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Anne Frank's Family: The Extraordinary Story of Where She Came From, Based on More Than 6,000 Newly Discovered Letters, Documents, and Photos [Kindle Edition]

Mirjam Pressler , Damion Searls
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $4.96 (33%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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A Note from the Publisher
Learn more about the origins of Treasures from the Attic in this letter from the publisher.

Book Description

The story is one that is envisioned by many: a relative, an old woman who has lived in the same home for a lifetime, passes away, her death prompting the inevitable task of sorting through her effects by her surviving family. But in the attic in this particular house, a treasure trove of historic importance is found. Rarely does this become an actuality, but when Helene Elias died, no one could put a price on what she left behind.

Helene Elias was born Helene Frank, sister to Otto Frank, and therefore aunt to Anne Frank. Ensconced upstairs in the house she inherited from her mother, and eventually passed on to her son, Buddy Elias, Anne’s cousin and childhood playmate, was the documented legacy of the Frank family: a vast collection of photos, letters, drawings, poems, and postcards preserved throughout decades—a cache of over 6,000 documents in all.
Chronicled by Buddy’s wife, Gertrude, and renowned German author Mirjam Pressler, these findings weave an indelible, engaging, and endearing portrait of the family that shaped Anne Frank. They wrote to one another voluminously; recounted summer holidays, and wrote about love and hardships. They reassured one another during the terrible years and waited anxiously for news after the war had ended. Through these letters, they rejoiced in new life, and honored the memories of those they lost. 

Anne’s family believed themselves to ordinary members of Germany’s bourgeoisie. That they were wrong is part of history, and we celebrate them here with this extraordinary account.
Insert Authors’ photo: © Jürgen Bauer
Mirjam Pressler is one of Germany’s most beloved authors. She was the German translator of Anne Frank’s diary.

Editorial Reviews


“This book breathes new life into our view of Anne Frank, whom until now we could only see through the prism of her diary.” —Süddeutsche Zeitung
“A gripping family saga . . . full of dazzling and colorful characters.” —Brigitte
“Pressler’s lucid account . . . provides an insight into an almost forgotten world . . . [and]  sheds new light on the touching persona of Anne Frank.” —Die Zeit
“Their story is the story of countless others and remains required reading.” —The Sunday Times (London)


This new book unearths a new trove of detail about Frabk's family and turns it into an epic, tragic saga. CATHOLIC HERALD 20120127 Treasures from the Attic is a compelling record of an ordinary family caught up in one of the most horrifying periods of modern history. -- Derrick Smith South Wales Argus 20120218

Product Details

  • File Size: 7548 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (April 19, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003F3PMCA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #587,178 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:MP3 CD
Mirjam Pressler is a beloved German author, and the award-winning translator of Anne Frank's Diary. She organized these notes and letters and adds in some information about what others of that day would have been doing or wearing or were thinking, so that Treasures from the Attic: The Extraordinary Story of Anne Frank's Family reads as a continuous narrative, not just a series of letters. Gerti and Buddy were additional sources that she used for clarification.

At first it was hard for me to get into, especially the audiobook version, because I was trying to make connections and draw the lines on the family tree, but then I relaxed and let myself enjoy the stories of this warm, loving and silly family, going all the way back into the late 1800's. We learn that other relatives placed importance on keeping a record of their thoughts via a journal. It's grave to consider the likelihood that Anne would never have journaled her time in hiding from the Nazis were it not such a valued habit in the family.

After the somewhat slow start (just because it wasn't connected to the time period that I associate with Anne Frank), bits of information about the prejudice against Jews throughout Europe begins to surface. And here's the real irony -- though Jewish by birth, the Frank family was quite secular in practice, even celebrating Christmas as a holiday, and not even attending temple on the high holy days.

Less than halfway through brings us to the low point in Otto Frank's life, as we find out that Edith, Anne, and Margot have all died, as we wrote letters and telegrams back home after he and the other concentration camp inmates were freed by Russia (a fact that was new to me).
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Have you ever wondered about how much a well-known person is impacted by his or her family? Or have you ever wondered how the renowned person had an impact on his or her family? We see answers to both questions in this book.

"Anne Frank's Family" is based on a large number of letters and photographs discovered by Buddy Elias's (Anne's cousin's) wife Gerti in the attic of their home. This work is in three major parts. The first has to do with Anne's paternal grandmother Alice Stern Frank ; the second tells about her aunt Helene Elias, Otto Frank's (Anne's father's) sister. The third part, markedly the longest of the three, is about Buddy Elias, Anne's cousin, who is now the only living relative who actually knew Anne.

