Photo courtesy of National Geographic Channels
Premieres Sunday, June 21 at 9:00 PM ET/PT on National Geographic Channel
Anne Frank’s world famous diary came to an abrupt end shortly before the Franks were discovered hiding from the Nazis in a secret annex at the top of Otto Frank’s office building August 4, 1944. While Anne’s diary tells the story of her life, the story of her death reveals the atrocities encountered by millions of Jews during the Holocaust. In a solemn remembrance of the horrors that Anne Frank and millions of others suffered during the dark days of World War II, National Geographic Channel (NGC) takes viewers inside the concentration camps in a two-hour special, Anne Frank’s Holocaust, premiering Sunday, June 21, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In keeping with NGC’s tradition of unparalleled storytelling, Anne Frank’s Holocaust incorporates new findings and rarely seen photographs to reintroduce the story of the massacre of Jews in one of the most comprehensive documentaries to date.
“Anne Frank’s diaries have sold in excess of 30 million copies since they were first published in 1947,” says historian and author Martin Morgan in the film. “They tell the story of her life, and her dreams. But the story of her death is important as well, because it reveals the full terrible dimensions of the Holocaust.”
At the time of Holland’s 1940 surrender to Germany, 140,000 Jews lived within its borders. Of those who went into hiding, more than a third would be turned in to German authorities, including the Franks. For seven months after her arrest, Anne Frank battled disease and institutionalized brutality in three different camps: first at the Dutch transit hub of Weterbork, then at Auschwitz and finally at Bergen-Belsen.
Against incredible odds, Hannah Goslar-Pick, a childhood friend of Anne’s interviewed for the film, was reunited with her friend at the Bergen-Belsen camp. “First thing when we met we were crying, because it was really miracle that we met each other in million of people,” she says. “It was not the same Anne I knew from Holland, the nice little spicy girl. She was frightened and she was without hope. It was awful.”
Tragically, Anne Frank died shortly before the liberation of the camp. Of her seven companions in the secret annex, only her father Otto survived.
Anne Frank’s Holocaust explores the full story of her short life, including interviews with childhood friends, and how Anne’s remarkable diary miraculously survived the war to be published by her father. The film also explores the remnants of Germany’s worst death camp, Sobibor, which the Nazis tried to blast out of existence before the end of the war in an attempt to obscure the horrors that transpired there. Today, experts uncovering the foundations of the buildings can piece together the grim reality of what happened there.
Told through eyewitness testimony from camp survivors and newly-restored historic pictures and film, Anne Frank’s Holocaust reveals incredible tales of bravery and tragedy, and provides an intimate new take on the brutality of Auschwitz, Sobibor and Bergen-Belsen. The accounts are tragic, and the loss of human life is heavy, but the retelling of this story denies the Nazis their victory over history.