My Friend Anne Frank by Hannah Pick-Goslar with Dina Kraft

In Memory Of The Six Million Innocents

My Friend Anne Frank by Hannah Pick-Goslar with Dina Kraft is a powerful and heartbreaking account of a time of great evil. The book is written by one of Anne Frank’s closest friends who also fled Germany for Amsterdam in order to be safe. Hannah Pick-Goslar lived in the same apartment block as Anne Frank and they were in the same class at school.

The author tells of life before the war and of life as it was gradually eroded for the Jewish people.

Even before captivity Hannah Pick-Goslar faced personal tragedy as she was forced to grow up and become mother to her two year old sister.

As the grip of the Nazis tightened on Jewish lives, the author, her sister, father and grandparents were all interred at Westerbork. The only thing that saved them from even harsher treatment was their passports for Israel. Many months later they would be transferred to Bergen Belsen which was hell on earth. We hear of the awful conditions which just got worse and worse. It is in Belsen that Hannah Pick-Goslar briefly met Anne Frank who was in even worse conditions with her sister Margo. The optimistic Anne was broken, without hope, believing all her family had perished. Had she known her father Otto was alive, she would have had hope.

Hannah Pick-Goslar and her sister were put on the ‘lost train’ which wandered for nearly two weeks before liberation by the Russians.

It was a long trek back to Amsterdam, before briefly joining relatives in Switzerland. The author then fulfilled her father’s wishes and travelled to Israel, only to later be caught up in the Jewish Palestinian war. Her sister would later join Hannah Pick-Goslar when she was old enough.

Hannah Pick-Goslar made it her life’s mission to tell everyone about the Holocaust, in memory of the six million innocents. She believed in keeping their memory alive. Even in lockdown, and in her nineties, Hannah Pick-Goslar spoke to children on Zoom.

Hannah Pick-Goslar was an amazingly brave teenager who endured so much. To her dying breath, aged ninety three, she spoke of the Holocaust, to educate future generations and to keep memories alive. She said of Anne Frank: she was “a symbol… of all the hope and promise that was lost to hatred and murder.”

At the end of the book, we hear of the fates of all of Anne Frank’s friends – only Hannah Pick-Goslar survived, all the others were murdered by the Nazi regime. It is beyond awful. It is beyond heartbreaking. It should never have been allowed to happen. All those lives lost. This book must be read in memory of the six million innocents. We must never forget.

I received a free copy. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.


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