Learning More About Otto and His Family

Captain’s Log   5,938

I spent most of my weekend pouring over this book.  So much of what I thought I knew about Otto Frank was simply not true.

hidden life

It was far more complicated than I ever imagined – especially when he returned to Amsterdam after the war and tried to rebuild his life.  After all he had been through………….

Janny Brandes and her sister Leintje were the last people to see Anne and Margot alive.  According to several sources I have explored in my research, they dragged the girls to a common grave at Bergen-Belsen after they died of typhus.  I watched a film too that depicted the same story.

janny

Anne Frank encounters Janny Brandes at the tent camp set up at Bergen-Belsen.  Anne and Margot died less than a month before the camp was liberated by the British.

Amazing as it sounds, Janny and Lientje traveled to all three camps with Anne and Margot.  They went to Westerbork together on the same train.  Then on to Auschwitz where the Frank family was split up.  And then, on to Bergen-Belsen.  for Margot and Anne.   Friend Sally and I traveled with Anneke to Westerbork last spring.  Even though it wasn’t an extermination camp, many people committed suicide because they knew where the transport trains were taking them.  Every Tuesday, about 1,000 people were moved from Westerbork to Auschwitz.   120,000 in all.

westerbork

Westerbork Memorial.  One for every prisoner.  Most are the Star of David for the Jews.  Some are flames for the Gypsies.

It is humbling to see these things and learn about the past.  It was also humbling to find my surname on the memorial wall at the Dutch Theatre in Amsterdam.  Most of the Jews who were rounded up in the city were taken there for transport to Westerbork.

memorial wall

I walked right up to my name.  Did not even have to hunt for it.  104,000 Dutch surnames are listed there.

I wish I didn’t have to go to the museum today.  I have so much more important work to do.  What amazes me is that people actually ask me if I am serious about my writing project.  Those are people who have no idea about what I am made of – not an inkling of understanding.

12 Comments

Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

12 responses to “Learning More About Otto and His Family

  1. Joanie

    I remember when we talked about this whilst eating Mexican food. So interesting, Forge On!

  2. I’m thrilled to hear that you’re writing, whatever the venue! Another play, a book, whatever it takes 😀

  3. All I can say is, “Bravo!”

  4. Patty O'

    I am SO glad you are continuing your journey of discovery. Life takes some odd but wonderful twists and turns.

  5. Their responses tell you something about your friends, don’t they? One of the regulars at my dinner table these days worked as a printer. Like me, he did a lot of proofreading. We both took advantage of the possibilities of proofreading, which also gave us the chance to read.

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