Hid­den Like Anne Frank: 14 True Sto­ries of Survival

Mar­cel Prins & Peter Henk Steenhuis
  • Review
By – October 31, 2014

Hid­den Like Anne Frank is a grip­ping, ap­proachable read on the dis­turb­ing sub­ject of Euro­pean Jews who went into hid­ing to escape Nazi per­se­cu­tion. Unlike the famous sto­ry of the Dutch girl sequestered with her fam­i­ly and oth­er Jews in a hid­den annex in Ams­ter­dam through most of World War II, this book tells of Jews who were hid­den from the Nazis and their sym­pa­thiz­ers and sur­vived. The clear and evoca­tive writ­ing is mem­o­rable for its depic­tions of chil­dren and their rich, often com­plex lives before the war. Rita Degan describes her fam­i­ly this way: Before the war, our fam­i­ly had been all kinds of things: veg­e­tar­i­ans, fol­low­ers of holis­tic heal­ing, and athe­ists. Of course, we had tra­di­tions.” The indi­vid­ual chap­ters writ­ten in the first per­son explain their child­hood under­stand­ing of what is hap­pen­ing to them, open­ing a win­dow into Dutch cul­ture. It is amaz­ing and painful to read the evoca­tive scenes of awk­ward reunions with par­ents and also descrip­tions of how those hid­den in dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions moved on after the war to live their lives. The touch­ing his­tor­i­cal pho­tos and doc­u­ments in each chap­ter, togeth­er with the images of the hid­den chil­dren today, cre­ate a per­son­al narra­tive that informs the read­er about the impact of war and dis­crim­i­na­tion on reg­u­lar peo­ple. The book includes maps, bold­ed vocab­u­lary through­out with foot­not­ed def­i­n­i­tions, and a glos­sary with age-appro­pri­ate, suc­cinct expla­na­tions. Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 12 and up.

Discussion Questions