Study Guide

The Diary of Anne Frank (play) Summary

By Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett

The Diary of Anne Frank (play) Summary

Otto Frank returns to a secret hiding place in which he and his family have lived during the first part of the Holocaust in Amsterdam. His friend, Miep Gies, has saved a diary that his daughter Anne kept during that time. Otto begins reading the diary aloud, and the play follows Anne's thoughts and actions, as well as those of the others hiding in the Secret Annex.

The Franks and another Jewish family try to co-exist peacefully in a small apartment of rooms, hidden behind a bookcase in Otto Frank's office in Amsterdam. They must hide from the Nazis who are exterminating Jewish citizens during the Holocaust. The family members may not make noise or leave the annex for fear of being discovered. Only Miep Gies and Jan Kraler are allowed to know of their existence; they help the families by bringing them necessary items and food.

Anne keeps a diary and records the trials and tribulations experienced by the families, as well as her own coming of age in a tiny room surrounded by frustration, selfishness, and a heaping dose of fear. She battles low spirits, teenage issues, and loneliness before her family is discovered and arrested by the Nazis.

Otto completes a reading of the diary and is beyond words at what he has just read. Anne's attitude and outlook on her time spent in the Annex has clearly affected him. He relates to Miep that, after their discovery, the Annex residents were deported to concentration camps. Otto Frank is the only survivor of the annex crew of eight. The last scene in the play reconnects with the very first. He tells Miep that he's going to go away. She begs him to stay, but we can't help but empathize with Mr. Frank and the massive sadness he has to endure now that his whole family has been taken from him. In the end, all he can do is reflect sadly upon Anne's passing.