Go to contents

Anne Frank’s last ‘best friend’ dies

Posted October. 31, 2022 07:55,   

Updated October. 31, 2022 07:55


Hannah Pick-Goslar, one of the best friends of Anne Frank, who wrote ‘The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank’ while in hiding from the German Nazis during the Second World War, has died at the age of 94.

Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, said in a statement on Friday, “We are saddened to hear the death of Hannah (Hanneli), who appears as one of Anne’s best friends in the book.” The timing and cause of her death have not been made public.

Born in Berlin, Hannah Pick-Goslar moved to Amsterdam with her family after the Nazis came into power in 1933 and lived at Anne’s neighborhood house. She was one year older than Anne. The two went to kindergarten and schools together, frequently visited the other’s home, and became best friends. “When introducing Anne, my mother would say “The God knows everything, and Anne knows more than the God,” Pick-Goslar recalled when alive.

The two parted after Germany invaded the Netherlands, which was then a neutral country in 1940, and Anne’s family hid in an attic to avoid the holocaust. They reunited at the Bergen-Belsen Jewish concentration camp in Germany in February 1945. Anne was arrested as someone informed the Nazis of her whereabouts in 1944 and was brought to the camp where she encountered Pick-Goslar. The two were encamped at two different sections in the camp and would exchange greetings across the fence once in a while. Pick-Goslar recalled the memory of Anne, who expressed sadness with tears, saying, “I have no one left with me” after losing her elder sister in the camp.

Anne lost her life after being infected with typhus fever in March of that year. When the Allied Forces emancipated the Bergen-Belsen camp one month later, Pick-Goslar moved to Israel in 1947 and became a nurse. Anne Frank House said Pick-Goslar would actively reveal atrocities committed by the Nazis with a sense of obligation that everyone should know what happened after Anne’s last diary, saying, “I survived, but Anne could not.”

American novelist Allison Leslie Gold wrote a novel on the story of the two in 1997. The novel was made into the movie ‘Childhood Friend Anne Frank, released last year.

Eun-A Cho achim@donga.com