Anne Frank

Betrayal of a betrayal

Dear Rosemary Sullivan,

I’ve been meaning to write to you since the publication of your book THE BETRAYAL OF ANNE FRANK in January 2022 to register the shock (even outrage) I experienced after reading your book. At the most basic level, this work is irresponsible, sprinkled with inaccuracies, distortions, is historically dangerous, but time passed and other things got in the way and I never wrote to you.

I’m the co-author with Miep Gies of Miep’s memoir ANNE FRANK REMEMBERED and have had my finger on the pulse of Anne Frank’s world as it relates to (among other Holocaust-related matters) Miep and Jan Gies since 1987 and will continue to have a stake in its faithful preservation until the day of my death.

I believe that your book should have been immediately withdrawn (as the Dutch publisher did) or else seriously revised to reflect accuracy and finger-pointing, especially in matters relating to Mr. van den Bergh. If Harper Collins is unwilling to do so, why haven’t you insisted?  Where is your honor?  Listen to the Spui 25 symposium **REFUTATION OF “BETRAYAL OF ANNE FRANK” from 3/22/2022 available on YouTube [see link below]and elsewhere if your conscience needs prodding.

Alison Leslie Gold

(BTW: I fear reading your book VILLA AIR-BEL wondering what you’ve done to THAT story since Mary Jayne Gold happens to have been my husband’s aunt? Oh: and my first name is Alison not Leslie, as you refer to me in your book.





















Annelies Marie


Anniversaries, hand over fist; am swimming in anniversaries.

Annelies Marie, born in 1929, usually called Anne (pronounced An-na, last name Frank), would have been 88 on 12 June 2017. It’s 70 years since her iconic diary was first published. (See Life Magazine’s special issue The Diary at 70: Her Life and Her Legacy that includes a nice mention of Miep’s and my book Anne Frank Remembered).


[Photos: Anne Frank – May 1931, age 2, left, the last entry Anne wrote in her diary, three days before her arrest, right]

As someone steeped in Anne’s world for over twenty years, have I anything new (or different) to add to her original story to mark her birthday? The answer – Yes. The following was written to celebrate Miep Gies (Anne’s protector’s) 100th birthday in 2009, and was added to our memoir Anne Frank Remembered. This essay brought Anne’s story – and Miep’s – into and beyond the new century as many thread-ends were left dangling after her arrest in 1944; since the publication of the diary in 1947; since the publication of our book in 1987; and beyond. Though much mystery remains, some bits and pieces have been demystified in recent years. Who knows what other shoe/s might drop as time goes on. Just when I think nothing new can be added to this heart-wrenching saga, something turns up.

An extract from the New Epilogue that Miep and I composed:


…When those last words in the original epilogue to Anne Frank Remembered were written, my husband Jan (whom Anne called “Henk” in the diary) and I were considered old – my husband in his eighties, me in my late seventies. I could not have known that I would be lucky enough to live to my one hundredth year. Nor could I have imagined the strangeness I would feel at having outlived almost everyone who shared the terrible times with me including Jan who died on January 26th, 1993.

His hat still hangs alongside mine on our hat rack near the front door. His watch is still stretched out on top of the television set. There is an oil painting of him on one wall of my apartment and a painting of Anne on another. There is a framed photo of Otto Frank near the end of his life along with other photos of family and friends, awards I’ve received, mementoes, on various surfaces around the apartment.

The pieces of antique furniture given me by Otto Frank that had belonged to Edith remain. They include the large grandfather clock made in Frankfurt long ago that fills an entire wall. Near to the time Jan died, this clock stopped working. So far, no one has been able to repair it.

I am surrounded by memories but live entirely on my own, although my son, Paul, and his wife, Lucie, see to my well-being.

Had Anne Frank lived, she would … [no] doubt be encircled by children and grandchildren. Also copies of published books and prizes won for writing them, as I believe she would have realized her wish to become a celebrated writer.

Although the story told in this book remains unchanged, I am surprised by how many new, and remarkable, pieces have filled the puzzle of this tale since its publication. …

… survivors gave testimony about what happened to the people in hiding between the arrest in August 1944 and the war’s end in spring of 1945. Detailed information including eye-witness accounts of my friends’ suffering and deaths became known to the world.

