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Iowa History Daily: April 29 - Anne Franks Iowa Letter

Iowa History Daily: On April 29, 1940, Anne Frank sent her final letter to Betty and Juanita Wagner of Danville, Iowa. International pen pals for a school project, the two sisters exchanged letters with the girl who would write an enduring account of her life in hiding during World War II.



Danville teacher Birdie Matthews visited Amsterdam during the late 1930s and offered her students an opportunity to establish pen pals in the Netherlands when she returned to southeastern Iowa. Betty and Juanita Wagner agreed to participate and chose the name of a random Dutch girl from a list. The selected name: Anne Frank.



Letters followed between the sisters and Anne, mostly focused on school, friends, family, and other mundane topics. Anne’s sister, Margot, even sent a letter to the Iowa sisters during early 1940. However, after twelve days after the postmark on Anne’s final letter in April 1940, the Germans invaded.



While Anne spent the next five years in hiding while the Germans occupied the Netherlands, the Wagner sisters wondered what had become of their pen pal. Only after the conclusion of the war and subsequent publishing of “The Diary of a Young Girl” did the Wagner’s learn of Anne Frank’s fate. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar



2 commenti


My brief research indicates Anne Frank was in hiding for 25 months, not five years.

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That's gotta be right; 5 years would have been after the war was over. <shrug>

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