Friday, March 19, 2010

Frankly my dear, we're not sure if your Anne Frank story is a fairy tale or not...

Around 140,000 Jews lived in the Netherlands before the 1940-45 Nazi occupation. Of those, 107,000 were deported to Germany and only 5,200 survived.

SHOOT: Why is it only published now? And of course, the old lady stands to make some money publishing a book about an alleged encounter with Anne. I'd be interested to know about atmospheric and more visceral descriptions, her memory and experience of Anne walking, talking with her, personal encounters, and I'm guessing those would be on the thin side, quite frankly.
clipped from
Berthe Meijer

Berthe Meijer, 71, claims in a memoir to be published in Dutch this month that while she was in Bergen Belsen as a 6-year-old, she remembers the severely ill Frank trying to cheer up some of the children at the camp by telling them fairy tales.

"On its face, it seems too good to be true," said David Barnouw of the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation, who has studied Frank for three decades and edited the definitive scholarly publication of her diary.

He said his primary objections to Meijer's story are that Anne would probably have been too weak from hunger and illness to tell stories shortly before her death in March 1945, and it would be an amazing coincidence that Meijer would have a memory about someone who only became well known many years later.

Psychologists say it's conceivable that if Meijer knew Frank before the war, and if she met her again in Bergen Belsen, she could form a lasting memory about it, even at a young age.

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