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  • Who do you want to be today?

  • (Imitating Franklin Delano Roosevelt) We have nothing to fear but fear itself!

  • (Imitating Bette Davis) Fasten your seat-belts.

  • It's going to be a very bumpy ride.

  • (Imitating Rocky Balboa) Yo, Adrienne! I'm gonna fight Apollo again, you know what I mean?

  • (Imitating James Cagney) You dirty rat!

  • (Imitating Winston Churchill) We shall never surrender!

  • (Imitating Joan Rivers), Uho! Can we talk?

  • (Imitating Clark Gable) Frankly, Scarlet, I don't give a damn.

  • (Imitating Rodney Dangerfield) I get no respect.

  • Narrator: Slip into the lives of the some of the world's most fascinating people.

  • Watch A & E's Biography and escape the ordinary.

  • (Imitating, Marlon Brando) I could've been somebody charming.

  • [music]

  • From A& E, this is Biography.

  • Anne: You've known for a long time that my greatest wish is to be a journalist

  • and later on a famous writer.

  • Man: She became world famous because of her diary,

  • but she also became world famous because she died in a concentration camp,

  • because she was Jewish.

  • Woman: She's so real, and she's so alive,

  • and I think that pulls you, just like a magnet.

  • Woman: She was popular with everybody.

  • She made fun, and she wanted the attention of the boys, yes,

  • and they liked her.

  • Woman: I really thought she was a little spoiled, but I don't think she thought so herself.

  • Man: She was a real 100%-real girl like everybody else,

  • like all the other girls,

  • with the exception that she had a great talent for writing.

  • Man: Nobody was able to touch every part of life,

  • and all . . . and religion . . . in her book.

  • Woman: She was a writer, you know

  • and a writer often finds survival in, in writing.

  • Anne: I see the world being slowly transformed

  • into a wilderness.

  • I hear the approaching thunder

  • that one day will destroy us too.

  • In the meantime, I must hold on to my ideals.

  • Perhaps the day will come when I will be able to realize them.

  • Narrator: The life of Annalise Marie Frank

  • began on June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt Am Main, Germany.

  • Anne, as they called her, was the second daughter

  • of Otto and Edith Hollander Frank.

  • She was a happy baby, doted on by her elder sister, Margo,

  • and surrounded by family and friends.

  • She was lucky enough to be unaware of the terrible

  • political climate outside the boundaries of her grassy backyard.

  • Her parents were both from prominent families,

  • and Otto had even been decorated

  • as a German Officer in World War 1.

  • But as German as they felt, they were also Jewish,

  • and in the late 1920's, as Germany suffered

  • through a devastating economic collapse,

  • Jewish was an increasingly dangerous thing to be.

  • [Hitler speaking in German]

  • When Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Extreme Nationalist Nazi Party.

  • was elected Chancellor of Germany,

  • on a platform of racial purity.

  • Otto Frank decided his daughters might be safer somewhere else.

  • Otto Frank: We left Germany in 1933,

  • because I didn't want to educate my children with splinkas.

  • They were not allowed to see Christian friends anymore.

  • In Holland, it was different.

  • Narrator: Holland had been neutral in the last war,

  • so Amsterdam seemed to be a safe haven.

  • Otto, an experienced businessman, quickly set up a company there,

  • selling pectin,

  • a key ingredient in making homemade jam.

  • and sent for his family.

  • One of the first people four-year old Anne met in Amsterdam

  • was his assistant, Miep Gies.

  • Miep Gies: It was in the winter. Mr. Frank said to me, my wife,

  • and my youngest daughter came in the office, and yes, Mrs. Frank with her

  • with Anne, came in. Anne, dressed in a white fur coat,

  • a little shy, and then she looked 'round in the office,

  • type machines, look out the window, and so, it was very nice.

  • The Franks, moved into a modern housing complex on the Merwedeplein in South Amsterdam

  • a neighborhood filling up with other Jewish refugees from Germany.

  • Anne was quick to make friends at her new school.

  • She was lively and outspoken, and she had a trick

  • of dislocating her shoulder for a laugh from her classmates.

  • Woman: You know, Anne was a very special girl.

  • She, in America, maybe you say, spicy?

  • Emm, uhmm, girl that knows everything.

  • My mother would describe her very good.

  • She would say, "God knows everything. Anne knows everything better."

  • Narrator: Anne's father indulged her chatter about movie stars, about her throngs of admirers,

  • but her mother wondered why Anne couldn't behave more like her older sister, Margo.

  • Margo was, by most accounts, perfect,

  • and Anne knew that she could never measure up.

