A Wedding Video Gave The World The Only Known Film Footage Of Anne Frank

From the time of its first publication in 1947, Anne Frank's "The Diary of a Young Girl" has served as an invaluable document of one of the darkest eras in human history: the Holocaust. Written by Frank as a journal, "The Diary of a Young Girl" tells the story of the two years that the Jewish Frank family spent living in secret at the height of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during War II, the Frank family's home country (via Brittanica).

Until recently, still images of Anne Frank, who died at the age of 16 at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany, have been the only visual reminder of what Frank's life was like. Now, the only known film footage of Frank has emerged from a much happier time in Anne's life, less than one year before the Frank family went into hiding. The rare film footage, posted on Youtube by the Anne Frank House is available to watch below.

Frank is 13 years old in the film clip

The black and white 20-second film clip from 1941, when Anne Frank was just 13 years old, was taken on the wedding day of a Frank family neighbor in Amsterdam. Anne was born in Frankfurt, Germany, but Otto Frank, Anne's father, relocated his family to the Netherlands in 1934, when Hitler and the Nazi party first took power, according to Brittanica. Though the family managed to hide for two years, they were eventually found, arrested, and sent to concentration camps. Otto Frank was the only survivor of the Frank family after being liberated from Auschwitz at the conclusion of World War II.

After the publication and subsequent popularity of Anne Frank's diary, discovered in the secret apartment by family friends of the Franks after they were captured by the Gestapo, the married couple recognized Anne in the clip and sought out her father, Otto, who died in 1980 (via Biography).  A version of the rare motion picture imagery was given to Otto by the married couple themselves in the 1950s. The couple, who as of 2009 were still alive, per The Guardian, supplied the much longer version of the footage to the Anne Frank House museum in the 1990s.

Frank appears 9 seconds into the footage

The ghostly image of Anne Frank leaning from a second-story window in her Amsterdam home can be seen roughly nine seconds into the footage. Her attention is captured by the smartly dressed bride and groom on the street below. Speaking with The Guardian, Anne Frank house representative Annemarie Bekker said that in the opinion of her organization, posting the Anne Frank footage to Youtube was a great way to introduce a whole new generation to her story.

According to Bekker (via The Guardian) "The footage is very moving and very unique because these are the only moving images of Anne Frank ... It's another way to bring the life of Anne Frank to the attention of younger people, and all people worldwide." As of this report, Frank's "The Diary of a Young Girl" has been published in more than 70 languages, according to the Anne Frank House website. As of 2019, some 30-million copies of the book have been sold, per History.