Anne Frank was born in Germany, but in 1933 she was forced to flee to Holland and in 1942 went into hiding with her family. Anne’s diary from these years is famous for its descriptions of her family’s experiences hiding from the Nazis in a secret annexe during World War II.
Anne sadly died in a concentration camp in 1945, but her diary was found and published by her father. Less well-known are the series of seven mandala drawings that Anne completed as part of her sixth grade studies at the Montessorischool she attended in Amsterdam. Drawn with a compass and coloured in pencil, they show Anne's name and the date written at the bottom in Anne's own handwriting.
With the bombing of Rotterdam and German invasion of the Netherlands in 1940, one can only wonder whether Anne thought about any of this whilst she was drawing? Or perhaps creating these mandalas provided her with the opportunity for a brief yet blissful escape? We'll never know: Anne didn't receive her diary until 1942 when it was given to her as a birthday gift for her thirteen birthday. Translated into fifty languages, more than 80 years on it remains one of the world's most popular books, loved by adults and children alike.
Mandala drawn with coloured pencils. Drawing by Anne Frank (1941)
via The Anne Frank House