I would have preferred not to know many of these details, but I have learned them nonetheless.

After Anne Frank Remembered was published in English and Dutch, it was published in twenty other languages worldwide. Jan and I, and our coauthor Alison Leslie Gold, who has since become a close friend, were amazed. The book sold well, was honored and given awards. Letters began to arrive from all over the world. I answered every one of them, so I became very busy. …

… Despite our age, Jan and I did what was asked of us after the book was published. We traveled to many countries, met many Holocaust survivors, went where we were invited. When we met with school children in Germany and Austria, some of whom were descendents of Nazis, some said to us, “Our parents won’t talk about what happened in the war. Our grandparents won’t either. Please tell us what happened.”

Because I could speak to them in German, and because I was originally from Vienna – in other words was one of them, not an outsider – I was able to tell them the true story of what happened. I could and did tell details that their parents and grandparents had chosen not to discuss with them.

It was at this moment that Jan and I were truly glad that we had let Alison persuade us to tell our story. We realized that telling the truth of what happened from our prospective was necessary and speaking with these schoolchildren was the last important task of our lives.

Soon afterward, what seemed like a tidal wave of interest in Anne Frank, and in us, came flooding in.

The documentary film Anne Frank Remembered whose title seemed to pay homage to our book, won an Academy Award for best full-length documentary. I was invited to attend the ceremonies in Hollywood. When the winner was announced, the director and I went onto the stage and appeared before the audience, who had risen to their feet in an ovation.

It was a great honor, but Anne should have been standing there. …

… As the lone survivor of this story, I am always turned to for comments. Sometimes I’ve given them, sometimes I’ve chosen to remain silent when I thought it was best. …

… In recent years, the boyfriend whom Anne wrote about in her diary just before going into hiding was convinced to appear publicly at a few events. Among them was a tribute on what would have been Anne’s seventy-fifth birthday. He was Helmuth Silberberg, nicknamed “Hello.” Anne never knew that soon after she went into hiding, Hello and his parents went into hiding near Brussels. He managed to get a forged identity card and survived.

After the war he went to America where his name became Ed Silverberg. He is a tall, white-haired, smiling man with a youthful face. I can’t imagine that Anne would not still find him attractive. In her diary Anne said Hello called her a “pep tonic,” which I think describes her well.

In our book, I mentioned the letters and small packages I couriered between Fritz Pfeffer and his frau, Charlotte, called Lotte. Charlotte always assumed that Fritz was in hiding somewhere out in the countryside and that I was passing along the letters to another courier or someone from the underground. Of course she did not know I was passing them hand to hand directly. Because Charlotte was not Jewish she was able to survive the war, living in Amsterdam the whole time. For a time after the war Charlotte, Otto, Jan and I played cards together. Charlotte died in 1985.

A few years later, an astonishing discovery was made. A packet of letters and photos was found by someone strolling through the lively flea market on Waterlooplein in Amsterdam. Among them were the love letters between Fritz and Charlotte that I had couriered. The photographs documented the tenderness of their relationship. The discovered photos of Dr. Pfeffer reveal the handsome, cultured man I knew, rather than the buffoon that Anne so unkindly described in her diary.

It is not well known that the unflattering portrayal of Fritz in the diary and the dramatic license taken by the writers who adapted the diary in order to craft the various plays and films from it caused great unhappiness to our friend Charlotte, as well as sadness for Otto, Jan and myself over the years. This portrayal, once done, could not be made right, and that broke Charlotte’s heart.

Another amazing happening also relates to Fritz Pfeffer. Because of the discovery of the love letters in the market and other revelations, it is no longer a secret that before Charlotte and Dr. Pfeffer got together, they had both been married. Both had sons from their first marriages After we found out that Fritz died in Auschwitz, we discovered that Lotte’s first husband and her son had also died in Auschwitz, and Fritz’s former wife died in the concentration camp at Theresienstadt.

