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October 18, 1991 - Image 66

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-10-18

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My best friend,
Anne Frank

At 61, Chana Pik is
doing everything she
can to keep Anne
Frank's memory alive.


Special to The Jewish News

n November 27, 1943,
as Anne Frank was
falling asleep in her
family's hideout in Amster-
dam, the image of her good
friend "Liess" appeared to
"I saw her in front of me,
clothed in rags, her face thin
and worn," Anne wrote in her
diary the next day. "Her eyes
were very big and she looked
so sadly and reproachfully at
me, that I could read in her

Joel Rebibo is a journalist in

eyes: 'Oh, Anne, why have you
deserted me? Help, oh help
me, rescue me from this hell!'
". . .0h God, that I should
have all I could wish for and
that she should be seized by
such a terrible fate. I am not
more virtuous than she . .
why should I be chosen to live
and she probably die? What
was the difference between
us? Why are we so far from
each other now?"
In reality, it was Anne
Frank who died, in Bergen
Belsen just two months be-
fore the camp was liberated,
and her friend "Liess" sur-
vived the war and reached
Palestine in 1947, a month
before the State of Israel was

A well known photograph shows Anne Frank (second from left) as a happy schoolgirl. Chana Pik (fourth from left) was a classmate.



'Ibday, she is Chana Pik, 61,
a retired nurse and the
mother of two sons and a
daughter. One son is a doctor
who is doing post-doctorate
research at Sloan-Kettering in
New York, another son
studies at Yeshivat Mercaz
Harav Kook in Yeruskalayim
and a daughter is an audiolo-
gist/speech therapist and
mother of six who lives in
Jerusalem with her husband,
a city councilman.
Chana's friendship with
Anne began in 1933, when
her family moved to Amster-
dam from Germany. They
became neighbors of the
Franks, who left Germany
earlier because they had also
realized that Jews had no
future there. The young girls
became fast friends.
Chana remembers that on
her first day of kindergarten,
she only let go of her mother's
hand after she saw her friend
Anne in class.
"I didn't know anyone and
didn't speak Dutch yet so I
was nervous, but when I saw
Anne, at a table playing with
bells, I told my mother she
could leave," Chana recalls.
"In 1957, I went back to visit
the school. It hadn't changed
at all . . . same furniture, same
principal. I shuddered when I
entered the kindergarten
room and saw the bells that
Anne was playing with on
that first day of school."
The heads of the two fami-
lies were very different. Otto
Frank was completely assimi-
lated (he and Anne never
went to synagogue, but Mrs.
Frank and Margot, their old-
est daughter, went on the
holidays), while Mr. Goslar
was a religious Jew who re-
fused to take a job that
required him to work on
Shabbat. Mr. Frank was a
merchant, who sold spices,
Mr. Goslar was an intellec-
tual, who offered advice to
other refugees (before fleeing
Germany he was a deputy
government minister and a
leader in the Mizrachi

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