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.

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The Missing by Michael Rosen

Educating The Next Generation

The Missing by Michael Rosen is nonfiction exploring what happened to members of the author’s family during World War II. It is suitable for ages ten years and over.

Michael Rosen’s family are Jewish. At the start of the war, he had relatives in France and Poland. They had disappeared without a trace by the time war had ended.

The author sets out on a quest to find his missing family members. He finds the fate of some, but not all.

The book is also about World War II and the Holocaust. Michael Rosen writes in such a way as to educate young minds but not to scare them witless. We need to tell the next generation in order to keep the memories of the innocents alive.

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The Boy From Block 66 by Limor Regev

Powerful – May We Never Forget

The Boy From Block 66 by Limor Regev is a powerful true tale of Moshe Kessler and his family during World War II.

Moshe Kessler was born in an area that kept swapping between being Czech or Hungarian territory. He was born in 1930 and forced to grow up very quickly under the Nazi occupation of Hungary.

We see how previously close neighbours and friends turned as the jackboots marched in.

Moshe Kessler spent over a year being transported to various concentration camps and on death marches until liberation in the spring of 1945. He had grown up in the Jewish faith but like many, he felt abandoned by God in the camps. Moshe Kessler turned his back on God, only returning to faith in later years.

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Yvonne Child Of The Somme by Sara Rowell


Yvonne Child Of The Somme by Sara Rowell is a fascinating glimpse into a bygone era.

The reader becomes immersed into French life during the early part of the twentieth century. The author drops in on mother Marie’s life as a domestic servant in 1900 before following Yvonne’s life from 1901.

Life for women in France at the turn of the century was hard. We learn that a third of all births in Paris in 1900 was to single mothers and yet there was no pressure on the fathers to claim responsibility. Females were at the mercy of males. Domestic servants were at risk of abuse from other male servants or their masters.

The poor were seen as a problem for society that was ruled by the male elite. “The wealthy male elite… saw poor people not as individuals but as a … problem.” There was no poor relief and life was a lottery. Many women could not afford to keep their babies.

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