We later found out that Dr. Pfeffer’s son had survived in England and went to America after the war. He called himself Peter Pepper. For his own reasons, he chose not to ever meet anyone connected to his father – Charlotte, Otto, or me – until in 1995 he decided to meet me. Our charged reunion was filmed for the documentary Anne Frank Remembered. It was a remarkable moment in history and shows how strange life can sometimes be when I set eyes on Fritz’ son who, in many ways, resembled his father. We shook each others hands. Our eyes met. There was no need for him to thank me for trying to help his father but he did. At that moment, neither of us could have known that he would die only two months later….

…Since the publication of Anne Frank Remembered I have received thousands of letters from around the world, mostly from school children who had questions to ask me. I have done my best to answer all of them. When age began to make this difficult, a Dutchman named Cor Suijk began to visit every few weeks to assist me. Even if he had to drive from Aachen in Germany or fly from meetings in Omaha, Nebraska, he has never failed to show up with a joke and a little news.

Cor Suijk was a close friend of Otto Frank. He had worked with the Dutch Resistance during the war. Although he was only a teenager at the time, he was sent to a concentration camp. He has sometimes told how he witnessed a large raid in Amsterdam and will never forget what he saw and heard. Men were being put on a tram by soldiers. Women were calling out the names of their husband or brother or son. Children were calling for their fathers and uncles.

For many years Cor has worked to promote Holocaust education all over the world. He speaks many languages. This has been very useful for his work and also with helping me answer letters from so many different countries.

As it happened, Cor was the source of one of the most unexpected surprises in recent years. For many years he was silent about the fact that Otto Frank had given him five original pages from Anne’s diary for safekeeping. Cor explained that Mr. Frank asked him to keep these pages to himself until after the death of Mr. Frank’s second wife. When he released the news of these previously unimagined pages, the announcement created controversy.

In these pages Anne muses on very private matters. Her comments have been understood as critical of her parents’ marriage. Anne wonders if her father loves her mother as much as her mother loves him. She judges whether or not this love is romantic or unromantic.

We must remember that these are Anne’s opinions only. And although her diary shows her maturity and development over the twenty-five months in hiding, she was still essentially a child. It must also be remembered that Mr. and Mrs. Frank and everyone else were living under great tension without any intimate privacy while in hiding. Such circumstances do not seem the best in which to judge a marriage.

I knew Mr. and Mrs. Frank as a married couple for ten years. In my opinion, he was always a good husband and father and she was always a good wife and mother.

In 2007 another discovery was made, this of a sorrowful nature. A cache of letters in a manila envelope – over eighty letters and documents – was discovered among tens of thousands of scraps and documents in an archive, Yivo, in New York. These were urgent letters written by Mr. Frank to his American business connections. There were also letters to friends and relatives, including Edith Frank’s two brothers, Julius and Walter Hollander, who had gone to America in 1939. In these letters Mr. Frank sought help to get visas to a neutral country or to America or Cuba. With every passing day, the letters show increasing desperation.

I knew at the time that Mr. Frank was making such enquiries. I urged him to try to get out of Europe. I knew that his hiding plan was the last resort. These letters evoke for me that terrible time long ago that most people cannot imagine anymore.

I was not surprised that the letters repeatedly mention his children, Anne and Margot, and how much more important their fate is than his or his wife’s. Nor was I surprised, when Mr. Frank said in one of the letters that, in case the family cannot get out together, Edith urged him to go by himself or, if possible, take the children with him. This is the kind of person Edith Frank was.

Another recent development concerns the great chestnut tree in the back yard adjacent to the hiding place. It is immense in size, even older than me and unfortunately has not avoided sickness as it has aged. Because of fungus, rot, moth infestation and dying roots there is a danger that it will come crashing down on the museum that the hiding place has become or onto the neighbor’s house. Experts agreed that it should be cut down but protests and outcries by both tree advocates and readers of the diary, developed into a world-wide cause. People consider it to be Anne Frank’s tree. Anne mentions it many times in her diary. During the first Spring of the hiding – 1943 – Anne hardly noticed it. But soon she become infatuated by it. She would go up to the attic of the hiding place – sometimes with Peter – and, because the attic contained the only window that wasn’t covered, she could look out at the branches of this same tree. In winter she admired drops of rain on the bare branches, in summer she admired it in full bloom.

