During the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, Anne Frank received a blank diary as one of her presents on June 12, 1942, her 13th birthday. According to The Anne Frank House, the red, checkered autograph book which Anne used as her diary was actually not a surprise, since she had chosen it the day before with her father when perusing a bookstore near her home. She began to write in it on June 14, 1942, two days later. On July 5, 1942, Anne′s older sister Margot received an official summons to report to a Nazi work camp in Germany, and on July 6, Margot and Anne went into hiding with their father Otto and mother Edith. They were joined by Hermann van Pels, Otto's business partner, including his wife Auguste and their teenage son Peter. Their hiding place was in the sealed-off upper rooms of the annex at the back of Otto's company building in Amsterdam. The rooms were concealed behind a movable bookcase. Mrs. van Pels' dentist, Fritz Pfeffer, joined them four months later. In the published version, names were changed: the van Pels are known as the Van Daans and Fritz Pfeffer as Mr. Dussel. With the assistance of a group of Otto Frank's trusted colleagues, they remained hidden for two years and one month.
They were betrayed in August 1944, which resulted in their deportation to Nazi concentration camps. Of the eight people, only Otto Frank survived the war. Anne died when she was 15 years old in Bergen-Belsen, from typhus. The exact date of her death is unknown and has long been believed to be in early March, a few weeks before the prisoners were liberated by British troops in April 1945. However, new research in 2015 indicated that Anne may have died as early as February.
In manuscript, her original diaries are written over three extant volumes. The first volume (the red-and-white checkered autograph book) covers the period between June 14 and December 5, 1942. Since the second surviving volume (a school exercise book) begins on December 22, 1943, and ends on April 17, 1944, it is assumed that the original volume or volumes between December 1942 and December 1943 were lost—presumably after the arrest, when the hiding place was emptied on Nazi instructions. However, this missing period is covered in the version Anne rewrote for preservation. The third existing volume (which was also a school exercise book) contains entries from April 17 to August 1, 1944, when Anne wrote for the last time before her arrest.:2
The manuscript, written on loose sheets of paper, was found strewn on the floor of the hiding place by Miep Gies and Bep Voskuijl after the family's arrest, but before their rooms were ransacked by the Dutch police and the Gestapo. They were kept safe and given after the war to Otto Frank, with the original notes, when Anne's death was confirmed in the autumn of 1945.