After an August 7 2019 Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid in Mississippi in which young children were left to wander the streets after their parents had been arrested, a quote attributed to Anne Frank about similar occurrences before the Holocaust began to circulate on social media:
A version was also shared on August 9 2019 by the Facebook page “Close the Camps.” Typically, the quote lacked a date or other information aside from the attribution, and it read:
”Terrible things are happening outside. At any time of night and day, poor helpless people are being dragged out of their homes… Families are torn apart: men, women and children are separated. Children come home from school to find their parents have disappeared.” – Anne Frank
Commenters on the post stated that they first believed they were reading about the ICE raids in Mississippi before noticing the attribution:
On January 13 2019, the verified Twitter account @AnneFrankCenter shared the same excerpt including a date — January 13 1943:
A Google Books page from a version of Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl printed in 2011 included a longer version of the quote:
The longer quote read (similarities bolded):
Terrible things are happening outside. At any time of night and day, poor helpless people are being dragged out of their homes. They’re allowed to take only a knapsack and a little cash with them, and even then, they’re robbed of these possessions on the way. Families are torn apart; men, women, and children are separated. Children come home from school to find that their parents have disappeared. Women return from shopping to find their houses sealed, their families gone. The Christians in Holland are also living in fear because their sons are being sent to Germany. Everyone is scared. Every night hundreds of planes pass over Holland on their way to German cities, to sow their bombs on German soil. Every hour hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people are being killed in Russia and Africa. No one can keep out of the conflict, the entire world is at war, and even though the Allies are doing better, the end is nowhere in sight.
As presented in the tweet, Anne Frank’s words about separated families and schoolchildren coming home to find their families gone were accurate. The context in the longer text did not alter its intent, and Frank further described people being stripped of their belongings after they were seized.