She could see the sky, and also an occasional seagull through the branches She wrote that all these things she saw kept her from being unhappy.

I understand why the tree means something to people today just as it did to Anne. Though there have been reprieves, at the moment, the tree’s fate is uncertain. …

… Much of the new material gathered about our saga has been interesting or surprising, Unfortunately some of it has not always been flattering or totally substantiated. Various incorrect pieces of information have seeped into the growing mountain of Anne Frank-related materials as well.

I compliment the authors and filmmakers, and I value their work. But I believe that it is important that the correct historical facts should always be observed.  A few unresolved clues should not be made into history.

Some interpretations of certain events use negative or sensational words to describe things and some people have, unjustly I believe, done harm to Otto Frank. He was a man who had to deal with death coming toward him and his family. He always did the best he could under terrible circumstances and does not deserve to be harmed.

New and controversial theories about the identity of the betrayer and the events leading to the betrayal have been stitched together in some publications. Because of new research, we now know that there were several more people with either motives or opportunities to betray my friends in hiding. While some of these theories are plausible, so far they have not been proven by hard facts.

My final words on the betrayal are these: We shall never know. …

… During the hiding time I lived for the day that the war would end and I would be able to go into the hiding place, throw open the doors, and say to my friends – “Now go home!”

This was not to be.

Perhaps instead, when the time comes for me to join Jan and our friends in the hereafter, I’ll push aside the bookcase, walk behind it, climb the steep wooden stairway, careful not to hit the low ceiling with my head where Peter nailed the old towel to it. Upstairs Jan will be leaning against the edge of the dresser, his long legs stretched out, the cat Mouschi in his arms. All the others will be sitting around the table and will greet me when I enter.

And Anne, with her usual curiosity, will get up and rush toward me saying – “Hello Miep. What is the news?”

I doubt I have very long to wait.

… For some reason I was given a great opportunity to find and shelter the diary, to be able to bring the message from Anne to the world.

I will never know why.


[Photo: stairway that reached the hiding place from Mr. Frank’s office where Miep and the other helpers worked all day]

Since the insertion of this New Epilogue into a re-issue of Anne Frank Remembered to celebrate Miep’s 100th birthday, not only has Miep died, but her helper Cor Suijk has too; Anne’s chestnut tree was entirely felled by a storm only a short time ago, and is no more. In spite of the passing of so much time, words written in the world-famous diary continue to be quoted and have become part of world culture. Some of these most famous quotes tend to sugar-coat Anne, even wrap her legacy in rain-washed optimism. Indeed, scattered across a night sky are glinting emotions, dark to golden. Anne did rise above her grim circumstance and express hope. But, equally, without flinching, she notated darkness and doom, including an inkling that a bad end was on the approach.

During unsettling times like now, as ill winds blow, we poke fun at our own grim situation but tend to assume all will be well in the end. As prelude to our own futures, it might be wise to be reminded that in Anne’s case doom trumped good. And so might ours; inertia beware. Miep never got to throw open the door to the hiding place and tell her friends – Now go Home! It broke her heart.

Anne died of starvation and disease not too many months before she was sixteen. An interview with Janny Brandes-Brilleslijper, a nurse and fellow prisoner/eyewitness who survived the war, demythologizes that ending. Janny recounts:

         At a certain moment in the final days, Anne stood in front of me, wrapped in a blanket. She didn’t have any more tears. Oh, we hadn’t had tears for a long time. And she told me that she had such a horror of the lice and fleas in her clothes and that she had thrown all of her clothes away. It was the middle of the winter and she was wrapped in one blanket. … Two days later, I went to look for the girls. [Anne as well as her sister, Margot.] Both of them were dead!**

The exact date of death is not known, but it was sometime in late winter, 1945, not many weeks before the camp’s liberation. In spite of the Nazis predilection for precise record-keeping, there were many bodies to dispose of at the time, so Annelies’ shorn, bony, flea-bitten, starved corpse (most likely) was tossed into an open pit where hundreds of other corpses, including her sister Margo, who died the day before, were piled. These corpses were sprinkled with a bit of lye.

