Frank, Otto "Pim" Heinrich (12 May 1889 - 19 Aug 1980)
Wartime Address: Merwedeplein 37-II (before hiding in July 1942 at Prinsengracht 263)
Anne's beloved father and the person who bought her first diary. After her death, he fulfilled her plans to publish a version of her entire diary and also promoted her ideals until his death.
Born in Frankfurt, Germany, he served in the German army in WWI, earning the Iron Cross and the rank of Lieutenant. When the family bank (The Michael Frank Bank) closed in March 1933, he moved to the Netherlands and established a company selling pectin, a gelling agent. Erich Elias, his brother in law, who he had been in business with before, loaned him money to do this, as did a cousin, Armand. In 1934, Otto brought his wife and kids (Margot and Anne) along. At some point after the German occupation of the Netherlands, he tried to emigrate out of the Netherlands with his family, but it was too late, so he devised a plan to go into hiding on the premises of his business.
He was the only person hidden in the secret annexe to survive the war (had been deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp). The SS took him and others out of the crude camp hospital to be killed, but something called the SS away. The following day, they were all liberated by Russian troops. The troops slowly moved the weak skeletal inmates to Katowice, then Czernowitz, and then to Odessa on the Black Sea. From there, they were taken by ship through the Dardanelles to the Agean Sea (the sea by Greece and Turkey), through the Mediteranean Sea to Marseilles, France. All of that travel took took four months due to the damages and tie-ups in the immediate aftermath of the war. They'd had enough to eat along the way and regained strength, but were still strikingly thin. Otto was put on a ship to Holland.
He returned to work, and also read Anne's diaries, after it was clear she had died. He was very moved by them and wanted to realize her dream of publishing the slightly edited version she had been preparing. This took some effort but he did succeed. The first printing was in the summer 1947.
On 10 Nov 1953, he married Elfriede Geiringer-Markovits. They lived in Birsfelden, Switzerland. He founded the Anne Frank Fonds, cooperated with playwrights, and responded to letters from Anne's readers. Died 19 Aug 1980, leaving Anne's diary to the Netherlands. (CE89 p. 1-9, 55-56, 71; AFB p. 9, 27, 276-7; TA p. 200, 205; The Hidden Life of Otto Frank; Anne Frank: the Biography)