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On this day in 1929, Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt

Today, 12th June, marks an historic day in regard to the world’s memory of the Holocaust and to the literary world as a whole. Exactly 90 years ago today, Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt, Germany, to parents Otto and Edith. It would only be 13 years later that she would receive the red-and-white checkered diary that would accompany her into hiding in the annex of her father’s business along with the rest of her family, the Van Pels family and an acquaintance of Anne’s parents, Fritz Pfeffer.

It would be the same diary that would solidify her name’s worldwide renown even decades later. In just over two years that the Franks, the Van Pels and Fritz Pfeffer hid from the Nazi Party, Anne wrote regularly in her diary, detailing the events of her daily life in the context of the atrocity of the Holocaust until their hidden annex was discovered by German soldiers in August 1944. Although Anne would die at age 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp the following year, her words have lived on, preserved by her father, Otto — the sole survivor of the Frank family, who went on to publish his daughter’s writing. Anne’s account, known today as The Diary of a Young Girl, has made her one of the most read young authors in the world.

To Can of Worms, Anne’s story is especially significant, as it also entwines itself with the story told by Irene Hasenberg Butter in her memoir, Shores Beyond Shores, newly acquired by our imprint Civic Books. From growing up on the same street in Amsterdam in the early years of the Nazi Party to encountering each other as fellow prisoners at Bergen-Belsen, Irene’s and Anne’s paths crossed several times, and though their stories are altogether different, both emphasize the importance of family and of maintaining humanity in even the most unthinkable circumstances.


Shores Beyond Shoresis set to publish 15th September in the U.S. and on 8th November in the U.K. to coincide with commemorations of Kristallnacht. Can of Worms hopes today, as with any day, both Anne’s and Irene’s stories are remembered for the history they hold and the universal messages they carry for the world.

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