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.


  1. Sharon is dead. Maybe now we’ll see a monument to all the innocent palestinians the Tolerant Hebrews have killed.

    Comment by der wulf — January 11, 2014 @ 6:59 pm

  2. the first “Annneliese” in the post has one “n” too many I think… This subject often strains my eyes too… That’s all I was going to say… but then as I looked at the house and thought some more about these “museums” and institutions of the Holocaust narrative and what they hope (strive) to achieve I was reminded of a friend of mine’s very recent visit to a well-known Holocaust center: The Museum of Tolerance (MOT) in California. The friend I speak of is an elderly woman. “Mild-mannered” and “unimposing” would be pretty accurate descriptions of her presence in a room. So as I said, she related to me her visiting the MOT with another friend of hers. I asked my elderly friend (since I was curious) why she went there. She said a friend of hers wanted to go and since neither woman had ever been to the museum, so…they went. I was still a bit curious and asked “was your friend interested in the MOT for personal reasons? Is she Jewish?” No, said my friend, just had never been. What surprised me then was my elderly friend’s report of her visit.

    Now it’s not surprising that such an institution would have elevated concerns for security given the subject matter and history and the “post-911 world we live in” etc . My friend said she (to some extent) and her purse were searched before going in, like at the airport, her car trunk was searched (or looked over) and once inside she (and all the other visitors) would be searched periodically throughout the visit such as coming out of the restroom or moving from exhibit room to exhibit room. She did not complain about the intrusion of the searches, but that the *wait* between seeing exhibits took so long and did not seem organized very well. She said one group of visitors would have to wait to get into the next exhibit room, where the “exhibiting” was still in progress for the group ahead of her. I was confused about this, so I asked several questions: “It’s a museum, isn’t it? like an “art museum”? Why did you have to wait to get into one exhibit? Didn’t they have more than a just a few “exhibits”? Couldn’t you just stroll around and look at things on your own?” She said no. It’s not run like that. People are taken in in a group and shepherded from one exhibit or lecture room to another by design. Always in the group. Always supervised. Your visit and experience there is always supervised. “Ah” I said. “That is very…interesting. I would have thought they’d want to allow people to roam freely and look at what was presented on their own – they already control the content of what’s seen or heard there…but they seem to want to control even one’s “experience” of what one encounters in the place.”

    Comment by Alan — January 9, 2014 @ 5:37 pm

    • I went to the Museum of Tolerance, with my son, many years ago. I can’t remember what year it was. As we drove into the underground parking lot, our car was stopped by a man who had the unmistakeable appearance of an Eastern-European Jew. He looked us over, then looked through the windows of our car, and briefly inspected the car, before waving us through.

      We went inside the lobby, where tickets were sold, and the lobby was crowded with Mexican-American teenaged students. We had to wait about 15 minutes to buy our tickets. We were not carrying any bags, and we were not searched.

      Our tickets were stamped with the time that we would be allowed to go in. We had to wait in another lobby, where there were two doors. I can’t remember exactly, but the signs on the doors said something like “prejudiced” and “unprejudiced.” Or maybe it was “tolerant” or “intolerant..” In any case, both doors led to the same room. The attendant on the other side explained that everyone is biased or intolerant. I had gone through the “intolerant” door, thereby admitting that I am prejudiced.

      Later, we had to choose between two doors again. These doors led to the gas chamber. We had to do our own selection. I chose the door for those able to work, even though I was over 45, the age at which Jews were selected for the gas chamber. Again, when we got to the room behind the doors, we found that everyone had been sent to the gas chamber.

      We had a guide for our tour, who herded us through, and everything was timed. None of the tourists in our group spoke. Everyone was literally afraid to comment, for fear of saying the wrong thing.

      Even after the tour, my son and I were afraid to speak while we were in the cafeteria. We thought that the place might be bugged. Only after we were safely out of the parking lot did we finally comment to each other about this scary experience. We had been surrounded by Jews, whom we thought might kill us at any minute.

      Comment by furtherglory — January 11, 2014 @ 7:35 am

      • I think the whole museum experience should have been quite illuminating for you. Very clever and sublimely designed…the significance of it went over your head…why? because you are intolerant and prejudiced.

