Being in the Second World War was terrifying. There were Nazis kidnapping almost everyone, anyone who was different. The Franks and VanDaans had to survive this era by hiding in an annex. Among them was Margot Frank, Anne Frank's sister. She isn't well known, especially when compared to Anne. We should remember her. She was beautiful, not only in outward appearance, but in her behavioral characteristics, as others thought.
Margot's background began in 1926. Margot Betty Frank was born on February 16, 1926. Margot's middle name was given in memory of Edith Frank's, Margot's mother, sister, who died tragically at age 16. Margot was a sensitive baby who didn't gain weight fast and reacted violently when receiving vaccinations. At age three, her family rented a flat in the countryside. To Margot, this seemed like paradise. Although she was shy, she was kind and was welcomed to play with the other children. This was just the dream her parents wanted, to grow up without sorrow and prejudice, they should get an open heart for all people, no matter where they come from, no matter what religion they belong to. In June 21, 1929, Anne was born. She was a nervous, loud child. This as a huge change from the quiet child Margot was. Margot was described by her mother as an "Angel," since she never once cried throughout the night. In March of 1931, political issues arose and the family had to move to another flat, slightly smaller than the previous one, but with a bigger garden for Margot and Anne to play in. Because of the economical situation, they weren't able to keep this flat for more than one and a half years. They later moved into their grandfather's house. Soon, many anti-Jew laws were to be passed,and Margot joined a youth organization to discuss these laws. Later, in July, Anne and Margot were dismissed from school, and received certificates. in an unwilling admiration, Anne wrote in her diary that Margot "did outstanding, as always." On July 5th 1942, 3 PM, someone suddenly rings on the door. Somebody screams on the street: "Miss Margot Frank?" A policeman hands a letter to Mrs. Frank, a card that says Margot should register at the SS by the next morning. Right away, Mrs. Frank goes to the marriage couple VanDaan, to tell them that they have to go underground earlier now. Margot told Anne that the letter was sent to their father; probably that was her mother's advice. But later, as Margot tells Anne the truth, tears are rolling down her face. "Margot is sixteen! Such a young girl they want to deport?", she wrote into her diary. The next day, they discreetly went into the annex, the only place they would stay for 25 months.
To those around her, Margot seemed friendly, and sweet. She was quiet as an angel and was treated with respect by others. Anne was differentiated in her opinion about Margot. In her diary, she gave appreciation to Margot by saying that Margot did outstanding, as usual. However, in another part, she calls her a goody-good and accuses her of being everyone's perfect child.
During their stay at the annex, Margot developed some new behavior. Margot dedicated herself to studying in the annex. She even became a "teacher," teaching Dutch to the adults. It was if it became an obsession with her, a way to escape the annex and explore the world outside. As the years progressed, she receded more and more, rarely ever coming out, except for food and the w.c. We could know what was going on in her own mind, if we still had the diary she kept, but it was never recovered. Everyone in the house changed attitudes dramatically, as Miep, the person who brought them food and supplies and cared for them, said in her book,"One and a half year of forced isolation have taken their tribute. They all got weak nerves; Margot and Peter isolated themselves more and more." From time to time, Anne suffered a lot under the permanent nearness of her family members and fellow housemates, that's why she sometimes described them in a very hateful way: Margot, she once described as a "silly cow, who immensely provocates me all day and night long. With her reputation as a 'paragon of virtue', I'm annoying her now, maybe then she finally stops with it, the time is right."
Her beauty was always with her. During the time, Margot was described as an "Angel," not only because of her manners, but for her looks. She was said to be frail, with clear eyes, soft tender skin, and dark thick hair. Many would say she was beautiful. Later at her stay in the annex, she had to get glasses, which deluded her beauty to those around her.
