Anne Frank's Family
The Extraordinary Story of Where She Came From
Based on More Than 6,000 Newly Discovered Letters, Documents, and Photos
By Mirjam Pressler
Anchor Books, 2012, 405 pages
Reviewed by Israel Drazin - July 20, 2012
Anne Frank's Diary is a powerful portrayal of a life that should have been allowed to continue, about a sensitive and intelligent girl whose family tried but failed to save her from being murdered by the Nazis.The Diary is powerful because it is written by Anne Frank (1929-1945) herself. Her book is not a Jewish book because Anne Frank's prosperous family were assimilated Jews, Jews who did not practice Judaism. Jews such as the Franks were murdered not because they practiced Judaism, but because Hitler and his team felt that there was something evil within their race. They ignored the enormous contributions that Jews gave to German culture and that many Jews did not belong to the ancient race of Jews. Hitler had more "Jewish blood" than many Jews.
This new book about her and her family is based on over 6,000 newly discovered documents. It focuses on Anne Frank's family during and after she is murdered by the Nazis. It tells about her relatives and her father who preserved her Diary and her memory. It is not really a Jewish book. It reads and is in some ways a novel because the author invents some facts and intimate dialogues which she has no way of knowing. However, these historical fictions capture, describe, and help clarify a now forgotten world, a culture that should never have been obliterated. It is a book worth reading.