Remembered for his association with famous diarist Anne Frank, he went into hiding with the Frank family in Amsterdam in 1942. After being discovered by the Nazis, he died at Auschwitz in late 1944.
He and his five siblings were raised in Gehrde and Osnabruck, Germany.
He is referred to in Anne Frank's diary as Hermann (or sometimes Hans) van Daan.
His marriage to Auguste Rottgen began in late 1925. Their son, Peter, was born in November of the following year.
A butcher by trade, van Pels went into business with Otto Frank in 1938.