In 1945, close to the end of World War II, Anne Frank died at the age of fifteen. However, her diary and her close friend Hannah Gosler survived to tell her story. Hannah lived next door to Anne until the day when the Frank family seemed to abandon everything and disappear.
In Memories of Anne Frank, Alison Leslie Gold recounts Hannah Gosler’s memories of her friendship with Anne, and writes of Hannahs’ own struggles during the war. Hannah tells of a young, funny, bright Anne Frank who had sleepover parties, and flirted, and wanted to be famous, a girl just like any other girl.
Ms. Goslar’s heart-wrenching story takes the reader one step beyond The Diary of Anne Frank, describing Anne and Hannah’s last tearful meetings at Bergen Belson soon before Anne’s death.
Gold brings to life Hannah’s remembrances of two teenage girls who, despite the utter hopelessness of their situations, kept hoping anyway.
On Tuesday morning, July 7, 1942, after a day of heavy rain, the sun came out in south Amsterdam, Holland. Hannah Goslar was dressed for summer in a light cotton dress. The school year was finished, the graduation ceremony had been the previous Friday. The days were now long and the sky was probably filled with big puffy Dutch clouds.
Hannah’s mother had sewn the yellow six-pointed star—which all Jewish people had been ordered to wear—to the front of Hannah’s dress above her heart. The Star of David usually made Hannah feel proud to be Jewish, but because Jews were now being arrested and persecuted by the Germans who had conquered Holland, it made her conspicuous, like a target at a shooting range.
At age thirteen Hannah Goslar was fun-loving but also quite religious. She went to Hebrew school two times a week and to synagogue. She was gangly, tall, had creamy skin, and brushed her mahogany-brown hair so fast that electric sparks crackled. Hannah’s best features were her hair and her soft, brown eyes.
This morning she was going to call for her friend Anne Frank. Anne was outspoken, even impudent: she loved having fun. She was more interested in socializing and boyfriends than Hebrew lessons. Lately the differences between Hannah and Anne had become more pronounced.
With the war raging and both of them being thirteen, life was not as simple as it used to be when they were little girls sitting side by side at school.
Hannah had kissed her father before she left the house. Because of a new law that Jews were forbidden from working in most professions, Mr. Goslar was no longer allowed to work as a professional economist. This meant it was difficult for him to support his family.
That’s so cool
Daniel M. Klein
Thank you very much for the postal card you sent. It sits on my eating table.
I also want to thank you for sending your blog, always interesting, always provocative in the best sense.
I am okay over here in a small hamlet, Housatonic, in the Berkshire mountains. It’s cold. I live with my dog, Guffy, not far from my daughter, her Polish partner, and their daughter, my granddaughter, Eliana. In many ways, their’s is a very Jewish home — mezuzah, menorah, we say Kaddish for Freke at the Jewish cemetery. Although I was not brought up with many of the traditions, and the Jewish DNA is pretty thin in Eliana, we all cherish Jewish traditons now.
I am done writing, I’ve lost my fluency with language. It’s okay. A few of my popular books keep selling, getting translated, and optioned for film or tv, so I do not want for money. I don’t need much at this point anyhow.
I admire the life you live, a person of Letters, living alone on beautiful Hydra.
Mazel and Love,
Alison Leslie Gold
Oh Dan … so glad to hear from you. If I pass your way in the Berkshire mountains I’ll bring us strong coffee and Panettone to keep us refreshed while we have a very long visit. I’m looking for a cool place. Is it cool in the summer too, where you are? Tell me more. Sending love and many happy memories of Greece. Always, Alison