A new memoir by a Bergen-Belsen survivor reports that her fellow prisoner distracted young children at the German concentration camp by regaling them with fairy tales. Berthe Meijer’s Life After Anne Frank casts Frank’s actions as of a piece with her remarkable (and remarkably precocious) story-telling abilities.
But now Hannah Pick-Goslar, a childhood friend of Frank’s who also survived Bergen-Belsen, has come forward to dispute the memoir’s account. “In that condition, you almost died,” she told a reporter. “You had no strength to tell stories.”
I guess I’d like to know whether this is true or not. But please let’s not lose sight of the Diary, which really does justify its considerable hype. I’m constantly amazed by how many people have never actually read it. If you’re one of them, then have I got a book recommendation for you!
Below: Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel plays his song, “Holland, 1945.”