'Netherlands' literally means 'lower countries', referring to its low land and flat geography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) above sea level. Most of the areas below sea level are the result of land reclamation beginning in the 16th century, resulting in large areas known as polders that amount to nearly 17% of the country's territory. With a population of 17.25 million living within a total area of roughly 41,500 square kilometres (16,000 sq mi), of which the land area is 33,700 square kilometres (13,000 sq mi), the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Nevertheless, it is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products after the United States, owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, and intensive agriculture.
The municipality of Bellingwedde employs the museum staff and provides most of the museum's budget. Since 2003, the museum had around 1,800 to 3,200 visitors per year. With 1,798 visitors in 2012, when the museum was partially closed for renovation, it is one of the lesser-visited museums in Groningen.
Anne and her family moved to Amsterdam in 1933 after the Nazis gained power in Germany, and were trapped by the occupation of the Netherlands, which began in 1940. As persecutions against the Jewish population increased, the family went into hiding in July 1942 in hidden rooms in her father Otto Frank's office building. After two years, the group was betrayed and transported to concentration camps. Seven months after her arrest, Anne Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, within days of the death of her sister, Margot Frank. Her father Otto, the only survivor of the group, returned to Amsterdam after the war to find that her diary had been saved, and his efforts led to its publication in 1947. It was translated from its original Dutch and first published in English in 1952 as The Diary of a Young Girl.