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.
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.”