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Local company stages "Diary.".
he character of Otto Frank comes to the stage with a local produc-
tion of The Diary of Anne Frank. The play, adapted a few years ago
by Wendy Kesselman from the original drama by Frances Goodrich
and Albert Hackett, will be performed March 7-8, 14-16 and 21-23 by the
Players Guild of Dearborn.
This version includes newly discovered writings from the diary as well as
Directed by Debbie Pletzer, the cast includes Chelsea Rourke as Anne
• Frank, Lindell Salow as Otto Frank, Jeanine Matlow as Edith Frank,
Claudia Walrad as Margot Frank, Rebecca Martin as Meip Gies, Jordan
Rossen as Peter Van Daan, Mike Lopez as Mr. Kraler, Jerry Salas as Mr. Van
Daan, Patti Jones as Mrs. Van Daan, Torn Sparrow as Mr. Dussel, Jim
Kirwan as the First Man and Paul Bruce as the Second Man.
The production, which will be staged at 21730 Madison in Dearborn,
begins 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are
$11. (313) 561-TKTS.
back to Ahlers. I know the one thing -
that everyone would have liked to
find: receipts. (The Gestapo kept
receipts to show how much money
people received for informing the
Nazis about the identity of Jews.)
I think the Anne Frank Foundation
will only accept that the betrayer has
been found if a receipt is found, but I
believe the betrayal was by a [Gestapo]
insider, so a receipt wouldn't exist
because [that act] would have been
that person's everyday job.
JN: How is the American version of
your book different from the British
CAL: There's a lot more in the
American version. I kept doing
research because I was so intrigued by
the character of Tonny Ahlers and his
relationship to Otto Frank.
I came across a file in the archives of
the Amsterdam city council, and that's
how I learned that Ahlers' wife also -
worked as a betrayer for the Gestapo.
Otto Frank once said that the betrayer
probably was a man who worked for
the police during the occupation,
which Ahlers did.
JN: Do you think your book is
appropriate for the young people who ,
read Anne Frank's diary?
CAL: I think it would appeal to any-
body who read the diary because
there's so much background. Anne was
very much her father's daughter. They
were very alike as characters.
It's very interesting to see how much
influence he had on her. Her opti-
mism, which comes across so strongly
in the diary, is very much from her
JN: What did you find most alarming
in your research?
CAL: Some [Jews] were actually
charged rent for the time they were in
the camps, and they were treated as
enemy subjects when they came back.
Otto Frank was treated that way
because he was of German origin. A
lot of survivors who didn't have homes
to go back to were placed in camps
within Holland and had to work and
sleep next to [captured] members of
The German propaganda machine
worked very well in Holland and had
a tremendous effect. There was a lot of
anti-Semitism in Holland in 1945.
JN: Is there anything you'd like read-
ers to know as a result of what you've
learned through your recent travels?
CAL: Some of the [early] reporting
about the book was very misleading.
They kind of tried to imply that Otto
Frank had collaborated with the
Germans during the war.
That's not what I say in the book.
My main hope is that readers will
come away with a far more realistic
image of Otto Frank and see that
those early press reports were com-
pletely misleading. ❑
The Hidden Life of Otto Frank is
available through vvww.jewish.com .
Call or visit today!
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