Anne Frank’s diary begins on Sunday, June 14, 1942, during World War II. At this time, thirteen-year-old Anne and her family live in Amsterdam, where she attends the Montessori School. As the Nazis march into Holland, they force Jews to wear identifying badges displaying the Star of David. Shortly thereafter, the Jews begin receiving “call up notices” and are sent to concentration camps. When Margot, Anne’s sister, is told to report to S.S. Headquarters, her father realizes that the family must hide and arranges for them to stay at the “Secret Annexe” of the warehouse on Princengracht street.
The three-story building faces a canal constantly patrolled by the Nazis. The first floor is a warehouse, the second floor consists of offices, and the third floor serves as a storeroom. The storeroom contains several attic rooms not visible from the street. A sliding bookcase at the bottom of the staircase separates the offices from the confined area, where the Franks hide with the Van Daan family and the dentist Mr. Dussel. It is in this setting that Anne’s story unfolds.