There has been a great deal of speculation surrounding the last photographs taken of the Frank family before they went into hiding. I have seen many people quoting different photographs as the ‘last’ ones, however it is this picture below that most people are taken with:
This photograph of Margot and Anne Frank was taken whilst they were indoors and so has led many people to believe that this was the last photograph taken of them (due to the Jewish restrictions on taking photographs and the compulsory yellow star coming into force around 1941) and therefore it would have been taken around early – mid 1942.
However, there is plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise.
These pictures of Anne Frank were all taken in the same sitting – in addition to the one with Margot above. Her hair is shown to be shoulder length and she is wearing the same light coloured cardigan and darker blouse in each photograph.
Interestingly the cardigan Anne is wearing in this photograph looks remarkably similar to the one she is wearing in a portrait photograph which was taken in May 1939 when she was 9 (approaching 10) years old. Now as children grow a lot between the ages of 9 and 13 it can be said that if Anne is in fact wearing the same cardigan she was wearing in the 1939 photograph, then these new photographs must have been taken not long after. However, it is quite obvious that Anne has grown up a lot between the 2 sets of photographs. In the ‘last’ set, her face seems longer and she looks taller. It therefore seems right to say that the photographs were definitely taken after 1940.
In addition it appears that the blouse Anne is wearing in that set of photographs is the same one which appears on this picture which was posted in Anne’s first diary notebook:
In the caption next to the photograph Anne writes – I began with a photo of Margot and am ending with my own. This is also in January 1942. This photo is horrible and I look absolutely nothing like it.
Anne’s hair in this photograph is shorter than in the ‘last’ set of photographs. Therefore I presume that those photographs were taken either at the end of 1941 or between February and April 1942.
What about the photographs which could be considered the last ones? Which ones are they? Well we are certain that there were at least 2 photographs taken in May 1942 (which was 2 months before they went into hiding) as like many of her other portrait photographs Anne pasted one into her photo album with the date above it.
In both of these photographs Anne’s hair is styled very differently in comparison to the other photographs and her hair reaches just below her chin. It is also clipped to the side. Also if you look closely it appears that Anne’s skin has freckles which do not appear on the ‘last’ photographs which suggests she has been outside in warm weather. It is unclear where these photographs were taken. I always thought they looked very professionally taken as if they were done in a studio. However it was around 1942 when Jewish people were forbidden to take photographs and on 3rd May 1942 Jewish people were required to wear the yellow star. Therefore it could be suggested that these photographs were either taken indoors at a house or the Frank family had a Jewish friend who was a photographer as I can’t imagine they would have been able to enter a photography studio with the Jewish stars sewn onto their clothing.
Sadly there are no photographs which exist which were taken of the Frank family during their time in hiding. It is unknown whether any photographs were actually taken but I personally cannot imagine so because there could have been a fear the photographs could have accidently got into the wrong hands and there has been no mention of this by the surviving helpers. It is also unknown whether any photographs were taken of Anne or her family at their arrival at the concentration camps for Nazi records. Again I can’t imagine so because there were far too many people being sent to Auschwitz at the time and by September 1944 rumours were spreading that the Russians were nearing Poland so I can’t imagine the Nazis would have taken individual photographs at this time as they would have been more evidence for the crimes that happened there.
Anne Frank was such a photogenic young girl and in many ways I think the more photographs we have of her, showing her exuberant personality and her fulfilled childhood before the war, the more upsetting it is to think that such a beautiful life had to be cut short all because one group of people had such a vile hatred towards another.