Otto Frank 1889 – 1980

Otto FrankBorn – 12th May 1889
Died – 19th August 1980
Father – Michael Frank (1851 – 1909)
Mother – Alice Betty Stern (1865 – 1953)
Spouse – m. 1925 – Edith Hollander (1900 – 1945); m. 1953 – Elfriede Geiringer (1905 – 1998)
ChildrenMargot, Anne

1889 (12th May)
Otto Frank was born Otto Heinrich Frank in Frankfurt, Germany to Michael and Alice Frank. He was the couple’s second child, his brother Robert had been born in 1886. Otto’s father owned a business bank.
1891 (during)
Otto’s brother, Herbert was born to Michael and Alice Frank.
1891 (during)
Otto’s sister, Helene was born to Michael and Alice Frank.
1895 (around)
Otto began his education. The family was middle class and he received a good education. He also had music and riding lessons.
1908 (during)
Otto Frank attended Heidelberg University where he studied economics.
1909 (during)
As part of his University course, Otto began a work placement at Macey’s Store in New York.
1909 (September)
Otto returned to Germany after learning that his father had died. Afterwards, he resumed his two-year work placement in New York.
1911 (during)
Otto Frank returned to Germany and began working for a metal construction company in Dusseldorf.
1914 (late)
After World War One broke out, Otto began working at a factory that made horseshoes for German war horses.
1915 (during)
Otto and his brothers received call-up papers to serve in the German army on the Western Front.
1919 (during)
After World War One ended, Otto began working in his father’s bank.
1925 (8th May)
Otto Frank married Edith Hollander. The couple made their home in Frankfurt am Main.
1926 (16th February)
A daughter, Margot Betti Frank was born to Otto and Edith Frank.
1929 (12th June)
A daughter Anne was born to Otto and Edith Frank.
1932 (during)
The Michael Frank bank went into liquidation. It had been unable to survive the crash of the late 1920s and the subsequent hyperinflation in Germany.
1933 (30th January)
1933 (13th March)
The Nazi Party were elected to the Frankfurt local government. They immediately imposed anti-Jewish measures.
1933 (August)
Margot, Anne and their mother, Edith, left Frankfurt and went to Aachen to stay with Edith’s mother.
1933 (late)
Otto Frank started a new company, the Opekta Works, in Amsterdam, a subsidiary of the company Opekta that his brother-in-law worked for.
1934 (early)
Anne, Margot and Edith Frank joined Otto in Amsterdam. The family lived in the Merwedeplain area of Amsterdam.
1938 (during)
Otto Frank started a second company in Amsterdam, Pectacon, a wholesale company selling spices used in the production of sausages. He employed Hermann van Pels as an advisor.
1939 (during)
Otto’s mother-in-law Rosa came from Aachen to live with the family.
1939 (1st September)
Germany invaded Poland.
1939 (3rd September)
Britain and France declared war on Germany beginning World War Two.
1940 (10th May)
Germany invaded the Netherlands.
1940 (Summer)
Jews were no longer allowed to own businesses so Otto transferred the businesses to his trusted employees.
1941 (1st December)
Otto Frank was granted a visa to go to Cuba. It is not known whether he ever learned it was granted. Nevertheless it was cancelled after the United States entered the war following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
1942 (January)
Otto’s mother-in-law Rosa died.
1942 (12th June)
Anne Frank was given a diary for her thirteenth birthday.
1942 (5th July)
Margot Frank received deportation papers demanding that she go to a labour camp in Germany. Otto had been working to secure a hiding place for the family if necessary.
1942 (6th July)
The Frank family went into hiding in a Secret Annex above Otto Frank’s offices at Prinsengracht 263. Otto’s employees Miep Gies, Victor Kugler, Johannes Kleiman and Bep Voskujl were the only employees that knew the family were hiding above the premises.
1942 (13th July)
The Van Pels family, Hermann, Auguste and Peter joined the Frank family in the Secret Annex.
1942 (mid July)
Life was hard for the inhabitants of the Secret Annex. They had to be absolutely silent during the daytime so that visitors or customers to the factory below would not know they were there. Conditions were cramped and there was little privacy for the families.
