The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/f/frank.anne//

Anne as a child:

   "But Anne was the exact opposite of Margot. She had to be completely
   changed every day, sometimes twice a day. For example, one morning
   Kati found her sitting on the balcony in the rain, in the middle of a
   puddle, chortling with delight. A good scolding left the little girl
   unaffected. She did not even bother to get up out of the puddle. She
   wanted Kati to tell her a story right there and then, and it made no
   difference that Kati had no time. The story could be a short one, she
   said." (Schnabel 25)
   "It occured to Toosje [a childhood friend of Anne] to mention that
   Anne had had another grief: she could not whistle. She simply could
   not learn, no matter how determinedly she practiced on the stairs and
   out on Merwedeplein. And you had to be able to whistle, Toosje
   explained, because as children they had never rung the house bell when
   they wanted to call on one another. They whistled; that was settled.
   And now there was Anne, left out...`And do you know what she did?'
   Toosje asked. `She sang instead.'
   Toosje sang Anne's call to me, overcoming an embarrassment that made
   her flush red to the tips of her ears, and blink, and look off at a
   secret point that was not at all inside the room. `Lalalala' she sang,
   and again, `Lalalalalala' -- five notes, five thirds, up and down. The
   second time she even placed her hands over her mouth so that it would
   sound as it had sounded then, when Anne would sing through the mailbox
   slit. That was how it had sounded, exactly like that. Toosje's mother
   nodded agreement; it took little imagination to hear the lid of the
   mailbox clicking." (Schnabel 44)
   Anne had two best friends, Lies and Jopie. Here is a reflection about
   Anne and Jopie by Jopie's mom, Madame van der Waal:
   "But Anne had charme and self-assurance, while Jopie was froide,
   timide...And still, the plotting and whispering that was always going
   on between the two of them, and the telephoning all day long, though
   the Franks lived not three doors away from us. Every morning, there
   was the telephone ringing, and fifteen minutes later they would be
   seeing each other in school anyhow. But the never could wait that
   "When Anne came to stay with us, she always brought a suitcase. A
   suitcase, mind you, when it wasn't a stone's throw between us. The
   suitcase was empty of course, but Anne insisted on it, because only
   with the suitcase did she feel as if she were really traveling. And
   before they went to sleep, the whispering and giggling . . . "
   Anne and friends:
   Anne had two best friends, Lies and Jopie. They were close to each
   other and below are some quotes from them:
   "Anne and I were very close friends, you must under- stand that, and
   yet no one suspected that she could write. With Margot it would have
   been different. We thought terribly talented and capable of anything.
   But Anne, you see, was just my friend, and we sat side by side in the
   Montessori school in Amsterdam for six years, and whispered in class,
   and the teacher could never separate us, no matter how hard she tried.
   And later, when we went to the Jewish Lyceum, I was called out the
   very first day, and put in another class. I felt utterly miserable; I
   didn't know a soul in this class. But next morning, the door opened
   and Anne slipped onto the bench beside me. Nobody said anything to
   her, and so we stayed together until she suddenly disappeared.." 
                -Lies in reflection of her and Anne

   "I waited, shivering in the darkness. It took a long time. But
   suddenly I heard a voice: 'Lies, Lies? Where are you?'
   It was Anne, and I ran in the direction of the voice, and then I saw
   her beyond the barbed wire. She was in rags. I saw her emaciated,
   sunken face in the darkness. Her eyes were very large. We cried and
   cried, for now there was only the barbed wire between us, nothing
   more. And no longer any differences in our fates.
   I told Anne that my mother had died and my father was dying, and Anne
   told me that she knew nothing about her father, but that her mother
   had stayed behind in Auschwitz. Only Margot was still with her, but
   she was already very sick. They had met up with Mrs. van Daan again
   only after their arrival here in Belsen. 
   But there were differences between us, after all. I was in a block
   where we still occasionally had packages. Anne had nothing at all. She
   was freezing, and starving. I called to her in a whisper:
   'I'll see what I can do, Anne. Maybe ... Come back here tommorow, will
   And Anne called across: 'Yes, tomorrow. I'll come.'"

                   -Lies upon reflection of Anne
                    at Belsen.

   Anne and her Mother
   "But one day I went upstairs -- it was in the afternoon and Anne was
   sitting alone at the table, writing. She was writing in an account
   book like those we had in the office. I recognized it. She promptly
   closed the book and put it away, blushing. At that moment Mrs. Frank
   came into the room and said, `Yes, we have a daughter who writes. Did
   you know that?' She said it in a tone that held pride -- and at the
   same time loneliness and sadness that this child withdrew from her by
   writing. And I stood in front of them, looking at the child and her
   mother, and said: `Really, I didn't know at all.' But I did know, of


   After the Secret Annex
   "And the only one of the men I saw again was Mr. Frank, but by then
   the Russians had liberated us and we were being cared for in a school
   in Kattowitz. Mr. Frank was sitting alone at a long table when I came
   in and we recognized each other. I said to him:
   'I know nothing about the children. They were taken away.'
   After a while I told him that his wife had died, in bed, right beside
   me. Mr. Frank did not move when I told him. I looked into his face,
   but he had turned away, and then he made a movement. I no longer
   remember exactly what it was, but it seems to me he laid his head on
   the table."