(**From an interview by Dutch filmmaker Willy Lindwer

for his documentary The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank

also made into a book by the same name)








Another shoe drops


There seems always to be another dropped shoe in the Anne Frank world. Most recently, and thanks to my friend Eugene Manning’s sharp eye on auctions,  a copy of a child’s book of fairy tales once shared by Anne and her sister Margot. (see above photo: Anne and Margot Frank at the seaside with their backs to the camera, pre-war, pre-adolescence, pre-German occupation, pre-exclusion of Jewish people from the beach, pre-fear for one’s life). Most likely this book of children’s stories was part of the children’s library abandoned by the family in July 1942, when they walked out of the door of their apartment leaving almost all they owned behind to go into hiding in four cramped, curtained storage rooms behind Mr. Frank’s business where they were to spend the next 25 months, never breathing fresh air until their arrest in August 1944. (For more read: Anne Frank Remembered and Memories of Anne Frank, Reflections of a Childhood Friend)

Following, an excerpt from Swann’s Gallery Auction Catalogue: ( for complete article)


Image-1-22At Auction May 5, 2016: Anne and Margot Frank’s copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales (Aus Grimms Märchen), Signed and Inscribed by Anne Frank, with Margot Frank’s ink owner stamp, Vienna, 1925, inscription Amsterdam, circa 1940. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.

Image-1-21Our May 5 Autographs auction features Anne and Margot Frank’s copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales (Aus Grimms Märchen), signed by the young diarist herself. The book was left behind in the Frank’s Amsterdam apartment when the family’s departure to the famed secret annex was hastened after Margot was called to relocate to a work camp.

The book eventually made its way to a secondhand bookstore in Amsterdam’s Runstraat, where a Dutch couple purchased it not long after the war. In 1977, the couple’s children discovered the signature and wrote to Otto Frank, the family’s sole survivor, to let him know of the discovery. In a poignant letter, which is up for auction alongside the book, Otto expressed how deeply the discovery of the book affected him, as well as his wish that the family keep the book for their own daughter. The sale represents the first major offering of Anne Frank material at auction in over two decades. One of the last offerings was a set of letters sent by Anne and Margot to their American pen-pals sold by Swann for $165,000 in 1988.

This auction will also present a parade of historical delights, including a strong selection of presidential material, as well as Americana, scientists, writers, world leaders, entertainers and others. Among the presidential items is material from the Forbes Collection, including an archive of letters and ephemera from Theodore Roosevelt and his family to their close friend, Edwin A. Van Valkenburg.

The writer’s section will include an uncommon Oscar Wilde manuscript…also  triking is an image of Einstein, executed in an etching by Hermann Struck, signed by Einstein and the artist. If you are more interested in Einstein’s words, a group of five letters signed by him to physicist Helmut Bradt will be offered, documenting Einstein’s successful effort to bring the Jewish scientist to America in the 1930s…





Happy Birthday Asteroid 5535 Anne Frank

Because I spent 20 years writing about WWII and the Holocaust, including two Anne Frank-related books, I never fail to notice Anne Frank’s birthday in June. It’s today. Although the clock has continued to tick for the rest of us, Anne remains frozen in time, evermore a young girl. Despite the passing of vast expanses of time since her diary caught fire around the world, there doesn’t seems to be any end to appearances of Anne Frank-related materials and events. Recently: A play based on Anne’s Diary was performed with puppets in Atlanta, Georgia. Anne’s story as a graphic novel was published. So was a book told from Peter’s point of view (accused of “oversexualizing the young diarist”). A box of Anne’ marbles left behind in Frankfurt in 1933 was rediscovered. Rain and wind finally toppled Anne Frank’s beloved chestnut tree. Even an asteroid (Asteroid 5535 that lies between Mars and Jupiter Asteroid) has been named for her: Asteroid 5535 Anne Frank.

Pictured here is Anne attending Miep and Jan Gieses wedding on July 16, 1941 outside Amsterdam Town Hall. “Because Margot Frank and Mrs. Frank’s mother were both sick, Mrs. Frank had stayed home to care for them. Anne and Mr. Frank arrived together. Mr. Frank looked handsome in his dark suit and hat. Anne looked very grown-up indeed with her princess-style coat and matching cloche hat with a ribbon around the brim. Anne’s hair had got longer, and it looked shiny and full from brushing.” These lines are from the book Miep Gies and I wrote with the help of Miep’s husband: Anne Frank Remembered.