        The ‘herding’ through the doors, the ‘choosing’ of which door you walked through, ‘everything was timed’ – just as the German procedure was. Everyone (you asked?) was literally afraid to comment, for fear of saying the wrong thing’. ‘We had been surrounded by Jews, whom we thought might kill us at any minute’. ‘….scary experience’.

        Imagine how the Jews felt actually walking through the camps, being transported to them, assigned to the left to the right, but eventually going to the same place – the gas chamber! The difference however is that you walked free into a free world…..the Jews had no such luxury.

        I noticed that in your ‘Anne Frank’ blog you discussed that the guide at the door noticed you ‘were no ordinary American’ – because you pronounced the ‘e’ and the end of her full name? Can you explain your ‘extraordinary Americanism’ to me?

        Comment by Mogseyward — February 20, 2014 @ 6:23 am

        • Readers frequently misunderstand my blog posts because I sometimes write facetiously. You can read the definition of facetious at

          When I wrote that the attendants at the door of the Anne Frank house knew that I was no ordinary American, it was because everyone that I’ve ever talked to, in America, pronounces the word Anne without pronouncing the final e. On my way to the Anne Frank house, I pronounced the word Anne with the final e, and the cab driver commented that I was the first American that he had ever met who pronounced Anne’s name correctly. When I walked into the Anne Frank house, the attendant spoke to me in a tone of approval and gave me more attention than she gave to other tourists, most of whom were American.

          So to answer your question, it is extraordinary to hear an American pronounce the word Anne with the German pronounciation. Other than that, the only other thing that is extraordinary about me is that I can put up with people like you — but even I have a limit to what I can stand.

          Comment by furtherglory — February 20, 2014 @ 6:49 am

        • You wrote: “Imagine how the Jews felt actually walking through the camps, being transported to them, assigned to the left to the right, but eventually going to the same place – the gas chamber!”

          You are correct that both sides, assigned to the left or to the right, eventually went to the gas chamber. The German word for gas chamber is Gaskammer, which is the word for a disinfection chamber or a homicidal gas chamber.

          In this blog post I wrote about the prisoners who were directed to the right and then went into the section of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp where the disinfection chambers and showers were in the same building.

          These buildings are not open now and the tour guides refuse to take you there because they don’t want you to see the disinfection chambers which have the word Gaskammer on the door.

          Comment by furtherglory — February 20, 2014 @ 10:16 am

          • “These buildings are not open now and the tour guides refuse to take you there because they don’t want you to see the disinfection chambers which have the word Gaskammer on the door” – I must be more extra ordinary than you in that I was allowed in all buildings, including that of the Commandant’s home and garden – you see, that’s because I have been going back and forward for years to actually research and know a variety of people there, including the Director and official photographer of Auschwitz…

            You need to get to know more than the tour guides perhaps.

            Comment by Mogseyward — February 21, 2014 @ 4:45 pm

            • I was at Auschwitz-Birkenau twice. When I went there for the first time in 1998, I had a private tour guide; she and I were the only people at the camp that day, except for one woman inside the gatehouse. The camp was completely grown up in weeds, and I was not allowed to get off the road, for fear of snakes in the grass.

              When I went back to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 2005, I went without a guide, but before I left for Poland, I e-mailed the people in charge of the camp and requested a guide to take me to the disinfection building, for which I offered to pay. I was told that I could not see this building for any price. Maybe that has changed now.

              Comment by furtherglory — February 22, 2014 @ 8:51 am

              • Maybe. But maybe you need to be a chosen one for that. Anyway, there are no snakes in this part of Europe, at least none that are in any way dangerous to humans.

                Comment by Herr Soundso — August 11, 2014 @ 4:08 am

        • ‘We had been surrounded by Jews, whom we thought might kill us at any minute’. ‘….scary experience’.
          Yes, know everybody can understand, why the Jews were rounded up in 1941/42… Or for that matter: why they were chased out of nearly every country they ever entered.

          Comment by Herr Soundso — August 11, 2014 @ 4:00 am

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