Category Archives: Netherlands

Anne Frank 6.13.13 Thought of the Day

Somehow I missed Anne Frank’s birthday yesterday. So I’m posting her bioBLOG today instead.

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“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”— Anne Frank

Anne Frank

Anne Frank (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Annelies Marie Frank was born on June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Yesterday was the 84th anniversary of her birth.

Anne was the younger daughter of Otto and Edith Frank.  Otto Frank was a “lieutenant in the German Army during World War I who later became a businessman in Germany and the Netherlands..”[Biography.com] Anne’s older sister Margot was three years her senior.

The Franks were upper middle-class German Jews. They lived in a diverse neighborhood. Anne went to school and played with children of various religions. But when the Nazis came to power  in Germany Otto Frank moved his family to Amsterdam.

Anne Frank started at the Montessori School in 1934, and throughout the rest of the 1930s she lived a relatively happy and normal childhood. Frank had many friends, Dutch and German, Jewish and Christian, and she was a bright and inquisitive student. [Ibid]

She particularly liked reading and writing, while Margot liked arithmetic. It was one of the many ways in which the sisters were dissimilar. Anne was outgoing, rambunctious and loud; Margot was reserved, well behaved and quiet.

Germany invased the Netherlands on May 10, 1940. Anne later wrote about the invasion:

“After May 1940, the good times were few and far between; first there was the war, then the capitulation and then the arrival of the Germans, which is when the trouble started for the Jews.”

By October of 1940 Anti-Jewish laws were put into place. Anne and Margot had to leave their schools and attend the Jewish Lyceum.  The family had to sew the yellow Star of David on their clothing and had to follow a curfew. Otto Frank took measures to transfer his businesses to Gentile partners so the companies would not be liquidated.

For her birthday in 1942 Anne’s parents gave her a red and white checkered diary which she dubbed  “Kitty”. Less than a month later Margot was called up for service in a German work camp and the family went into hiding.

English: Reconstruction of the bookcase at the...

English: Reconstruction of the bookcase at the Anne Frank house. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the next two years her family, along with Herman, Auguste and Peter Van Pels and Fritz Pfeffer, lived in the secret annex of one of Otto Frank’s former businesses. Anne…

wrote extensive daily entries in her diary. Some betrayed the depth of despair into which she occasionally sunk during day after day of confinement. “I’ve reached the point where I hardly care whether I live or die,” she wrote on February 3, 1944. “The world will keep on turning without me, and I can’t do anything to change events anyway.” However, the act of writing allowed Frank to maintain her sanity and her spirits. “When I write, I can shake off all my cares,” [Biography.com]

The Secret Annex was raided on August 4, 1944 and Anne, her family and the others hiding there were taken to  Camp WesterBork in Northeast Netherlands. On September 3rd, 1944 They were transferred to Auschwitz in Poland. That winter Anne and Margot were transferred to Bergen-Belsen. Both girls contracted typhus and died in March of 1945.

Otto Frank, the only one from the Annex to survive the Camps, returned to Amsterdam after the War. He found Anne’s diary and had selections from it published. It has since been published as a novel, a play and filmed for both television and the big screen.

And so it is that Anne Frank’s words live on 71 years after she began to scribble them down in a little red and white diary.

“Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.”

English: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Fra...

English: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank on display at the Anne Frank Zentrum in Berlin, Germany. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For a terrific look inside Anne’s journey and life inside the Annex go HERE to The Secret Annex On Line


Queen Juliana 4.30.13 Thought of the Day

“It must be wonderful sport to contradict each other.” — Queen Juliana

Juliana in 1933. [Image courtesy: Wikipedia

Juliana in 1933. [Image courtesy: Wikipedia

Juliana Louise Emma Marie Wilhelmina was born on this day in The Hague, Netherlands, in 1909. Today is the 104th anniversary of her birth.

She is the only child of Queen Wilhelmina and Duke Henry of the House of Orange-Nassau. As a child she lived at the HetLoo, Noordeine and the Huis ten Bosch Palaces. A class room was built in the palace, and Juliana and three other royal children were educated there.

Queen Wilhelmina & Juliana

Queen Wilhelmina & Juliana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At 18 she was named Council of State.

She attended the University of Leiden where she studied international law. She graduated three years later in 1930.

She met her husband to be, a German, Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld at the 1936 Winter Olympics. Bernhard became a Dutch citizen, changed his name to Bernard, and the couple were married on January 7, 1937.

Princess Juliana on her wedding day (January 7...

Princess Juliana on her wedding day (January 7, 1937) (Photo credit: Empoor)

They had two daughters with in two years, Princess Beatrix in January of 1938 and Princess Irene in 1939.

As World War II loomed and Germany invaded the Netherlands (on May 12, 1940) the Royal family left the country for England. Bernard and Queen Wilhelmina stayed in Great Britain — the official Dutch Government in exile, Juliana and the children went to Ottawa,Canada. There she had her third daughter Margriet in 1943.

She returned to the Netherlands in August of 1945. As president of the Dutch Red Cross she worked tirelessly to help with post-war relief.

English: Standard of the Princesses of the Net...

English: Standard of the Princesses of the Netherlands – Daughters of Queen Juliana. Nederlands: Prinses Margiet, Prinses Irene, Prinses Christina vlag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She had her last child, Marijke Christina in 1947. Juliana had contracted German measles during the pregnancy and the baby was partially blind when born.

Queen Wilhelmina abdicated the throne to Juliana on September 6, 1948.  One of Juliana’s first acts as queen was to recognise Indonesia, a former Dutch colony, as a sovereign country.

Queen Juliana related to the every day Dutch people on many levels. She dressed  like an ordinary Dutch woman, rode a bicycle (a Dutch obsession) and prefered to be addressed as Mrs as opposed to Majesty.

Juliana showed her metal  in 1953 when a 100 year storm ravished the country. It flooded towns, killedtwo thousand and stranded thousands more. She pulled on her boots and an old coat and toured the effected area, comforting the victims of the disaster.

On her 71st birthday, Queen Juliana abdicated the throne to her eldest daughter Beatrix.  For a decade and a half after her abdication she was active throughout the country in charitable activities, but by 1995 her health began to fail. Juliana had Alzheimer’s and became more and more reclusive.  She died in her sleep  on Marcy 20, 2004. She had been suffering from pneumonia.

English: Statue of Juliana of the Netherlands ...

English: Statue of Juliana of the Netherlands and het husband Bernhard zur Lippe-Biesterfeld in the garden of Soestdijk Palace (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, April 30, 2013, Queen’s Day,  her daughter Queen Beatrix abdicated to her eldest son, Prince Willem-Alexander.

King of the Netherlands

King of the Netherlands (Photo credit: HereIsTom)


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