Miep and her husband, Jan, helped to hide Anne and her family from the Nazis for 25 months. Anne’s impish smile in this photo might have something to do with the fact that even though the German’s already occupied Holland and the noose around Jewish necks was beginning to tighten, this wedding party had put a fast one over on the Nazis. You see, Miep was originally from Vienna. She had refused to join a Nazi Girls Club. Because of this, her passport had been invalidated and she was threatened with deportation back



to Nazi ruled Austria. The last place on earth she wanted to go. Against all odds, she had been able to marry Jan, a Dutchman, that day, had thus become Dutch, and, as a Dutch woman was able to thwart the iron will of their mutual oppressors, a cause for glee felt by all at the wedding, memorialized by Anne’s infectious smile.

During the years of my friendship and collaboration with Miep (who lived to age almost to 101) Miep several times described the following to me: Every time she and Jan were invited to see a stage play of the “Diary of Anne Frank” when it was performed in the Netherlands, just before the curtain was to go up, she would find herself thinking about Anne and the others: Maybe this time things will end differently. Maybe this time when the play ends they’ll live. But every time when the curtain would fall, her heart would sink because the play always ended the same way.

A Planetoide is a small planet-like celestial body orbiting a star. Recently, one was christened Planetoide Miep Gies. Every night Asteroid 5535 Anne Frank and Planetoide Miep Gies are glinting in the heavens. Also tonight on the anniversary of the birth of Anneliese Marie Frank born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1929. Eighty-six years ago.


… seen in a bookshop in Munich

This photo sent by a friend wandering through a Munich bookshop just the other day, my book about young friendship between Anne Frank and Hannah Goslar – Memories of Anne Frank, Reflections of a Childhood Friend. It’s mixed in with a general sample of works on that dark time long ago that seems to still be of vital interest to many.

As it happens, a short film is being cast right now by a fine Salt Lake City filmmaker named Sally Meyer, telling the story of that friendship. Following, a photo of Hannah, alive and well, surrounded by grandchildren, almost 87 years old. Of course there will never be a photo of Anne Frank as an adult, nor as a grandma. She remains evermore a smiling teen frozen in time. 

Hoping this film will get funding



Out of the blue, filmmaker SALLY MEYER contacted me asking for access to HANNAH GOSLAR, Anne Frank’s best friend in childhood. After consulting with Hannah, age 86, living in Jerusalem, whose story I made into the book Memories of Anne Frank, Reflections of a Childhood Friend (Scholastic Press, TMI Publication) I connected them. A short film will be the fruit of this connection, to be called HANNELI AND ANNE, THEIR TRUE STORY, now looking for modest funding. Accessing some of Sally Meyer’s work, I realized that something fine could come of this. I’ve jumped aboard with a contribution. I hope others will also want to be a part of this worthy undertaking while Hannah is alive and it is still possible.

a new film in the works


Click here for Indigogo project: Hanneli and Anne – Their true story

A story close to my heart! A fine filmmaker in Salt Lake City, Sally Meyer, is raising money in order to make a short film about friendship, and how it transcends time and even death. The subjects are Hannah Goslar and Anne Frank, best friends in childhood, separated by war, who briefly met again in Bergen Belsen death camp in the final days of Anne’s life. I wrote about this friendship in my book for middle school-age readers — Memories of Anne Frank, Reflections of a Childhood Friend – translated into 20 languages. I strongly urge anyone with a a little money to spare to click the link above and support this project  as I am.


Hannah Pick-Goslar, in the photo, survived the war and has lived a long, rich life in Israel. She is surrounded by children and grandchildren in 2015 but at heart is the same sweet soul as seen in the photo on the cover of my book. We see Hannah and Anne in the 1930s on the streets of their neighborhood of South Amsterdam, neither having any idea of the unkind future that awaits them.

Below: All about Sally Meyer’s film.