  • Hannah Pick-Goslar: Margo maybe was even more special than Anna. She was a very good looking girl, very obedient and a very good scholar.

  • Jaqueline Van Maarsen, childhood friend: And Anne was jealous because Margo was always their beautiful girl,

  • and she was so neat, and so I know that she was jealous because Margo and the Mother were very much together.

  • Anne was not so easy girl. She was difficult.

  • Probably her mother told her so.

  • Narrator: Just after Anne turned 10, her own battles on the homefront

  • were overshadowed by war.

  • Hitler's army's were were on the move,

  • and it was soon apparent that no corner of Europe was safe.

  • On May 10, 1940, a month before Anne's 11th birthday

  • Hitler invaded the Netherlands.

  • Here, as in Germany and the rest of Europe, as special fury would be directed at Jews.

  • Soon, Jews had to register with the German authorities

  • and every day, it seemed, had to relinquish more of their rights.

  • In 1941, Anne and Margo had to switch schools to the Jewish Lyceum.

  • That, they didn't mind,

  • but the Germans were making life more and more difficult.

  • Hannah Pick-Goslar: Everything that was fun in life was forbidden.

  • To sit in a park or at the bench, there would be written

  • For Jews and For Dogs - Forbidden.

  • Jaqueline Van Maarsen: We couldn't go to the park

  • we couldn't go to the swimming pool,

  • we couldn't go the theatre.

  • Narrator: Despite the suffocating restrictions,

  • Otto Frank, whom Anne thought the most adorable father in the world,

  • never failed to find some bright spots in all the gloom.

  • Hannah PIck-Goslar: Mr. Frank really was a very, very nice man.

  • He was wonderful. He was always optimistic.

  • Also later, when the war started, my father always said everything will be bad,

  • and the Germans will win the war,

  • and then Mr. Frank came in and, "Everything will be OK,"

  • and, "The Americans will help," and,"No, don't speak like this."

  • Narrator: But beneath his optimism,

  • Otto Frank was laying plans, in case everything was not okay.

  • One morning, in 1942, he asked his assistant, Miep Gies,

  • to speak to him privately.

  • Miep Gies: Upon the morning, he asked me to come in his office,

  • and said, "I have to speak with you something."

  • My, uh, wife and my children, we want to go in, uh, in hiding,

  • and I listened to him.

  • Are you willing to, uh, care for us with food and other things?

  • and I said, I would, yes, of course!

  • It was very dangerous, yes, I know, but it was my choice.

  • Otto Frank: The people I worked with were really friends, and when the time came, that we had to try to hide,

  • I first spoke to Mr. Coopers, whom I knew already, for many, many, years, as a very straight, real, good Dutch man,

  • and Coopers immediately said, "Well, the best thing would be we would hide here in our office building."

  • After Coopers, I talked with Miep. Miep, I knew very, very well too.

  • She agreed, and then we talked to Mr. Kraler. He agreed, and then we talked to Ellie.

  • So, the four of them all were prepared to help us in case of hiding.

  • Narrator: Anne knew nothing of her father's preparations. She had other things on her mind:

  • in particular, a 16-year-old admirer, Hello Silverberg.

  • Hello Silverberg: Umm, I kind of, I was attracted to her.

  • but when people often ask this question about, uh-uh, a 16-year-old boy being interested in a 13-year-old girl and, uh, uh, it happens,

  • and she was fascinating. She was very articulate, and I wasn't used to that kind of intellect in somebody that young.

  • Narrator: Anne had a reputation at school for being a bit too articulate.

  • She was much more interested in flirting than algebra,

  • and as punishment for being an incorrigible chatterbox,

  • she had to write essays and poems, defending herself,

  • which she thoroughly enjoyed,

  • and she kept right on talking.

  • Hannah Pick-Goslar: And in that school, we were sitting always together

  • and we were chatting,

  • and then one day, they took me out and the next class.

  • Next morning, who sits next to me again: Anne.

  • And the teachers let us live.

  • I think they knew already,

  • we don't have a lot of time left.

  • Jacquline Van Maarsen: Can you say it was cozy in that classroom?

  • Perhaps that's right word? Because we all had the same fate.

  • We knew that outside, terrible things were happening,

  • and even the teachers,

  • we were very close.

  • Narrator: Very little was certain in occupied Amsterdam,

  • but at least Anne could count on her adorable father

  • to keep birthdays sacred.

  • On June 12, 1942,

  • the day Anne turned thirteen,

  • her Father set out a pile of presents for her party.

  • Anne was most excited about the one she had picked out herself,

  • a red and white checkered diary.

  • Van Maarsen: Well, she was, of course, very excited at that party,