The Frank family, like millions of others, were forced to act quickly and leave nearly everything behind to seek protection. Among Anne’s few possessions was an unassuming gift she had received on her thirteenth birthday just weeks earlier: a checkered hardback notebook. It soon became her vehicle to change the world forever. Over the following 25 months in hiding, she filled its pages with a heartfelt account of teenage life in the “secret annex,” from small details to her most profound dreams and fears. Hopeful that her diary entries could be published after the war, Anne consolidated her writing into one cohesive story titled “Het Achterhuis” (“The Secret Annex”). 

On August 4, 1944, the Frank family was found out by the Nazi Secret Service, arrested, and taken to a detention center where they were forced to perform hard labor. They were then forcibly deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland where they lived in cramped, unhygienic conditions. A few months later, Anne and Margot Frank were transported to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. In addition to the brutal, intentional killings of prisoners by Nazi forces, deadly diseases spread rapidly. Eventually, Anne and Margot  succumbed to the inhumane conditions they were forced to live in. Anne Frank was just 15 years old.

Although Anne Frank did not survive the horrors of the Holocaust, her account of those years, commonly known as “The Diary of Anne Frank,” has since become one of the most widely read works of non-fiction ever published. Translated into upwards of 80 languages, Frank’s memoir is a staple in today’s classrooms, utilized as a tool to educate generations of children about the Holocaust and the terrible dangers of discrimination and tyranny. 

Thank you, Anne, for sharing a critical window into your experience and our collective past, but also unwavering hope for our future. 


Pictured: Anne Frank

Courtesy of the Anne Frank Fonds


Pictured: Anne Frank

Courtesy of the Anne Frank Fonds



Special thanks to Anne Frank Fonds Basel for their collaboration on this project. Below, foundation representatives Yves Kugelmann and Barbara Eldridge share their thoughts on the Doodle and Anne Frank’s legacy.

The stories of victims of discrimination and violence often remain unheard.

The Diary of Anne Frank bears witness to discrimination and violence. Anne’s father, Otto Frank, decided to publish her texts soon after the war, with the aim of warning against anti-Semitism and ethnic marginalisation, as well as creating a foundation for dialogue between generations and countries. He wanted his daughter’s diary to give a voice to all victims of Nazism. 

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of the first edition of Anne Frank’s diary, and today’s Doodle opens the door to the past but also raises awareness of the present. There are still millions of children around the world today who are fleeing from war, ethnic marginalization, and racism. We hope this Doodle serves as a reminder of their destiny and helps give them a voice in the spirit of Otto Frank’s charitable vision as reflected in the creation of the Anne Frank Fonds Basel and its partners today, UNICEF and UNESCO.



Doodler Q&A with Thoka Maer

Today’s Doodle was illustrated by Doodle Art Director Thoka Maer. Below, she shares her thoughts behind the making of this Doodle:


Q. Why was this topic meaningful to you personally? 

A. As a German you always have a very specific relationship to anything relating to the Holocaust. When you grow up German, it is an inescapable part of your identity. My generation doesn’t carry a sense of guilt and all the trepidations that come with it anymore, but there is a deep sense of responsibility and constant awareness of the past and an active effort to preserve the memory to help prevent something like this from happening again. I feel incredibly privileged and honored to contribute to extending history with this Doodle.

Q. What were your first thoughts when you started working on this Doodle?

A. It was immediately clear how big of a task this was going to be and I felt a huge sense of responsibility. It would be seen internationally and everyone knows Anne. Gladly, there is a whole team behind each Doodle. Being able to rely on Jewish community consultants and having Anne Frank Fonds on board as a decision maker in the process was critical to getting it right.

The tragedy of Anne’s story and those that experienced it with her is indescribable and hard to sit with. For anyone. Violence, loss, and guilt are present at every step. I knew I would have to spend a lot of time on thinking about how to do justice to the depth of the tragedy and the severity of the circumstances while also considering that not everyone engaging with the Doodle can or wishes to process the intensity that it has.

Q. Did you draw inspiration from anything in particular for this Doodle? 

A. We developed many different art concepts over time, but landed on something that tries to stay as close to her story as possible. Anne was an incredible writer and had an ability for personal insights we often don’t think people her age are capable of. We wanted to make sure that people could get an introduction to that.

The overall design is inspired by the layered collage style of her diary. Besides the original text snippets itself, the scenes and the photographs are all based on her words in the diary itself.

Q. What message do you hope people take away from your Doodle?

A. We live in a world today in which Anne’s experience is only a variation of some people’s current experience or something of their personal past. Anne is an individual that represents millions and makes the tragedy relatable and more accessible.

It’s easy to disassociate from these past events given time passed or personal identity differences and always think of the perpetrators as the others. However, the last few years have made us more aware that even those who committed these crimes or silently accepted them were just ‘normal’ people after all. Keeping stories like Anne’s alive and relatable is relevant, always. Especially for a younger generation who are learning about this part of history for the very first time. 

You can find more about Vandaag eren we Anne Frank on the official Google Doodle Page


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