Anne Frank likely died earlier than thought

Anne Frank 1929-1945 (Picture: Wikimedia Commons). (Anne Frank 1929-1945 (Picture: Wikimedia Commons))

Anne Frank probably died somewhere in February 1945 from the effects of typhus, and not in March as was previously believed. This is according to research done by the Anne Frank Foundation into the last months of Anne and her sister Margot's lives.

Like many of thousands of people in the Bergen-Belsen camp, the exact date of the girls' death remains unknown. At the time the Red Cross put the date of death for Anne and Margo between March 1st and 31st. The foundation finds the probability that the girls were still alive in March unlikely, based on archival research and the study of witness testimonies.

Anne and Margot Frank arrived in the concentration camp on November 3rd, 1944. Nanette Blitz, a classmate of Anne, met with Anne a few times in the camp in December 1944 and January 1945. "She was already a skeleton. She was wrapped in a blanket. She could no longer wear her own clothes because they were full of lice." Nanette's statement says. The classmates saw each other for the last time in January 1945.

The last contact between Anne and a survivor of the camp was early in February 1945. Anne met Hanneli Goslar, a friend from Amsterdam at the fence of the concentration camp. The last time the two saw each other, Hanneli threw a parcel of food to Anne over the gate of the camp.

From statements made by fellow prisoners, it seems that Anne and Margot already showed symptoms of typhus by then. According to the National Institute for Public Health and Environment, most victims die within twelve days of the first symptoms.

When in February Anne and Margot passed away remains a mystery. In the words of Rachel van Amerongen, a fellow camp prisoner: "One day they were just not there anymore."