“Research suggests the family of Anne Frank, the world famous Jewish diarist who died in the Holocaust, attempted to immigrate to the United States and later also to Cuba, but their efforts were thwarted by America’s restrictive immigration policy and the outbreak of World War II,” the AP reports.
“The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum said Friday that documents indicate Anne’s father Otto tried twice to collect the papers needed to obtain visas for the United States,” the story reports. “He later also appears to have applied for a visa to Cuba.”
Unable to escape the country, the family went into hiding in Amsterdam.
Otto Frank reportedly wrote in English to a friend in the U.S. in 1941: “I am forced to look out for emigration and as far as I can see USA is the only country we could go to.”
“His efforts to get the family out of the Netherlands to the U.S. likely started as early as 1938 — a turbulent year in which Nazi Germany annexed Austria and part of Czechoslovakia into the Third Reich,” the AP reports. “On Nov. 9 that year, Nazis terrorized Jews throughout the country in the violent Kristallnacht pogroms, also known as the ‘Night of Broken Glass.’”
“Otto Frank wrote in his 1941 letter to his friend Nathan Straus that he had filed an application at the American consulate in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam in 1938,” the report adds. “However, he also mentioned that ‘all the papers have been destroyed there,’ because on May 14, 1940, while the Frank family was still on a waiting list for possible visas, the American consulate was devastated during German bombardment and all papers were lost.”