She Was Anne Frank's Best Friend

Hannah Pick-Goslar, who was cared for by Otto Frank after the Holocaust, dies at 93
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2022 11:19 AM CDT
She Was Anne Frank's Best Friend
Hannah Pick-Goslar, then 69, childhood friend of Anne Frank, is interviewed by the AP at her Jerusalem apartment in 1998.   (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma, File)

Hannah Pick-Goslar had a lot in common with her childhood best friend Anne Frank. Both were German-born Jewish children whose families fled to the Netherlands after Adolf Hitler came to power. "From the first day of kindergarten they were inseparable," the Washington Post reports, though of course they would be separated. When the Franks abandoned their Amsterdam home in July 1942, Pick-Goslar believed they had fled to Switzerland—an idea only dislodged when she met Anne across a barbed-wire fence at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where Pick-Goslar was taken in February 1944. Unlike her friend, Pick-Goslar had a life beyond the camp, one that came to an end Oct. 28. Her son confirms she died of a heart ailment at her home in Jerusalem at age 93, per the Post.

Pick-Goslar featured in Anne Frank's diary, including this early entry from June 1942: "Hanneli Goslar, or Lies as she's called at school, is a bit on the strange side. She's usually shy—outspoken at home, but reserved around other people. She blabs whatever you tell her to her mother. But she says what she thinks, and lately I've come to appreciate her a great deal." In late 1943, Anne Frank, now in hiding, wondered whether her friend was still alive. "What is she doing? Oh, God, protect her and bring her back to us," she wrote, per the New York Times. Pick-Goslar and her family had by then been taken to the Westerbork transit camp in the Netherlands, from which they would be moved to Bergen-Belsen. There, in February 1945, she would encounter Anne Frank for the last time.

From behind a shielded barrier, Anne Frank said she had nothing left to live for, per the Times. Pick-Goslar responded by assembling a simple care package for her friend. "The fact that I survived and she didn't is just a cruel accident," she later said, per the Post, which reports Anne's father Otto Frank cared for the orphaned girl and her sister after they were freed. Pick-Goslar, who later became a pediatric nurse, kept in touch with Otto until his death in 1980. Her story is told in Alison Leslie Gold's 1997 book Memories of Anne Frank: Reflections of a Childhood Friend and My Best Friend Anne Frank, a Dutch film released last year. Her memoir, My Friend Anne Frank, written with journalist Dina Kraft, will be released on what would've been Anne Frank's 94th birthday in June. (More obituary stories.)

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