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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 Paperback – May 1, 2012
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“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)
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Top Customer Reviews
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).Read more ›
"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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have been interested in Anne Frank since I read her book at school many moons ago. This book gave me great insight into Anne's gifted family and now I understand where she got... Read morePublished 10 months ago by mseldee
The beginning of the book can get somewhat boring because it is not easy to get all the names straight. However I enjoyed learning about Anne's family. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Annonymous
This book is okay, it didn't appeal to me that much personally. It was letters from family, but it dealt very little with Anne Frank or her immediate family, instead it... Read morePublished 15 months ago by NYC Gal
This was an interesting book to read after reading the book based on Anne Frank's diary.Published 15 months ago by Ben Blumenthal
I can remember when my father gave me The Diary of Anne Frank to read, I was twelve years old, we had just moved and he solemnly handed me the book. Read morePublished 18 months ago by C. Wong
This a very interesting book, can't put it down. Let's you get to know some of Anne's other family members.Published 22 months ago by Kerrie L. Good
Very interesting story of the many generations of the Frank family.Published 23 months ago by Linda L. Boote