When Gerti Elias moved with her family into the house in Basel, Switzerland, in which many of Anne Frank’s extended family members had lived, she came upon a treasure trove of family history: thousands of items, including numerous letters, which had been preserved in the attic of the house. In Treasures from the Attic: The Extraordinary Story of Anne Frank’s Family, Mirjam Pressler and Gerti Elias present a selection of these and other items, such as paintings, photographs, and poems, in a moving narrative that spans numerous generations and focuses on members of Anne’s extended family. They include her grandmother, Alice Frank, her aunt, Helene Elias, and her cousin, Gerti Elias’ husband, Buddy. A valuable addition to the growing body of work on Anne Frank and her public legacy, Treasures from the Attic is also an important record of how the loss of Anne, her mother Edith, and her sister Margot personally impacted their family members’ lives.
Sarah Shewchuk holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Alberta.