Anne Frank: Silent Witnesses Reminders of a Jewish Girl's Life
Ronald Wilfred Jansen, author
Ronald Wilfred Jansen visited Anne Frank’s home addresses in Frankfurt am Main, Aachen and Amsterdam; her hiding place the Secret Annex; and the Westerbork, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps where Anne Frank was imprisoned. His book describes her history and the objects that today still remind us of the environment in which she lived. His motivation for writing this book is that it was one of the last opportunities he would have to contact the people who knew Anne; these people revealed some new facts about her and her world. Other contemporaries of Anne Frank also contributed fascinating information about her surroundings. By tracing her footsteps, he gained a more complete picture of Anne Frank and her environment.
Jansen, motivated to write about Anne Frank because “time is running out for people who knew Anne to tell the story,” delivers a well-researched and at times jarring record of the places where she lived before her untimely death in 1944 at age 15. Statistics, such as that 102,000 of the 140,000 Jews in the Netherlands did not survive the war, are interspersed with descriptions of mundane events from Frank’s life, to sobering effect. Jansen employs long passages from Frank’s diary to connect the reader to his own accounts of the places Frank describes, including the house in Amsterdam where her family hid during the early years of the war and the streets where she saw the Nazis rounding up Jews. This work is best suited as a scholarly companion to Anne’s own diary. (BookLife)