Stories from the Archives
Jewish Immigration to America

The Otto Frank File

Among the refugees denied entrance to the U.S. was Anne Frank, the Jewish teenager whose diary, written while she and her family were in hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam, has become emblematic of the inhumanity of the Holocaust.

In 2005, a file of correspondence detailing her father Otto Frank's desperate attempts to find refuge for his family was discovered among hundreds of thousands of case files in YIVO's collection of records of HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society).

Mr. Frank and his friends and family in the U.S. were not successful in obtaining visas for him and his family. The family's hiding place was discovered and they were deported to Auschwitz. Mrs. Frank starved to death there. Anne and her sister Margot were transfered to Bergen Belsen, where they died of typhoid fever. Only Mr. Frank survived.

More about the Otto Frank file

“No Asylum”: Documentary film about the letters