A young Dutch woman of German-Jewish origin. She is the youngest child of Mr. and Mrs. Frank. As the diary is her property and prized possession, the readers remain in her head throughout the length of the book. In her diary she is precocious, intelligent, charming, and, even under the worst circumstances, funny. Over the course of the diary, she grows from a spoiled, somewhat naive young girl of thirteen to a self-aware young woman of fifteen. Although she has little political consciousness at the beginning of the diary, she grows to question anti-Semitism and the point of war. During her time in the annex, she suffers from boredom, despair, and the petty persecution of those around her. She also discovers a wealth of good qualities in herself. After the annex residents are discovered, she goes to the concentration camp at Belsen, in Germany, where she dies before her sixteenth birthday.
Anne Frank's older sister. She is sixteen years old when Anne's diary begins. Quiet, studious, humble, and eager to please the adults, Margot often clashes with her sister, who is considered talkative and rebellious. Others often hold her up as a model for Anne to emulate. It is Margot who is first called up by the Gestapo in Amsterdam. This call forces the Franks to go into hiding. She dies a few weeks before Anne in the Belsen concentration camp.
The mother of Anne and Margot Frank. She comes from a wealthy family and has spent most of her life in Germany. In terms of her mothering skills, she is somewhat of a disappointment to Anne, who would prefer her to be more affectionate and accepting. A peacemaker, she is the voice of reason during adult fights in the annex. After the residents are captured and her daughters are sent to the Belsen camp, she is left to die at Auschwitz.
Mr. Otto Frank
The father of Anne and Margot Frank. He comes from a wealthy family and spent most of his life in Germany. When Hitler rose to power in 1933, Mr. Frank reacted by relocating his family to Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. There, he worked in the food products business. When the Nazis invaded the Netherlands, he made arrangements for his family to go into hiding in the building in which he was once employed. (Jews were not allowed to work with non-Jewish Dutch after the Nazis took over the Netherlands.) He is Anne's favorite relative; she often calls him "Pim" and considers him her savior and confidant in the annex. He is the sole surviving member of his family after the war. He arranged for the publication of Anne's diary and died in the early 1980s.
Mr. Van Daan
A business associate of Mr. Frank. He was formerly in the meat and sausage business. He arranges for his family to live with the Franks in the annex of their former establishment. Anne considers him to be an insufferable know-it-all, though she reserves the majority of her ire for his wife. He is gassed at Auschwitz.
Mrs. Van Daan
Mr. Van Daan's wife. The Van Daans are also German; Mrs. Van Daan's Dutch is poor. She is vain and lacking in humility. Anne finds her to be the most insufferable annex resident of them all and is particulary annoyed when Mrs. Van Daan flirts with Mr. Frank. Peter Van Daan has trouble talking to her, this leads Anne to believe that she, like Mrs. Frank, lacks mothering skills. She dies in the camp at Belsen.
Peter Van Daan
The only son of Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan. He is almost sixteen when he comes to live in the annex. Shy, awkward, and introspective, he does not pique Anne's attention until they have been living in the annex for almost two years. Then they begin a deep friendship that leads to some physical intimacy. Anne is at first head over heels in love with him, then she realizes that, although he is a nice young man, he is weak-minded and lacks character. He disappears on a forced march with the German army.
An elderly dentist who is invited to share the rooms in the annex with the Franks and the Van Daans. His wife managed to escape the occupation. He stays in Anne's room and drives her crazy with his odd nocturnal habits. He can also be petty and small-minded. He dies in the Neuengamme camp, in Germany.
A Dutch associate of Mr. Frank's who arranges for them to live in the annex. He provides them with food and, through enormous effort, keeps their secret for two years. He is captured with the Franks and the Van Daans but released for medical care due to his health problems.
Another Dutch associate of Mr. Frank's who arranges for the living situation in the annex. Along with Mr. Koophius, he bears the brunt of responsibility for their secret. He, too, is arrested for his role in helping the annex residents. He spends eight months in a forced labor camp.
A Dutch woman who assists the annex residents with food, clothing, books, and companionship. She cheerfully assists them with the things they need and pitches in to give them holidays. Along with Elli, she retrieves and saves Anne's diary from the floor after the annex residents are arrested.
A Dutch woman who does chores and finds food and clothing for the annex residents, as well as arranging for illegal goods and coupons. She often gives Anne and Margot office work, to prevent them from being bored. Along with Miep, she retrieves and saves Anne's diary from the floor of the annex after the residents are arrested.
Anne's school friend. While Anne is in the annex, she has visions of Lies suffering in a concentration camp. After Anne was sent to Belsen, she found Lies there, and the girls were happy that at least they could suffer together before they both died.
Anne has a crush on this school boy. They were companions, on and off, before she was forced to go into hiding. About two years after she is in hiding, she remembers him with longing and desire. Some of her love for Peter Van Daan is actually love for Peter Wessel.
Anne's boy friend at the time she has to go into hiding. He is a member of the Zionist Youth League.
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
In my opinion, Mr. Frank is comparing their lives in the annex to self-imposed imprisonment. They were afraid all the time.... always waiting to be found out. Now that the Gestapo has arrived to take them away, the only thing they have left is...