Anne Frank's father twice tried to obtain US visas before going into hiding

Anne Frank’s family reportedly tried to escape to both the United States and Cuba, but they were unable to because of U.S. immigration policies and the onset of World War II, according to an NBC News report.

The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum pointed to documents, including correspondence from Anne’s father, Otto Frank.

In writing sent to a friend in 1941, Otto told a friend, Nathan Strauss, he had applied to get visas to the U.S. However, the German bombardment had destroyed all papers at the American Consulate in Rotterdam in May 1940.

At that time, NBC reports the U.S. had also placed serious restrictions on visas, issuing just 30,000 per year — and processing of applications took several years.

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ANNE FRANK (1929-1945) Jewish Dutch Holocaust victim

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NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 26: The entrance of the Anne Frank Center USA is seen on March 26, 2012 in New York City. The center, which opened on March 15, 2012, attempts to inspire tolerance by sharing about the life and thoughts of Anne Frank, a victim of the Holocaust. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Anne Frank Huis, House and Museum on the Prinsengracht Canal in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Holland. At dusk in winter.

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The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam Netherlands

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Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS: Pictures taken at a press viewing of the exposition about Anne Frank in the Amsterdam Historic Museum, 10 April 10 2006. The exposition shows, amongst others, twenty letters written by Anne Frank, made available by the Anne Frank Foundation in Bazel. The exposition opens April 12, and will remain until September 3 2006. AFP PHOTO / ANP / UNITED PHOTOS/KOEN VAN WEEL NETHERLANDS OUT (Photo credit should read Koen van Weel/AFP/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 11: A letter by Anne Frank dated 18 December 1936 is on display in the new exhibition of the letters of Anne Frank, at the Amsterdam Historical Museum on April 11, 2006 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images)

NETHERLANDS - CIRCA 1980: postage stamp printed in Netherlands showing an image of Anne Frank, circa 1980.

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A statue of Anne Frank in Amsterdam, November 8, 1963. (Photo by Keystone/GettyImages)
LOHHEIDE, GERMANY - MARCH 17: A symbolic tombstone commemorates Anne Frank and her sister Margot on the site of the former Bergen-Belsen concentration camp on March 17, 2015 in Lohheide, Germany. Germany will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen by British troops on April 15. Anne Frank, a young Dutch Jew who was deported to Auschwitz and later to Bergen-Belsen by the Nazis, is known for the diary she kept. An estimated 70,000 inmates died at Bergen-Belsen, including Jews and Soviet prisoners of war. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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People visit on December 10, 2011 an Amsterdam apartment where Jewish teenager Anne Frank and her family lived for nine years before going into hiding due to the Nazi occupation. 'Around 400 people will be allowed to enter the home,' Andre Bakker, a spokesman for the Ymere social housing company which owns the apartment where Frank and her family lived from 1933 to 1942, said. AFP PHOTO / ANP / TOUSSAINT KLUITERS netherlands out - belgium out (Photo credit should read TOUSSAINT KLUITERS/AFP/Getty Images)

Germany circa 1979 stamp

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The memorial stone for Jewish girl Anne Frank, author of 'The Diary of a Young Girl', and her sister Margot is pictured 28 October 2007 on the grounds of the new Bergen-Belsen Memorial. Both girls died at the concentration camp a few weeks before it was liberated by British troops in April 1945. The Bergen-Belsen Memorial, which is situated sixty kilometres north-east of Hanover, is located on the grounds of the former Prisoner of War and concentration camps, marked graves and monuments hold reminders of the suffering and deaths of its prisoners. A documentation centre illustrates the history of the camp and its victims. AFP PHOTO DDP/NIGEL TREBLIN GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read NIGEL TREBLIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Amsterdam, Netherlands - May 8, 2008: detail of old radio in the former office of Otto Frank in the Secret Annex in Amsterdam.

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While the Frank family was never refused entry to the U.S., Strauss and Otto’s two brothers-in-law in America were unable to use their resources to secure their emigration.

But by 1941, the Nazis had closed all American consulates in European countries it occupied, blocking Otto’s effort to obtain visas and his application to Cuba likewise became impossible following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

According to NBC, Annemarie Bekker from the Anne Frank House said: "All their attempts failed, so going into hiding was their last attempt trying to get out of the hands of the Nazis.”

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