Home

Testimony by a Friend of Anne Frank

One of our most touching sessions so far has been hearing from a Holocaust survivor who was a close friend of Anne Frank and today lives in Israel.

Hanna’s father had held a very high position in the German government as an economist, but when Hitler dissolved the bureaucracy, Hanna’s father moved his family first to England and then, unfortunately, to Holland. At first, they lived a comfortable life there. Hanna and Anne met in kindergarten, both coming from German-speaking families. They were friends from then on. Anne was very creative and lively and liked. 

Hanna Pick survived Bergen-Belsen, the concentration camp her friend Anne Frank died.
Hanna Pick survived Bergen-Belsen, the concentration camp her friend Anne Frank died in.

When Hitler took over Holland, Jews were taken to camps. Eventually both Hanna and her little sister and Anne Frank and her older sister ended up in the Bergen-Belsen camp. When Hanna found out that Anne was there she tried to smuggle food to her group, but Anne was already very sick.

Hanna was saved. In a hospital in Holland in 1945, Mr. Frank visited her and told her that Anne had died. Today Hanna lives in Israel and has several children and grandchildren. 

When someone asked her if she was religious, Hanna said, “Yes, I believe in God. I need to believe in God. I can’t explain why all this happened.”

“I was only a child, yet I knew that I had to protect my little sister and get out safely,” Hanna added. “We needed each other.”

Hanna was so peaceful, it stunned us. 

Our instructors told us that survivors go through training before they tell their stories. They are trained to keep their minds on their audience and not let their feelings go back to the camps or the horrors. If they do, they get lost in these memories and emotions and cannot easily find their way back.