Amazon.com Widgets

Hoping this film will get funding

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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.

Columbus Museum of Art, Art Book Club Presents — TWWBMBFTD

Focusing on fiction and non-fiction books that feature art and artists as central story elements, each of these programs includes a presentation by Executive Director Nannette Maciejunes, followed by refreshments and casual group discussion. The Art Book Club is presented on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons, four times annually. Admission is free for Museum members, $5 for nonmembers. Register here.

2015 Art Book Club Programs

 

The Woman Who Brought Matisse Back from the Dead by Alison Leslie Gold
Thursday, April 23, 2015 – 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Sunday, April 26, 2015 – 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

 

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a new film in the works

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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.

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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
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States Film’HANNELI AND ANNE’ IS A DOCUDRAMA DEPICTING THE TRUE STORY OF HANNAH-PICK GOSLAR AND

ANNE FRANK AND HOW THEIR FRIENDSHIP SURVIVED THE HORRORS OF THE HOLOCAUST. (Short Film)

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]

Final excerpt – From Part V – “A Rising Urge to Strangle Someone” – The Woman Who …

She was in the bed beside the door, supine, her face in fixed repose. A black eye-patch was covering her left eye. Alice pulled up a chair and sat beside her. When Claude opened her right eye she showed no surprise. She let Alice squeeze her hand. Alice bent and kissed it, she looked up and saw that Claude was wearing new, too white, false teeth.

“The food?

“You must speak up, chérie, I don’t hear well on this side.”

“Is the food good?”

“I detest it.”

“The staff?”

“They’re not patient.”

A tray of pureed food was rolled in. Claude was indifferent to it. She searched for the button to raise herself up, could not find it. Alice looked, found it and raised her to semi-sitting position. She went into the bathroom, got a white washcloth, ran it under hot water, soaped it, and came back to wash Claude’s hands and face. She sat down on the chair and watched as she unwrapped her birthday gifts. It took her 30 minutes to remove eight pieces of scotch tape from one package that was wrapped in velvety yellow paper. It took her another half hour to unwrap the rest. When she had removed the last piece of tape, she folded all the wrapping paper and put it under the bed cover, just as John rushed in.

“Ah, chéri.”

He was bony, unshaven, shaky. He kissed Claude.

“Happy birthday.”

“Don’t tell The Lady how old I am.”

He laughed.

“It’s on your chart, Claude. It’s too hard to keep a secret.”

She was 88 years old. She made wiggling motions with her hand and he laughed again.

“Oh sorry. I forgot.”

He looked toward Alice.

“She wants me to bring in her snake. It’s a toy… don’t worry. She wants the snake so she can scare the old people here.”

Claude brought John’s hand to her lips, kissed it repeatedly, making little pt-pt-pt sounds with her lips, left smudges of tomato-red lipstick on his knuckles. John lowered the bed to its original position while he told Claude about a new painting of his new black friend he had begun. Alice touched his back with her free arm. He was a sack of bones.

“Claude said you have a new ‘friend’ in your life. Is that who you’re drawing?”

“Yes.”

“A lover?”

He turned his back on Claude, spoke so Claude could not hear.

“Yes, if you must know. I don’t talk about my sex life in front of Claude.”

He turned back to Claude, handed her his gift that was wrapped with aluminum foil. She shook her head.

“You open it, chéri.”

John unwrapped a framed print then hung it over a monitor meant for oxygen on the wall where she could see it. It was a reproductionof a painting of Christ by Rouault. Claude made the sign of the cross, then shut her good eye.

[excerpt The Woman Who Brought Matisse Back from the Dead]IMG_15422014-01-09 11.33.40

Excerpt from Part V – “A Rising Urge to Strangle Someone” – The Woman Who …..

Matisse Drawing

Matisse Drawing

IMG_0370Though the widow bird’s plumage was black, Matisse had never warmed to it as he had his pigeon that was as white as bleached bone. It was a miracle that they had made it back to Cimiez. He was ashamed that he needed two nurses to accompany him on the train. Between the nurses, the housekeeper, the cook, Madam Lydia, crates of work, valises, trunks, bolts of cloth, he and his entourage took up an entire Portman. Once back in Cimiez, he resumed his normal life, saw friends, wrote letters to his children. Whenever his wife came up in conversation, he was taken by an overwhelming feeling of fatigue mixed with guilt mixed with longing. Hearing or saying her name brought on the sensation of fainting, which was what he did at one point when Amélie was mentioned just after the pigeon flew across the room.

