To me, I am deeply struck by the ironies of the concentration camp part of the story. In fact, it was the ironic details that first inspired me to write Stolen Secrets…
The Frank family and the other residents of the annex did go to Westerbork initially on August 8, 1944, as the previous commenter said. It was a work camp, not a death camp. They broke apart dirty old batteries as punishment for their arrest. The tragic irony is that they arrived a month before the very last transport left that camp for Auschwitz. Had they been uncovered a short while later, they would have stayed at Westerbork and more than likely, have survived.
But alas, they were sent on a harrowing three-day journey by train to the death camp, Auschwitz. Immediately, the men and women were separated, and this was the last time they ever saw their beloved father, Otto. Another irony is that Anne was 15 years 3 months old when she arrived, just making the cut off for being old enough to survive the gas chambers prepared for all children under fifteen. Anne thought her father had not survived this initial selection. It was at Auschwitz that Edith—Anne and Margot’s mother—died. She was already sick when her two daughters were sent on to Bergen-Belsen camp in October 1944, because they were deemed healthy and young enough to work for the Northern Germany camp.
It was at Bergen Belsen that Margot succumbed to Typhus, followed by Anne. The most current theory is that they died several weeks before the date of March that is often quoted. The final irony is that the only survivor in the entire original group was Otto Frank, who Anne had assumed wasn’t healthy or young enough to have survived the arrival gassing at Auschwitz. Anne and Margot Frank’s bodies were never recovered. A plaque marks their memory, not a grave marker.