Otto Frank

The privileged banker's son

Otto Frank is Anne and Margot's father and the husband of Edith Frank-Holländer. Anne occasionally refers to him in her diary with the pet name “Pim”. He was born on May 12, 1889, to Jewish, “very wealthy parents” (85%) in Frankfurt am Main. His father had successfully worked his way up as a businessman to become a banker. His mother came from a distinguished and wealthy family.

Anne's father has a privileged childhood, therefore is “extremely well-bred” (74%) and leads “the life of a rich man’s son. Parties every week, balls, banquets, beautiful girls, waltzing, dinners, a huge house, etc.” (85%). 

After graduating from high school, Otto initially studied for a year at the University of Heidelberg, after which he completed an internship in New York. He returned to Germany in 1911 and at first found work in a metal construction company.

In the summer of 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, Otto was drafted into the German army and served from 1915 to 1918 in an artillery regiment on the Western Front, eventually becoming a lieutenant. After the war, he worked with his two brothers in the family bank. In 1925, 36-year-old Otto Frank married Edith Holländer, who was only 25 at the time. A year later Margot was born, and in 1929 Anne was born.

The organizer

Due to the rise of the Nazi Party, the Jewish family are no longer safe in Frankfurt . In the spring of 1933, Jewish children's access to schools is made more difficult. Jewish pupils are assigned separate school desks. The second-grader Margot is directly affected by this measure. 

At the same time, it becomes increasingly difficult for Otto Frank to earn a living for the family. The Frank family bank runs into difficulties and has to declare bankruptcy in 1932. 

Already in the summer of 1933, Otto leaves for Amsterdam, where he becomes “the Managing Director of the Dutch Opekta Company, which manufactures products used in making jam” (2%). There, he prepares everything for the arrival of his wife and daughters, who join him six months later.

Once the German army occupies the Netherlands in May 1940, the life of the family is considerably more difficult. As a result of the numerous anti-Jewish laws, Otto Frank can no longer continue his work and has to hand over the management of the Opekta company to a colleague.

Shortly after the German occupation, Otto displays the same caution and foresight he showed when his family moved to the Netherlands. More...

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