Anne Frank’s father’s letters uncovered

A previously undisclosed cache of letters written by Anne Frank’s father reveals just how desperately Otto Frank tried to save his family and get them out of Nazi-occupied Netherlands. The letters, discovered two summers ago in New York City, reveal that he investigated escape routes through Spain to neutral Portugal, tried to obtain visas to Paris, ...

604530_frank_family5.jpg
604530_frank_family5.jpg

A previously undisclosed cache of letters written by Anne Frank's father reveals just how desperately Otto Frank tried to save his family and get them out of Nazi-occupied Netherlands. The letters, discovered two summers ago in New York City, reveal that he investigated escape routes through Spain to neutral Portugal, tried to obtain visas to Paris, and attempted to get his family into the United States and Cuba.

The letters once again bring to light questions about U.S. immigration policy at the time, and why Mr. Frank's desperate pleas for help were not successful. As chronicled in Anne Frank's famous diary, the family ended up having to hide in an Amsterdam attic for two years, only to be discovered and sent to concentration camps.

A previously undisclosed cache of letters written by Anne Frank’s father reveals just how desperately Otto Frank tried to save his family and get them out of Nazi-occupied Netherlands. The letters, discovered two summers ago in New York City, reveal that he investigated escape routes through Spain to neutral Portugal, tried to obtain visas to Paris, and attempted to get his family into the United States and Cuba.

The letters once again bring to light questions about U.S. immigration policy at the time, and why Mr. Frank’s desperate pleas for help were not successful. As chronicled in Anne Frank’s famous diary, the family ended up having to hide in an Amsterdam attic for two years, only to be discovered and sent to concentration camps.

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.