Readers can see both the impact Anne's family had on her, and her impact on the family. In Anne's diary, we see poetry written for special occasions, such as birthdays. This poetry was obviously a family tradition; we see several more such poems in "Anne Frank's Family." These poems also help readers see where Anne must have gotten the talent to write as well as she did at a young age.

But how did young Anne's life impact the lives of her family members? "Anne Frank's Family" shows the great affection and closeness of the members of the Frank family. Anne loved her family, and her family loved her. Her father, after his discovery of her diary, made it his life's work to publish the diary. After Otto Frank's death in 1980, cousin Buddy Elias took over leadership of the Anne Frank Fonds and made carrying on Anne's legacy very important in his life.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BookHounds [...] June 18, 2011
This is a fascinating look at the extended family of Anne Frank told through letters, pictures and postcards exchanged between Helene and her brother, Otto, the father of Anne Frank. There are notes of joy and happiness mixed in with the despair and concern of the family that comes to realize that Otto's family is trapped by the Nazis and there is no way for them to find freedom. Most people know the story of Anne and her family, but I don't think anyone has ever documented the horror that her family went through and with the literal treasure trove of newly found documents that this all comes to light. Any history lover would love to have this book on their shelf.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy, but suspend your disbelief May 9, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Anne Frank is a symbol, a figure in history, and someone readers feel they know intimately through her diary. But she was also a kid, a member of a German Jewish family, some of whom survived the Holocaust.

This book provides the history of Anne's family, both for generations before the Holocaust and for the years afterward. It is based on a huge trove of family documents and letters discovered not too long ago in the attic of one of Anne's cousins.

The story is both interesting and banal...before the Holocaust. These are ordinarily interesting people, whose lives illustrate what circumstances were like for the large community of Jews in Germany and nearly places frome the mid-1800s on. There are photos, letters, and other documents, and more. After the Holocaust the emotional temperature rises, as we see how the survivors dealt with their losses and went on with their lives.

All good. But you must suspend your disbelief, as there are dozens of passages where dialog is quoted and feelings described that could not possibly have been found in the records. As a historian, this bothers me. The book would have been just fine without that stuff. It may not bother you.

So if you can look past such speculative decorations, you have an engaging history of early modern European Jewish life, and a rare detailed look at how Holocaust survivors picked up with their lives.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Insight on Ann Frank's family
This is a great addition for those want more info about Ann Frank's family. It paints a more vivid picture of this famous girl.
Published 7 months ago by Debbie G.
4.0 out of 5 stars Letters and history
It told the story of 'afterwards', as well as the family history before the war, so it put Anne's Diary into context. I hope to visit the museum in Amsterdam one day.
Published 7 months ago by Alison Harrower
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting History
Bought this for my 16 year-old granddaughter as she was studying Anne Frank in school. Her report made an "A."
Published 10 months ago by Richard R. Hays
4.0 out of 5 stars Humanizes Anne
Anne Frank has become more of a symbol than a child. She posthumously carries the burden of placing a face on the unfaceable. Read more
Published 11 months ago by E. A. Montgomery
4.0 out of 5 stars My daughter enjoyed it
I gave this to my daughter to read. She had heard about Anne Frank but hadn't read *the diary*.

Especially important to her was the character development (my explanation... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Ethan E. Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars A Soul Forever Remembered
Isn't it strange how the horrors and atrocities of Adolf Hitler and World War II could be so inseparably linked with the sweet young face of a smiling, dark haired little Jewish... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Brian E. Erland
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for more information
If you are someone who has been introduced to the life of Anne Frank and wanted to learn more about her background and extended family - this is a really good book. Read more
Published 15 months ago by D. A. J.
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Fleshes Out the REAL Anne Frank
I remember reading The Diary of Anne Frank for the first time in 5th grade. At the time, I had no idea who she was, and quite honestly was NOT excited about reading a girl's... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Kevin Pepper
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating!
All my life I have been enthralled with the story of Anne Frank and her diary, and this book has given me an opportunity to look even further into the life of this young girl and... Read more
Published 17 months ago by S. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Good To See That Life Went On For The Family . . . .
I grabbed this book as soon as I saw it. But when it arrived, I didn't want to read it. I feared it would be too heartbreaking. It turned out to be just the opposite, however. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Sunday
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