Category Archives: Tangential People

Cor Suijk has passed away

Cor Suijk (who I do not have on the people page, because Anne did not know him and I have to draw the line somewhere on the distant people page), passed away on Wednesday, the 4rd. He was a close friend of Otto Frank (Anne’s father) and very helpful with research for Melissa Muller’s excellent Biography of Anne. In later years, he gave tours, so has a web site.

From the web site:

“Cor Suijk was President of the Contemporary Holocaust Education Foundation (c-hef.org) in New York and CEO Emeritus of the Anne Frank House Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He is renowned for his efforts to bring the “Anne Frank in the World” exhibit throughout the world. A Dutch Christian, who helped Jews during World War II, he is a survivor of imprisonment by the Germans.”

A small death notice page.

Raymond Kämpfer, relative of Sanne Ledermann

Raymond Kämpfer was a toddler boy Anne met in Beekbergen, Holland, while she was on vacation with her friend, Sanne, and Sanne’s entire family. Little Raymond was a cousin of Sanne’s. Here is a photo of Anne, Sanne, and Raymond during that vacation in the summer of 1941.

Raymond and most of his family survived the war (only one is in joodsmonument, but the article below mentions more died). He was shuffled around in seven hiding places, he was even “thrown” over a fence.

He grew up to be an amazing microbiology scientist, discovering key life process secrets, and still is a professor. He did a lot of research and still is doing so. His entire life story is amazing! Read all about it:

http://www.jpost.com/Jerusalem-Report/Science/Survival-scientist-313891 (local text version)

Thanks to a reader for sending this very interesting story! And thank you to my informative Dutch contact for telling me about how Kaempfer and Kämpfer are the same name.

(And on a side note, I am now using WordPress — much less typing of HTML code. Fast stuff!)

Documentary: The Baby

A 2012 documentary about the baby daughter of a close friend of Anne’s mother will soon air in the Netherlands. After that, for one week only, The Baby will be available on the web. Baby Anneka was Jewish and became an orphan due to the Holocaust. She was adopted by relatives in America. Reportedly, the documentary is in English (or maybe it is so full of interviews and impressions from the English-speaking central figure that it will be readily understood by English speakers). Here is the film trailer. And at this page you can see an interview with the filmmaker (pick “de Baby” from the list, and the gears icon will let you pick fast download time/low resolution with “laag”), but it is overwhelmingly in Dutch. When the documentary gets on the web, I’ll post the URL. Again, it’ll only be online for only one week.

I added a section about the baby’s mother, Helene, to the people page if you want more information. And it links to this very informative article.

This photo of baby Anneka was taken in the spring or summer of 1941 (she was born on Christmas Day 1940). I do not believe the teenager she is with is Anne Frank (where are the sunken eyes, the shoulder-length hair she had in other photos taken in mid-1941, etc?). The Anne Frank House agrees, according to a Het Parool article about the documentary.

By 1943, when Anneke was a toddler, her parents had gone into hiding and had realized the grave danger: they secretly gave her up to the Dutch resistance people to save her. In May 1943, Anneka’s parents were caught and sent to Westerbork. They were gassed in Auschwitz. Their child was adopted by relatives in America after the war and became Anneka Thompson.


Thanks to my ever-watchful NL contact
for keeping me busy again!

Here are my notes from watching the documentary.

New Autobiography by Acquaintance of Anne’s

A Dutch cooking writer’s autobiography is coming out, in Dutch (news link). Berthe Meijer was much younger than Anne, survived deportation because her family was shipped directly to Bergen-Belsen. (If they had been shipped to Auschwitz, like the Franks, she would have been killed on arrival, being only just-about-to-turn six years old). Their two families had known each other in Amsterdam, so she recognized Anne in the barracks. Apparently, Anne tried to cheer the younger children up with stories, one day, on Margot’s suggestion.

Trying to find out more information about Berthe Meijer, I found this couple in the Joodsmonument who must have been her parents: a bank teller and a saleslady. The wife was from Germany, as the news article implied. I guess they met somehow and settled in Germany, then fled (like the Franks) to Amsterdam, the husband’s hometown. There, sooner or later, they met the Franks during the several years before the hidings and deportations.

The news link above includes a skeptical comment from Anne’s good friend, Hannah (who survived Bergen-Belsen, like Meijer). There are some things I feel skeptical of myself. Because Anne and Margot went into hiding in 1942, Berthe must have been just four years old the last time she’d seen them. Then she recognized them in the barracks, when they were older and starving? Maybe they recognized her (or her name) and spurred her memory with their own remembrances. A Las Vegas Sun article about this includes a filmmaker’s statement that he didn’t include Berthe’s account because it was very vague, that the memory had no convincing elements suggesting the older girl telling stories was Anne Frank.

Also, the article sort of implied that Anne died in the Bergen-Belsen infirmary. I don’t remember any account saying Anne died in an infirmary. Hannah’s biography talked about her father in the Belsen hospital, so there was such a place there. Yet Janny Brandes-Brilleslijper said in The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank, “… in Bergen-Belsen, the infirmaries were so full that those who were ill stayed in their own barracks.” Who knows? Maybe it was in a temporary visit that Berthe last met Anne. I also found it strange that Berthe said nothing about her brother or sister who also survived (according to Joodsmonument).

It’s one of those frustrating articles that zero in on some tiny connection to Anne because they’re trying to sell a book. I guess we’ll have to wait until the book comes out in English to learn more about this woman’s life.

I tend to believe the children’s story-telling went on. Another part of Janny Brandes-Brilleslijper’s account said that, in her barracks, they tried to care for the children, including telling them “a few simple children’s stories.” She went on to say,

“I know that Anne and Margot [Frank] also involved themselves with the children… Not only Anne and Margot, but also the other girls we knew went regularly to provide them with a little balance and sometimes culture.” (page 71)

Here is a wapo news link, largely the same information as the other links.

On a completely different matter, in the first news link mentioned above, there is a series of photos which includes an age progression of Anne at age 80. I don’t understand why they made dark-eyed Anne’s eyes light.

Thanks to my NL contact for telling me about this.