Scrapbookpages Blog

January 9, 2014

First Anne, then Liese, go into hiding from the Nazis, and two Holocaust books are the end result

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:37 am

My blog post today is about a book, written by Dr. Nelly Toll, which you can read about in a news article here.

This quote is from the news article, cited above:

In her most recent book, “Beyond the Hidden Walls,” the story concentrates on Liese — based on Toll’s aunt — who is expelled from a tuberculosis sanatorium in Switzerland in the middle of winter in 1942.

Before I went to visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, several years ago, I studied up on Anne’s story and her book The Diary of Anne Frank, which was published by her father after her death.

I learned that Anne Frank’s full name was Anneliese, which was a very popular name for girls in Germany back in those days, and probably still is. As was the case with many girls, back then, she went by the nickname Anne.  She could have just as easily chosen the name Liese for her nickname. The fact that the Franks named their daughter Anneliese indicates that they were assimilated.  Otherwise, they would have named their daughter Sara or Leah or some other popular Jewish name.

There is a famous German song about Anneliese, which you can hear on the YouTube video below, and learn how to pronounce the name.  If you are getting bored, reading my blog post, you can stop and dance the polka, as you listen to the music.

I learned, before I went to visit the famous rooms where Anne hid from the Nazis, that the name Anne is correctly pronounced, in German, with the final e pronounced like the final e in Porsche.  This stood me in good stead on my visit because the attendants at the Museum immediately knew that I was no ordinary American tourist: I pronounced the final e.

Sign at the entrance to the Anne Frank house at 267 Prinsengracht street

Sign at the entrance to the Anne Frank house at 267 Prinsengracht street

The tourist entrance to the Anne Frank house is through the house next door, as shown in the photo above.  It is possible to get into the Annex without climbing the steep steps up to the third floor, but the attendants at the Museum don’t tell you that — not even if you pronounce the name Anne correctly.  You have to be a very important person in order to be allowed to take the elevator.

The photo above shows a cross section of the annex, where Anne Frank hid from the Nazis, and the house in front of the Annex. The house is on the left, and the annex  is on the right. Tourists enter the house through a door that has been cut into the wall of the passageway which connects the house and the annex on the ground floor.

The room, where Anne Frank hid, is on the 2nd floor (3rd floor in American terms) on the side nearest to the viewer. The tiny window on the side of the attic in the annex had a view of the Westerkerk (church).

The folks, who own the Anne Frank house, are very protective of it.  Tourists are not allowed to take photos inside the house, nor the annex, because the folks who own the house want to make money off the books and videos that they sell to tourists.  Anyone who dares to put up a photo of the interior of the house, on the Internet, will immediately be ordered to remove the photo.  Fortunately, no one can stop you from taking photos outside the house.

The house in front of the annex where Anne Frank hid from the Nazis

The house in front of the annex where Anne Frank hid from the Nazis

This quote is from the news article about Dr. Toll’s book:

Nelly Toll, a Voorhees resident, painter and author, is herself a Holocaust survivor. She began writing when she was just a child hiding from the Nazis.

Toll’s parents decided, after more and more people they knew were being taken by the Nazis, to go into hiding. Her father searched their village and finally found a man who once lived in their building to agree to hide her and her mother in a room on the third floor of their home.

Toll has written four books, and her novel, “Behind the Secret Window,” as well as a lot of her artwork, was about her time in hiding. More than 50,000 copies of “Behind the Secret Window” were sold. And the book received eight awards.

In case you are wondering:  Yes, I know how to polk.  I have danced the polka many times to the song about Anneliese.