When he opened his eyes he saw Lydia’s face and the pang of Amélia caught in his chest. Lydia still had fair hair. Like Amélie, every single model and woman in his life had been dark. It was the exotic, the dark, that interested him, had always interested him. Lydia was the exception. She held the cigarette away from her face between thumb and forefinger as a conductor would a baton. The mandarin orange-colored drapes had been drawn. Someone must have drawn them after he lost consciousness.

She took a final draw, let out a whip of mustard-yellow smoke, put out the cigarette in the saucer of a teacup that was on his nightstand. They must have had tea, but he could not remember. Lydia pulled the chair up beside him, sat down and flipped the duvet away from his feet. This time her hands were burning hot on his cold feet as she rubbed the ball of each foot with each of her thumbs. The leg cramps were eased by the massage. He whispered anxiously, “If I close my eyes, maybe I’ll never open them again? Wouldn’t you think that Amélie would want to see me one more time?”

Against his will, his eyelids drooped and he dozed, but, sleep was, as always, elusive. After an interval he became pensive.

“What was it that Brancusi said about the color blue – ‘… the sky that men believe to be blue is not. It is black beyond.’ Something like that. My first love affair with the color blue was the dots my mother made on porcelain vases and bowls. Young as I was at the time, my dark mother let me stir paint while she decorated those porcelains with various lines and patterns and dots.”

 

Excerpt from Part IV — “Last Supper” — The Woman Who Brought Matisse ….

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John and the driver helped Ben into the taxi. Alice gave the driver instructions on how to find the Yin and Yang Healing Arts Center in Chinatown. When the car pulled up at the curb, Alice went to the drug store to fill a prescription and John walked Ben into the building and into the windowless waiting room. Ben looked as if he would faint. Decorating the walls were framed photos of Vietnam – rice paddies, banyan trees, rice fields, small straw houses, a water buffalo and someone in a coolie hat pulling a plow. The photos showed a poetic, dreamlike place, not the Vietnam John remembered.

When the door of the examining room opened and Andy Warhol walked out, there was nowhere to hide. Andy was wearing a long black leather coat. Seeing John, he said, “I thought this place was my little secret?”

Andy looked terrible. Again John had the medic’s urge to do something to help. Ben stood up.

“Hi, Andy.”

Andy looked blank. Alice walked into the waiting room with the pharmacy bag.

“Hi, Andy.”

Seeing Alice, he looked at Ben again.

“Gee. Ben Goldwyn. I didn’t recognize you. That hat! Alice and Ben, Ben and Alice.”

“Thanks. I hate to think I look that bad.”

Ben took off his hat. Seeing the lesions on Ben’s face, Andy recoiled. As someone who had suffered all his life from skin eruptions, he bent and put his hand on Ben’s shoulder for a better look.

“Gosh. Your face is worse than mine ever was.”

He looked from Ben to John and back to Ben, then, in a bitchy tone, said to Alice, “Lucky you. If I ever have a show where I match up sets of cock and ball photos, I’ll think of the two of you.”

Sick as he was, Ben cattily muttered, “Don’t hold your breath. Geronimo paints loins, doesn’t bare them.”

Alice took Ben’s arm. Wanting to neutralize the tension, she laughingly added, “How about a show of all the dicks you’ve drooled and jerked off over through the years, Andy? You’d need a gallery as big as the Met to fit them all in.”

Rather than being offended by her words, Andy was proud. The receptionist told Ben that the doctor was ready to see him. Leaving his coat, hat and scarf on the couch, Alice helped him into the treatment room.

Conspiratorially, Andy whispered to John, “I take it he doesn’t know I have Polaroids of your cock.”

“No.”

“I didn’t know that Ben had skin problems.”

“He doesn’t. He has ARC … “

“You mean Gay Plague?”

“Yes.”

“All I have is a bad gall bladder. Oh shit, I touched him. Now I’ll get it.”

In a panic, he snapped at the receptionist, “I need disinfectant soap. I need to scrub my hands.”

