During the early years, Edith Frank does not really feel at home in the Netherlands. Miep Gies recalls: “Mrs. Frank missed Germany very much, more so than Mr. Frank. In conversations we had, she would often refer with melancholy to their life in Frankfurt.”
'Margot is doing well in school and will go on to the third grade. She can now speak good Dutch.', wrote Edith Frank to Gertrud Naumann. Anne likes going to the Montessori kindergarten and, later on, enjoys first grade at this same school just as much.
In April 1934, Anne starts attending a Montessori kindergarten. Otto Frank later says about choosing a school: “Anne was a demanding character. She continually asked questions... When we had visitors, it was difficult to free yourself from her, because everyone and everything interested her... It was good that Anne went to a Montessori School, where each pupil gets a lot of individual attention."
Class photo of Anne from 1936
From the Sixth Montessori School in Amsterdam. Anne Frank is roughly in the middle. Her teacher is Mr. Van Gelder.
Margot and Anne often play on Merwedeplein in front of their house. They quickly make lots of new friends who are either Dutch or German. Many Jewish children from Germany live in the neighborhood. Hanneli Goslar is Anne's girlfriend in kindergarten. Later, Hanneli talks about it: "My mother brought me to kindergarten. I only knew Anne, and I did not speak a word of Dutch. I still remember that time very well. We came inside and I saw Anne on the other side of the classroom. She stood with her back next to mine and played with these bells. Then she turned around. I saw her, she saw me, and then we ran into each other's arms. I didn't realize that my mother was gone. From that moment we were with each other, to the end... It was a nice childhood, until the German army invaded the Netherlands in 1940".
Anne and Hanneli had already seen each once before while their mothers were shopping.
Anne Frank's Amsterdam: View the city’s timeline before, during and after the war.
Anne's tenth birthday
Anne is the second from the left, Hanneli Goslar is the fourth girl from the left.