IN February 1945, Hannah Pick-Goslar was one of thousands of people living in Bergen-Belsen, a Nazi concentration camp in Germany, when she received the news that her childhood friend Anne Frank had arrived.
Hannah, who died on 28 October 2022, just shy of her 94th birthday, couldn’t believe her ears as she had believed that Anne and her family – father Otto, mother Edith and older sister Margot – had escaped to Switzerland three years earlier.
She had visited Anne's house on Monday 6 July, 1942 only to be told she wasn't there – and as shocked and confused as she was, had concluded she was happy for her friend.
She imagined Anne reunited with her grandmother, going for walks in meadows under the shadow of the Alps and, come winter, sitting in a warm kitchen, snowflakes falling outside, sipping mugs of hot chocolate.
However, the reality was that Anne and her family hadn’t escaped to Switzerland.
Like thousands of other Jews they had gone into hiding and concealed themselves in a secret annex in a building that once housed Otto Frank’s business, until they were betrayed and discovered in August 1944.
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Upon their discovery they were sent via train to Auschwitz-Birkenau and in early November, Anne and Margot were transported to Bergen-Belsen where they died of typhus fever.
Anne was just 15, and tragically their deaths happened weeks before the camp was liberated.
Their mother Edith had died at Auschwitz from starvation – and although Anne and Margot believed that their father had also died, he miraculously survived.
After the war he found the diary that Anne wrote during captivity and published it for the world to read.
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