John urged, “Andy … take care of your gall bladder. It can kill you if you don’t.”

“Don’t be a drama queen.”

“I was once a medic. I heard you were afraid of hospitals.”

“I hate hospitals.”

“Don’t be stupid, you must get it removed. You really must ….”

John reached out and touched his bony shoulder. Andy recoiled.

“Fuck you too, then.” He shrugged and walked into the examining room where Ben was stretched out naked on the paper-covered examining table.

Wearing a bleached white coat a beautiful Vietnamese doctor stood beside him. She had ivory black hair, black eyes, was holding a chunk of glinting crystal over Ben’s face. John looked hard at the healer. Here was a Vietnamese who had survived the war. Which side had she been on? If she knew that John had been an American marine during the Vietnam War, what would she want to do to him? Ashamed, John turned away and studied the chart showing root herbs.

She held the glinting crystal above the lesions, moved it from purple lesion to lesion, from his face to his chest to his hips, thighs, groin, legs, feet. She told him to turn over and repeated what she had done on his back side.

Ben told them, “When she’s finished with me, she’ll do you, Alice, and when she’s finished with Alice, I want her to do you, Johnny. Pray God whatever it is isn’t contagious.”

Excerpt from Part III – “It’s Possible to Lead a Cow Upstairs but Not Down” – from The Wo…

 

The taxi drove along Lexington Avenue to 42nd Street. His mother had always spoken about Justina as an angel. No photo of Justina survived. No photo of anything, even his mother and father’s wedding, had survived World War I. Julia’s descriptions of Justina had varied so much during the years that he could not help but wonder if Claude was like Justina in some way. There was no other way to explain his mother’s attachment since Julia had not made one other friend since coming to live with him, had no desire for friends.

When the taxi stopped, they crossed 42nd Street, stepped over spilled fruit and went inside a penny arcade that was noisy with the sound of electric pinball machines. They passed a row of pokino machines, a line of skee-ball machines, walked to a counter at which a ruby-haired woman wearing a white captain’s hat with a shiny black brim was redeeming coupons won playing skee-ball. She was upset, kept pointing up at a cream and red alarm clock, her skin bright fuchsia.

“I want the alarm clock.”

The attendant behind the counter was breaking down rolls of quarters. He did not look up.

“You don’t have enough coupons for the clock.”

“I do.”

The attendant pointed to a lower shelf that contained large foam dice in several colors – blue, pink, yellow, green – also green plastic back scratchers, tiny brown monkeys at the end of key chains.

“This is your shelf, miss.”

The highest shelf that displayed alarm clocks also held piggy banks, various stuffed animals – stuffed sheep with curly coats of black fur, a row of large silky black and white stuffed panda bears. The attendant took three $20 bills from Andy and handed back a cardboard bucket filled with quarters. Andy went over to the photo booth. Spinning the hard, round, plastic seat counter clockwise to raise it, he instructed Claude.

“Sit on the seat.”

Since her hair was dark with streaks of gray threading through the brown mixed with strands of hunter green, he chose dark on light and pulled back the azure curtain, revealed the white wall.

“Sit inside.”

She did, straightened her back.

“Look at the small glass window. Hold a pose when the green light goes on. Change it after it turns to red.”

Quarters clanged as they dropped into the machine. A little green light lit, flashed. He spoke in a flat voice.

“Don’t blink!”

“Turn to the right.”

“Look up.”

“Make a face.”

“Make another face.”

He was not sure if she understood English. When she did everything he asked, he gathered that she did and, as his mother had told him, had followed an artist’s orders before. After the light had flashed four times, he stuck his head inside.

“Wait. It’ll go again”.

He was surprised that a heavy sexual atmosphere was now surrounding her.

“Fabulous.”

At the sound of more coins, she opened her eyes wide and the light flashed red, each flash an ember of fire. She changed positions before each flash, sniffed, tossed her head like a ram. Not only had she followed directions, she had obviously done quick poses too.

“Don’t blink.”

When the light stopped flashing, he reached his long white hand inside and pulled the curtain behind her head to give an azure background.

“Great.”

Quarters dropped into the machine

“Great.”

The lights went on and off and on four times, four times, four times, four times. Finally he stepped back.

“That’s it.”