Hanneli and Anne – Their true story


The True Story:

Hanneli and Anne tells the true story of Hannah (Hanneli) Pick-Goslar and her friendship with Anne Frank. Best friends since kindergarten, Hanneli and Anne grew up together in Amsterdam. In 1940, when Holland was invaded by the Nazis, Hanneli and Anne had no idea that their lives were going to change forever.

In the summer of 1942, Anne and her family were forced into hiding and Hanneli was told that the Frank family had fled to Switzerland, and the best friends were abruptly parted.

In June, 1943, Hanneli and her surviving family were sent to a camp in Westerbork, northeastern Holland, where they were prisoners until they were transported to Bergen Belsen, Alballalager, a ‘privileged camp’ in February, 1944.

In November of 1944, thousands of new inmates arrived at Bergen-Belsen. Alballalager was divided down the middle by barbed wire covered with straw to keep the camp separated. The penalty for talking to prisoners on the other side of the barbed wire was death.

In February, 1945, Hanneli finds out that her dear friend, Anne, is on the other side of the fence, and not in Switzerland, as she previously thought.

When darkness falls, she approaches the high fence, and by a miracle, she is able to make contact with Anne.

Even though they cannot see each other because of the straw, they meet at the fence three times, risking their lives to share precious moments together. Hanneli brings food for Anne to the fence, in hopes of supplying a means to keep Anne alive. The first attempt fails when another prisoner snatches the food from Anne and runs away. After Hanneli receives two package from the Red Cross, she takes one package to Anne. This time she is able to get the precious food and a pair of socks to Anne.

Photo of Bergen Belsen Camp 1945 courtesy of George Stein and The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Tragically, Anne Frank and her sister Margot, died of Typhus, in Bergen Belsen, just weeks before Germany surrendered in 1945.

Hanneli and her sister Gabi survived the horrors of Bergen Belsen, and eventually, with the help of Anne’s father, Otto Frank, emigrated to Jerusalem in 1947.

Hannah still lives in Jerusalem, she has three children and many grandchildren.

This is her story of courage and loyalty, which shows that in spite of everything, we can keep our humanity and love towards others.

Why I Want the World to Know Hannah’s Story

When I first read the story of Hannah Pick-Goslar, I was touched and amazed. How could Hanneli, just a young girl, do what she did – to keep her little sister, Gabi safe and to share food with a friend at the risk of her life.

Hanneli suffered much, she lost her parents and her grandparents, and yet had the courage and grit to keep going, despite her awful circumstances, so she could keep her little sister Gabi alive.

When I learned of Hanneli’s further charity and courage as she risked her life to meet Anne at fence in Bergen Belsen, I knew I had to write the story in script form. The story remained in the back of my mind, and every so often, came to the forefront. I eventually realized that I had to make this story into a short film. Running time will be about 20 minutes.

Obtaining Hannah’s Personal Blessing to Bring Her Story to Life

I was also able to contact Hannah, through the gracious help of Alison Leslie Gold, a good friend of Hannah, who wrote the book ‘Memories of Anne Frank. Reflections of a Childhood Friend’. This book is a beautiful tribute to Hannah, and I highly recommend it.

Hannah and Alison read the script and gave us notes for accuracy, after working together via email and phone, Hannah approved the script and gave us permission to tell her story.

In February of 2015, exactly 70 years from the time that Hannah was liberated with her sister Gabi from Bergen Belsen, she granted us an interview at her apartment in Jerusalem.

We extend a special thanks to Steve Linde, Editor in Chief of the Jerusalem Post, and Eli Mandelbaum, Journalist and Photographer at YNET, who were instrumental in securing the interview in Israel with Hannah.

A Message from a Woman of Courage – Brought to You by a Dedicated Team

The live interview with Hannah will allow you also to get to know her and to see why this story must be told. We will be releasing small snippets of the interview during this campaign. The full interview will be available after the film is completed.

Hannah’s message is of love and tolerance for all people, no matter race, creed or religion.

I’m thrilled to co-direct this film with my Five One Films partner, Ali Barr. Without her I would not have the courage to make this film. Her vision matches mine and our goal is to create a beautiful film, to honor Hannah and Anne and all the innocents who were subjected to the atrocities of the Holocaust.

