Act One

The play opens in an attic, decorated sparsely, but with the intention of becoming a home. It is July 6, 1942. World War II is waging outside on the streets of Amsterdam, and the Nazis have taken control of the city. The Frank family — Anne, her older sister (Margot), and her parents (Otto and Edith) — arrives, soaking wet from the rain and, as they shed their layers, one can see a yellow Star of David sewn to each one. It is an identification badge, proclaiming for all to see that the members of the Frank family are Jews -- Juden -- and thus, will be treated differently.

Throughout the play, Anne addresses the audience as if she were writing in her diary. Here, she explains how the Frank family came to be in the attic, or Annex, as they call it. The family originally lived in Germany, but immigrated to Holland to escape Hitler’s regime nine years before, in the year 1933. The Nazis went on to invade Holland in 1940 , however, and quickly conquered the small country. In the two years since, the Jewish citizens of Holland have been forced to give up most of their rights: the right to travel freely, to go out for pleasure in public, to own a business. Their identification cards were stamped with a “J” for juden (the German word for “Jew”). Now, Anne’s sister, Margot, has been summoned to go away to work at the Westerbork transit camp, which is known to be merely a way station through which the Nazis send Dutch Jews along to concentration camps, and to their deaths.

Thus, explains Anne, the Franks have gone into hiding. They have come to Mr. Frank’s former business, where they will hide in the Annex, a secret space above his old office. Two of his employees, Miep Gies and Mr. Kraler, promise to bring them food daily and help them survive their time in hiding until (they hope) the Nazis will be forced out of Holland once more.

Anne and her father set to work making the Annex feel like home. Anne is bright, energetic, cheerful, and hopeful. She proposes

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