Claude mumbled a prayer of petition, stepped out of the booth. She drifted toward the counter, looking up at the stuffed animals, while Andy leaned against the photo machine. He followed her with his eyes, chewed his thumbnail as she looked longingly at the stuffed animals. In ten minutes, black and white photos, four to a strip, began to drop out of the machine one after the other. Because they were still wet, he gripped their edges, lined them up along the glass top of a horse racing machine to dry. Images appeared.

“Gosh!”

Claude came to look at the strips. Each contained four images of a face that did not always seem like the face of the same person. Once dried, he dropped the strips one by one into a paper bag.

“May I look?”

He handed the bag to her and walked away. She pulled out the strips, looked at her many faces. None of these faces belonged to a nun. He returned and put a black stuffed sheep into her arms. She wrapped her arms around the sheep’s belly and followed him into the street. While he hailed a checker cab, she rubbed the sheep’s fur.

“Where can I drop you?”

“At St. Patrick’s church.”

He sat on the jump seat, stared at her face. She could pass for Jeanne Moreau’s older sister.

“If you pay me in cash it would be better. I worked one hour.”

“Let’s make it a half day – four hours. I pay one-twenty-five an hour.”

He handed her five dollars. She looked distastefully at his jacket, his dark glasses; his tight black trousers were like a Nazi SS. He had once seemed such an effete boy, but now he was dressed like a Nazi.

“Here, please.”

The taxi stopped, and she got out at the statue of Atlas holding up the world. The taxi drove on. Before returning to the house to change his clothes, he had the taxi driver stop twice – once for pastries and once to pick up the Czech newspaper for his mother.

Excerpt from Part III — “In Paradisum” — The Woman Who ….

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The room’s walls were painted pale pink. Julia was hooked up to various machines. Her usually hidden flesh-pink colostomy bag was clipped to the metallic bed frame, its lavender hose disappearing under the blanket. Beside it, also attached to the bed frame, a clear plastic deflated balloon into which bright yellow urine was dripping through a narrow clear plastic hose. Claude asked the nun, “Sister, do you speak French?”

“No.”

The nun pinched Julia’s hand, told her, “I’ll be back with the chocolates your son sent, dearie.” She turned to Claude, asked, “Please see to it that she doesn’t talk. She’s quite a talker and it isn’t good for her heart.”

The nursing nun left the room. At the foot of the bed was a tripod with a movie camera aimed at Julia. The red light on top was lit. Julia was giddy, her straw-like hair askew.

“Sit, Claws.”

Claude sat in the chair that was upholstered with mint-green leather. The hue of Julia’s skin was mustard green, seeing Claude was making her even more giddy, also agitated.

“You know what the priest say at midnight on Easter? He say, ‘Risen from the dead, trampling death by dying … ’”

As the nun had pinched hers, she pinched Claude’s hand.

“Me die. My heart pop like pop art. Poor Andek. He think I dead. Help me, Claws, I want to go home. He think he no need me but he no know what he need. He need. He need.”

“You’re ill, Madam Warhol.”

“Don’t boss me. I’m strong. In Mikova I carry logs, sacks of potatoes, onions. Make me strong for life.”

“Then you want to leave?”

Julia nodded, so Claude pulled the needle attached to the IV out of her colorless, thin-skinned arm. A trail of blood trickled from the puncture. Claude pressed the wound with used gauze she took from the metal pan. Reaching under the blanket, she removed the catheter tube.

“You hurt me.”

“I’m sorry. I was once a nurse, I must have lost my skill.”

Claude also pulled off the heart monitor that was attached to her chest with tape. Claude reached out her hand, Julie grasped it, was pulled her out of bed.

“My things are there.”

She pointed to a metal locker that Claude opened, removed her coat, shoes, stockings, dress, scarf, pocketbook. While Julia held onto her colostomy bag, Claude helped her dress. She held Julia’s arm and helped her to the elevator bank at which three nuns stood. When the elevator door opened, two policemen got off. After them, she could hardly believe her eyes, Dr. Antoine Robaud got off, bringing back the shock of Lyon. Claude snatched at the sleeve of his white coat.    

“Monsieur. C’est vous?”

“Oui.”

The elevator door closed, with Julia and the three nuns inside.

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.