Anne Frank's barracks destroyed by fire

By Jessica Elgot, July 20, 2009

Barracks at a Dutch work camp where Anne Frank was held before being taken to Auschwitz have been destroyed by a “suspicious” fire

The cause of the fire at the wooden barracks at the Westerbork camp in Holland has not been determined.

Anne Frank was detained in barrack 57 at the camp in 1944, but the buildings were sold in 1957 and were used to store farm equipment before the fire.

Gillian Walnes the executive director of the Anne Frank Trust UK, said:
“It is sad that this important historical site is now lost. Ironically, after over two years of claustrophobic and fearful hiding in a secret annexe in Amsterdam, Anne Frank’s short stay at Westerbork camp afforded her a degree of happiness and hope.”

Anne, 15, reportedly worked in the camp dismantling old aeroplane batteries, but she spent time there with boyfriend Peter van Pels, and eyewitnesses said the mood in the camp was hopeful that they would be able to remain in Westerbork until being liberated.

But Anne and her family were on the very last transport out of Westerbork to Auschwitz and she died of typhus at Bergen-Belsen camp six months later.

Her diary, written while in hiding sold more than 40 million copies when it was published after the war by her father Otto Frank, the sole surviving member of the family.

Last updated: 6:02pm, July 20 2009