I am delighted to work with Ali and Stephanie Broschinsky as producers of the film.
The Diary of Anne Frank

We have secured permission from the Anne Frank Fonds (Foundation) in Basel Switzerland to use text from the famous diary of Anne Frank. Her words speak just as loudly today as they did seventy years ago. “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart”. (Anne Frank)

Our goal is to make the film in honor of Hannah and her courage. We will enter it into film festivals and hope to get this film into schools, so that students all over the film will know Hannah’s story.

We need your contribution to make the film, will you join hands with us and share Hanneli’s story?
Thank you.

Sally Meyer: Writer/Director/Producer

Ali Barr: Director/Producer

Stephanie Broschinsky: Producer

Five One Films Production Company


stumbled on this talk I gave

This clipping was just sent to me. It’s part of a talk I gave at a community college in Maryland not very long ago. One glaring correction: Anne Frank was born in 1929, not 1919, as I state in the talk. Shame on me! Perhaps some of the impenetrable expressions on the faces in the audience rattled my memory.

[Anne Frank Remembered by Miep Gies and Alison Leslie Gold]

Remembering Miep Gies on her birthday – 15 February.

IMG_0303Not very long ago, Miep Gies rested on this chair in my living room. As she contemplated my cockatiels, Fanny and Puccini, they contemplated her. Her iconic deeds were behind her and old, old, oldest age (she lived almost to age 101) lay ahead. Because of her indelible association with Anne Frank and World War II Holland, most would be surprised to know that she was not originally Dutch. Following is an extract from our book ANNE FRANK REMEMBERED in which she describes the journey she took in order to fulfill her destiny:

But Amsterdam was not my native city. I had been born in Vienna, Austria, in 1909. When I was five years old, the First World War began. We children had no way of knowing that the war had begun except that one day we heard soldiers marching in the street. I remember feeling great excitement, and I ran out alone to take a look. I was aware of uniforms, equipment, and many emotional displays between people.To get a better look, I ran between the marching men and horses. A man from the fire brigade grabbed me, hoisted me into his arms, and carried me home, as I craned my neck to see more.

In Vienna, there were old buildings, not in good condition, built around central courtyards and broken up into many apartments filled with working people. The man from the fire brigade returned me to my anxious mother and left. My mother told me gravely, “There are soldiers in the streets. It’s not safe. Don’t go out there.”

…I was not the strongest child, and because of the serious food shortages during the war, I had become undernourished and sick…. My legs were sticks dominated by bony kneecaps. My teeth were soft…. My condition was worsening, and my parents were told that something had to be done or I would die.

Because of a program that had been set up by foreign working people for hungry Austrian children, a plan was devised that might rescue me from my fate… It was winter — always bitter in Vienna — December 1920, and I was bundled up in whatever my parents could find and taken to the cavernous Vienna railway station. There we waited long, tiring hours, during which we were joined by many other sickly children. … A card was hung around my neck. On it was printed a strange name, the name of people I had never met.

The train was filled with many children like me, all with cards around their necks. Suddenly the faces of my parents were no longer there and the train had begun to move. All the children were scared and apprehensive, some were crying. Most of us had never been outside our street, certainly never outside Vienna.I felt too weak to observe much, but found the chugging motion of the train made me sleepy. I slept and woke. The trip went on and on and on.

It was pitch-black, the middle of the night, when the train stopped and we were shaken awake and led off the train. The sign beside the still steaming train read Leiden.

This eleven year old half-starved German-speaking girl’s birth name was Hermine Santrouschitz. While she was being fed and cared for, she began to learn to speak the Dutch language and, quite soon, acquired a common Dutch nickname — Miep.

MIEP‬ GIES 105th birthday

ON what would have been her 105th birthday — February 15th — remembering ‪#‎MIEP‬ GIES who risked her life for over two years to help to hide and care for ‪#‎Anne‬ Frank and her family while in hiding and saved Anne’s diary after the arrest. Blessed to be her friend for over 25 years as well as her collaborator on #ANNE FRANK REMEMBERED, here’s Miep with my birds Fanny and Puccini during a visit.