Hidden Children of the Holocaust

Had she survived the Holocaust, Anne Frank would have celebrated her 85th birthday on June 12, 2014. On her birthday each year, The Anne Frank Center USA honors her memory by recognizing distinguished citizens and young people who are making a difference in communities across the U.S. with a gala dinner and award ceremony called the Spirit of Anne Frank Awards.

This year, the Spirit of Anne Frank Awards honored adults who, like Anne, were hidden during the Holocaust. Many do not realize it, but Jewish children died at a rate far higher than adults during the war. It is estimated that only 6-11% of Jewish children living in Europe before World War II survived, as compared with 33% of adults. Thousands of children survived by denying their identities as Jews, housing with Christian families or religious organizations, or physically hiding in attics, closets, barns, fields, and cellars. They lived in danger.

The New York City metro area is home to hundreds of former hidden children, and we were honored to host nearly three dozen of them at the ceremony.

Entrance to the Secret Annex ©AFS Amsterdam