1942 (16th November)
Fritz Pfeffer, a dentist, joined the Franks and Van Pelses in the Secret Annex.
1944 (5th April)
Anne recorded much of what went on in the Secret Annex in her diary. Margot also kept a diary but it has not survived.
1944 (4th August)
Following an anonymous tip off, the Secret Annex was raided. All occupants were arrested and sent to the Westerbork transit camp. Miep Gies found Anne’s diary among papers left on the floor of the Annex and took it for safe keeping.
1944 (3rd September )
The Franks, Van Pelses and Fritz Pfeffer were taken to Auschwitz. The train they were in was the last to leave Westerbork transit camp. The journey east took two days.
1944 (October )
Hermann van Pels was sent to the gas chamber at Auschwitz.
1944 (1st November)
Margot, Anne and Mrs Pels were taken from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen. Fritz Pfeffer was sent to Neuengamme camp. Otto and Edith Frank and Peter van Pels remained at Auschwitz. Otto continued to work in a gravel mine while Peter worked in the camp post office.
1944 20th December)
Fritz Pfeffer died of a gastro-intestinal infection at Neuengamme camp.
1945 6th January)
Edith Frank died in Auschwitz.
1945 17th January)
With the Russian army nearing Auschwitz, the Nazi SS began evacuating the camp. All those able to walk were forced to march west. Peter van Pels was among those made to join the march. Otto Frank was sick and unable to walk so was left in the camp.
1945 (27th January)
Otto Frank, was liberated from Auschwitz by the Russians. He weighed just 52 kg. He was taken to Odessa.
1945 (February)
Margot died of Typhus Fever at Bergen Belsen Camp. Her sister, Anne died a few days later.
1945 (23rd February)
Otto Frank was taken by train to Katowice, Poland. While there he learned of the death of his wife, Edith.
1945 (early April)
Otto Frank was taken to Odessa.
1945 (April)
Auguste van Pels died. The cause of death is not known.
1945 (2nd May)
Otto Frank boarded the Monowai, a ship bound for Marseilles. While on board he wrote a telegram to his sister in Switzerland informing her of his wife’s death and his hope that his daughters had survived.
1945 (10th May)
Peter van Pels died at Mauthausen Camp, 5 days after it was liberated by the Americans.
1945 (3rd June)
Otto Frank returned to the Netherlands and began trying to find news of his daughters and friends. As he had no money, belongings or passport, he lived with Miep and Jan Gies.
1945 (July)
The Red Cross confirmed that Margot and Anne Frank had died in Bergen-Belsen.
1945 (July)
After learning that Anne and Margot Frank had died, Miep Gies gave Otto Frank Anne’s diary, which she had found on the floor of the secret annex after the family had been taken away.
1945 (late Summer)
Otto Frank began reading his daughter’s diary. He re-wrote it removing personal family details and also trivial information.
1947 (25th June)
Anne Frank’s diary was published in Dutch.
1952 (during)
Anne Frank’s diary was published in English.
1953 (10th November)
Otto Frank married fellow Auschwitz survivor, Elfriede Geiringer. The couple made their home in Basel Switzerland.
1957 (3rd May)
The Anne Frank Foundation in Amsterdam was founded after Otto learned that the building containing the secret annex was scheduled for demolition. The foundation purchased the building and the one next door.
1960 (3rd May)
The Anne Frank House, a museum about the Holocaust and particularly the Frank family’s experience, was opened by the Anne Frank Foundation in Amsterdam.
1961 (during)
Otto and Elfriede moved to Birsfelden near Basel.
1963 (January)
Otto Frank founded the Anne Frank Foundation in Basel, Switzerland. The purpose of the foundation was to distribute copies of his daughter’s diary and use proceeds for charitable works.
1963 (after)
Otto Frank spent his time working with both Foundations.
1980 (19th August)
Otto Frank died of lung cancer in Basel, Switzerland. He bequeathed the copyright of Anne Frank’s diary to the Foundation in Basel.

 

Published Jan 22 2022 @ 2:35 pm – Updated – Jan 22, 2022 @ 2:37 pm

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2022). Otto Frank (1889-1980) Timeline. Available: https://www.totallytimelines.com/otto-frank-1889-1980. Last accessed July 6th, 2022