Anne Frank's Living Classmates, December 2009
Nanette (Konig-) Blitz
The information came from the Web site of
Dutch Television Station that has a series called
"Classmates." The series identifies a group of classmates and interviews
them (now decades after they were in class together). Typically, the
TV series examines a group that has no one famous (and they are middle-aged).
This program was a special edition of "Classmates" focusing
on Anne's classmates from the different schools she attended.
It aired in late 2009.
The questionnaires have been translated here to English, thanks to Babelfish, my very helpful Netherlands contact, and my own common sense and intuition.
Anne mentions her classmates in her diaries, particularly while she was still attending school and before she knew she'd possibly be going into hiding. Anne mentioned over twenty names of classmates in her 15-16 June '42 diary entries (see pages 187-188 of the 1989 Critical Edition). Though the Critical Edition is the least edited, the people she'd mentioned often asked that their names be obscured, so when you see initials instead of names, those are not even the real initials. Scanning the approximately 30 people (23 not just initials) she mentioned in that pair of entries, I recognize three from the living classmates above: Maurice Coster, Hannah Goslar, and Jacqueline van Maarsen. Anne mentions other classmates elsewhere in her diary as well. In individual classmates' pages, I put lists of where I know Anne mentioned that person in the CE, plus their information page from this site.
(It's possible some of these names in the Critical Edition of the diary were translated. For instance, Sallie Springer could be Sally Kimmel? But I don't think so. Later in the CE, his last name is written as Kimmel.)
After going into hiding, in September 1942, Anne also wrote a series of quick pretend notes to her friends. You can see them on page 223 of the CE (1989). Perhaps some of them are also imaginary. I recognize no one from that page in this set of people's names.
There are a number of factors that make these names unfamiliar. It seems the TV station cast the net wide to find living classmates. Anne went to two schools in her school days: the Montessori school (pictured above) and the Jewish Lyceum. Also, like Anne, a lot of her classmates died during WWII. Further, this group of people is getting old and some have died since the war's end. Still further, some are still living but do not welcome the attention of television in their old age.