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Otto Frank
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Otto as a soldier
Otto with an army horse
Otto and Edith on their honeymoon
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Otto Frank

Otto Frank playing the cello. In this photo he is eleven years old. Otto is born on 12 May 1889 in Frankfurt am Main in Germany. He has an older brother (Robert), a younger brother (Herbert) and a sister (Helene). His father, Michael Frank, is a banker.

After secondary school, Otto studies economics for a few months. But he finds it too theoretical. Through one of his student friends he gets the chance to go to New York and work in a large department store. He leaves for the United States, but soon has to come back because his father is dying. Then he returns to the USA. This time he stays for two years.

Soldier in the German army.

In 1914 the First World War begins. Otto Frank and his brothers fight in the German army. Otto takes part in a major tank battle in France. He is promoted to the rank of lieutenant. In 1918 the war is over. Germany has lost. Otto Frank and his brothers have been lucky. They have survived the war. Millions of other young men have been killed.

Anti-Jewish hatred

After the war Otto Frank works in his father’s bank. On 12 May 1925, his 36th birthday, he marries Edith Holländer. Their daughter Margot is born in 1926, and Anne follows in 1929. In 1933 Otto and Edith decide to leave Germany. Growing hatred of Jewish people means they no longer feel at home there.

Anne Frank Guide
This day in history
Today: 23 August 2014
Then: 23 August 1943

The Allies begin night bombing of Berlin.

View the timeline