On August 4th 1944, a police car stopped in front of the house in the Prinsengracht. It's been exactly 25 months since they've moved into their hiding place. A sergeant of the gestapo and some accomplices in plain clothes walk upstairs and swing the bookshelf aside, which has covered the door to the secret annexe. The eight people in hiding get the order to pack their bags with the most necessary things and then come downstairs within five minutes. None of them cried. Pale, but calmly, they climb into the police car. First they get brought to the headquarters of the Gestapo in the Euterpestraat. A few days later, all of them get transported to the camp Westerbork. As "criminal Jews", they get handled even worse than the others. Three hundred people live in each barrack, and at 5 AM they get picked up for work; the young had to work in a cable fabric, the adults are working in a stable where they have to scratch batteries open to sort the metal parts and coal sticks out, a senseless work. Margot was silent, just like her mother. On September 2, They got transported to Auschwitz. After their arrival, men and women got separated. The women got their hair shaved off. Margot, Anne and Mrs. Frank got into the women's barrack number 29. On October 27th, a selection for a work command took place. The youngest and strongest women of the barrack 29 were to leave Auschwitz to work in a Czech-Slovakian ammunition fabric. They all tried hard to be among the chosen ones. Anne, Margot and Edith had to stay in Auschwitz, because Anne had scabies and Margot and Edith did not want to leave her alone in the camp. Other prisoners brought them bread, which they then shared together. It was unavoidable that Margot, too, got scabies. In the whole camp, Mrs. Frank searched for food that she could bring to her sick daughters, whose bodies got more and more littered with abscesses and bruises. On September 30th, the prisoners got driven out of the barracks with blows. They got driven to the big roll call place and had to take their clothes off. A selection took place. An eyewitness tells:
"We got weighed, and he waved with his thumb to the right or to the left, which meant life or death. Only a careless gesture - away to the gas chamber."
To rescue themselves, the women lied about their age and their health condition. But Mrs. Frank got sent to the sick and the old people right away. Then Anne and Margot walked forward. Full of fear, Mrs. Frank looks at her daughters. A survivor tells:
"Fifteen and Eighteen years old, thin, naked, but proud, they walked to the selection table where the SS-men sat... and Anne nudged Margot, and Margot, too, walked erectly into the light, and there they stood for a moment, naked, and Anne glanced at us, with her unspoilt face and straight..."
Margot and Anne had to go "to the left"; not to the old and sick ones, but to an uncertain destiny. They were among the 634 women who got selected for the transport to Bergen-Belsen. Their mother died on January 6th 1945 in Auschwitz, out of hunger and anxiety around her family.
The sisters' courage hadn't worn out yet, for they continued to work in the shoe factory, tearing shoes and reusing the usable parts. this was a strenuous job, because the soldiers gave them blows. Anne was among the first to stop doing the work, but Margot held out a little bit longer. All of the Jews saved up on their rations to celebrate Hanukkah together.
Typhus was roaming savagely among the camp, in the barrack where Anne and Margot lay. One day in the middle of March 1945, Margot fell out of her plank bed and laid on the floor half unconscious. Anne already had a high fever. She was very friendly and caring: "Margot will sleep well, and when she sleeps, I don't need to get up anymore. Oh, I feel such a wonderful warmth." Survivors say that Anne seemed happy. Margot was so weak that she did not survive the fall on the cold stony floor. The impact has killed her. "Anne, too, was sick and wanted to stay alive, until Margot died, only then she gave herself up...", as an eyewitness tells. Margot's death was too much for Anne. She thought now there's nothing that she could live for anymore. Her father desperately searched for her, but she did not know that. Anne was lonely, when she died in the middle or the end of March in the camp. The dead bodies of the two girls got thrown into one of the mass graves. Only two or three weeks after their death, the camp got liberated by the British Army.
Margot was a survivor who had the will to live throughout most of World War II. Sadly, she died, without good reason, in the horrid camp. Out of all the people in the annex, only Mr. Frank lived. Miep, the good friend to the family, is still alive. Even though obscure in our history, we should remember Margot Frank just as much as her sister.