                   -Mrs. De Wiek, who met the Franks

   "You ask me what Anne's mother was like? There in Westerbork she was
   quiet; she seemed numbed all the time, and I did not know her before
   the camp. She no longer talked very much. Margot, too, spoke little,
   but Edith Frank could have been a mute. She said nothing at work, and
   in the evenings she was always washing underclothing. The water was
   murkey and there was no soap, but she went on washing, all the time.
   Anne's father was quiet too, but it was a reassuring quietness that
   helped Anne and helped the rest of us, too. He lived in the men's
   barracks, but once when Anne was sick, he came over to visit her every
   evening and would stand beside her bed for hours, telling her

                   -Mrs. De Wiek, who met the Franks

   "Here is another example. We were always thirsty, so thirsty that at
   roll call we would stick out our tongues if it happened to be raining
   or snowing, and many became sick from bad water. But the thirst was
   worse than any sickness. And once, when I was so far gone that I
   almost died because there was nothing to drink, Anne suddenly came to
   me with a cup of coffee. To this day I don't know where she got it."

                   -Mrs. De Wiek, who met the Franks

   "I can still see her standing at the door and looking down the camp
   street as a herd of naked gypsy girls were driven by, to the
   crematory, and Anne watched them going and cried. And she cried also
   when we marched past the Hungarian children who had already been
   waiting half a day in the rain in front of the gas chambers, because
   it was not yet their turn. And Annie nudged me and said: 'Look, look.
   Their eyes . . .' 
   She cried. And you cannot imagine how soon most of us came to the end
   of our tears."

                   -Mrs. De Wiek, upon reflection of
                    Anne Frank at Auschwitz-Birkenau
                    women's concentration camp.

   "I was sent to the infirmary barracks, and there I saw Mrs. Frank
   again. I lay down beside her. She was very weak and no longer eating,
   scarcely in her right mind. Whatever food she was given she collected
   under her blanket, saying that she was saving it for her husband,
   because he needed it -- and then the bread spoiled under the blanket."

                   -Mrs. De Wiek, who met the Franks

   From 'Anne Frank, A portrait in courage':
   "Mrs. L., the mother of Trees L., tells me:
   'Yes, I saw Anne in Belsen. She had come with a shipment from
   Auschwitz, and at first they were put up in tents because there was no
   room in the barracks. But when the weather turned and autumn came to
   the heath, the wind tore up these tents one night, and knocked them
   over. Then Anne and the others were distributed among various blocks,
   and Margot and Anne were placed in the block adjoining ours. I could
   see Anne beyond the barbed wire across the camp street. Over there
   conditions were even worse than they were among us, for we still
   received an occasional package while they had nothing at all. So I
   called across the street:
   'Don't go away, Anne. Wait!'
   And I ran into the barrack and packed up whatever I could find, packed
   it into a bundle and ran back to the barbed wire. But it was so far
   across to the other block, and we women were so weak. While we were
   wondering how we could throw the bundle across, Mr. Bill came by. Mr.
   Bill lived with us. He was very tall, and I said to him: 'I have an
   old dress here, and soap and a piece of bread, Mr. Bill. Please throw
   it across. You see the child, standing over there.'
   Mr. Bill hesitated at first, not certain whether it was safe, because
   the guard could see us. But he overcame his fears at the sight of her.
   Seeing her overcame all our fears. So he took the bundle and flung his
   arm far back and then sent it flying in a high arc across to the
   otherside." (Schnabel, 177)
   MISC notes
   Madame van der Waal, a dressmaker by trade, said this about Anne as a
   "Do you know when I saw Anne for the last time? In my own flat. I had
   made a blue tricot dress for her. When it was ready, she came for it.
   Naturally we tried it on once more -- it looked sweet on her, and I
   told her so. And what do you think Anne said to that? `Why of course,'
   she said, `after all, it's brand new.' "
   Madame van der Waal, one of Anne's friends mother, said this about
   "Just think, one Sunday, we were just about to sit down to the table,
   Anne suddenly said good-bye. I said, `Why Anne, we're going to eat
   now.' But she said no, she had to go home because she had to give
   Moortje his bath. And I said: `Why Anne, you're crazy. A cat isn't
   supposed to be bathed.' But Anne said haughtily: `Why not? I've often
   bathed him, and he's never said anything about it!' And she took her
   suitcase and left.
   When Anne wrote in her diary:
   "So we walked in the pouring rain . . . each with a school satchel and
   shopping bag filled to the brim with all kinds of things thrown
   together anyhow. We got sympathetic looks from people on their way to
   work. You could see by their faces how sorry they were they couldn't
   offer us a lift; the gaudy yellow star spoke for itself."
   The Jewish people were forced to wear a star on them to distinguish
   them from "others".
   From 'Anne Frank, A portrait in courage':
   "Elli says, weeping:
   'The table was still set; there were plates, cups, and spoons, but the
   plates empty and I was so frightened I scarcely dared to take a step.
   I, too, saw the papers on the floor, and I said to Miep:
   'Look, Miep, there is Anne's handwriting, too.' We sat down on the
   floor and leafed through all the colored duplicate paper from the
   office, too. We gathered them up and took them down with us.
   Downstairs, in the main office, we locked up all of it." (Schnabel,
   Note: Elli and Miep did not read Anne's diary until after the war, at
   which time they handed it over to Mr. Otto Frank.

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