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.
A butcher by trade, van Pels went into business with Otto Frank in 1938.