Hidden Like Anne Frank: 14 True Stories of Survival

Hidden Like Anne Frank: 14 True Stories of Survival

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by Marcel Prins, Peter Henk Steenhuis
     
 

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Fourteen unforgettable true stories of children hidden away during World War II

Jaap Sitters was only eight years old when his mother cut the yellow stars off his clothes and sent him, alone, on a fifteen-mile walk to hide with relatives. It was a terrifying night, one he would never forget. Before the end of the war, Jaap would hide in secret rooms and behind

Overview

Fourteen unforgettable true stories of children hidden away during World War II

Jaap Sitters was only eight years old when his mother cut the yellow stars off his clothes and sent him, alone, on a fifteen-mile walk to hide with relatives. It was a terrifying night, one he would never forget. Before the end of the war, Jaap would hide in secret rooms and behind walls. He would suffer from hunger, sickness, and the looming threat of Nazi raids. But he would live.

This is just one of the incredible stories told in HIDDEN LIKE ANNE FRANK, a collection of eye-opening first-person accounts that share what it was like to go into hiding during World War II. Some children were only three or four years old when they were hidden; some were teenagers. Some hid with neighbors or family, while many were with complete strangers. But all know the pain of losing their homes, their families, even their own names. They describe the secret network of brave people who kept them safe. And they share the coincidences and close escapes that made all the difference.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Elizabeth Wein
…there's a tremendous range of emotion expressed here…Laura Watkinson's nuanced translation makes each storyteller's voice distinct, and the text is enhanced by photographs…These accessible stories, full of hard truths, are touching, thrilling and agonizing by turns. Be warned: Parents may find Hidden more painful to read than children will.
Publishers Weekly
★ 02/17/2014
Kindled by his mother’s own story and drawing from original interviews, Prins and co-author Steenhuis compile 14 accounts from Dutch-born individuals who lived in hiding as children during WWII. Rita Degen (Prins’s mother) was yanked from school and sent to a foster family where she was forced to change her name and pretend to be age five to avoid having to wear a yellow star. Jaap Sitters was harassed at school after friends’ parents became members of the National Socialist Movement; he chillingly recalls the claustrophobic crawlspace where he lay hidden in silent darkness. Auschwitz prisoner Bloeme Emden describes surviving deplorable conditions and the aftershocks of trauma after returning home: “I was bald and emaciated. He didn’t recognize me until I spoke. Everything about you can change, but voices stay the same.” These first-person stories of heroism and inhumanity explore the true scope of Holocaust atrocities, while also serving as a testament to resilience. Maps, footnotes, past and current photographs of the interviewees, and a glossary are included; additional resources are available on a companion Web site. Ages 12–up. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
Kirkus Starred Review
Dutch survivors of the Holocaust remember their years as hidden children.

During Hitler’s reign of terror, paths to survival for Jews were few and involved secrecy, danger, vigilance, and the kindness and bravery of strangers. Fourteen men and women recall their experiences with amazing clarity, detail and honesty. There are several commonalities in the accounts. Most began their ordeal at very young ages and had to take on heavy responsibilities and new identities, enduring frequent moves, incidents of near discovery, and unending fear and uncertainty. Some found compassion and love among their rescuers, and others were treated callously by sponsors who accepted them only for the stipend that the resistance organizations paid. After the war, most of them found that nearly all their family members had been killed, relationships with surviving parents were awkward, their homes had been given to other people, and postwar authorities were slow to help them resettle. The accounts are told in a matter-of-fact tone, with no attempt at sentimentality or self-pity. Photos of the survivors before the war and of some of their temporary homes and families accompany the text, and photos as they are now are shown at the end. Each memoir is poignant and heartrending on its own, and the compilation gives the reader a stunning sense of the horror of the Holocaust.

  

Terrifying, haunting and powerful.

Publishers Weekly Starred Review
Kindled by his mother’s own story and drawing from original interviews, Prins and co-author Steenhuis compile 14 accounts from Dutch-born individuals who lived in hiding as children during WWII. Rita Degen (Prins’s mother) was yanked from school and sent to a foster family where she was forced to change her name and pretend to be age five to avoid having to wear a yellow star. Jaap Sitters was harassed at school after friends’ parents became members of the National Socialist Movement; he chillingly recalls the claustrophobic crawlspace where he lay hidden in silent darkness. Auschwitz prisoner Bloeme Emden describes surviving deplorable conditions and the aftershocks of trauma after returning home: “I was bald and emaciated. He [my boyfriend] didn’t recognize me until I spoke. Everything about you can change, but voices stay the same.” These first-person stories of heroism and inhumanity explore the true scope of Holocaust atrocities, while also serving as a testament to resilience. Maps, footnotes, past and current photographs of the interviewees, and a glossary are included; additional resources are available on a companion Web site.

Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - Geri Diorio
Inspired by his mother’s experience hiding from the Nazis during World War II, author Prins sought out other Jewish survivors who, as children and young teens, went into hiding in the Netherlands. This book is a collection of fourteen of their narratives. At the start of each story is a photograph of the person when the war began, and a map showing where he or she hid. Throughout the book there are photos of important places or of the people who helped the children and teens hide. While each person’s tale is unique, there are certain commonalities; readers will learn such terms as sperre (a temporary exemption from deportation) and The Hollandsche Schouwburg (the name of a theater in Amsterdam that the Germans used as a temporary prison) since several children each encountered these places or things. The personal accounts are short, only fifteen to twenty pages each, and very gripping. Each is told in the person’s own voice, as though it was a recording of an interview. This oral-history quality makes for a compelling read—the desire to know what happened next is strong. There is a glossary of Dutch words and terms used to talk about World War II, as well as photos of the “children” today. The title is a bit disingenuous, since all of these people, unlike Anne Frank, survived the war. On its own, this title might not grab readers, but students reading this as part of a World War II unit will be engaged. Reviewer: Geri Diorio; Ages 11 to 15.
Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
The Anne Frank name on the cover of this book may serve as a hook for readers, but the stories of the fourteen “hidden children” do not exactly parallel the life of the most famous victim of the Nazis. Unlike Anne, these fourteen Dutch individuals survived their ordeal, thus dealing with not just the trauma of living a hidden life but also the aftermath of readjusting to freedom and, in most cases, reunions with their biological families. Unlike the Frank family, the survivors whose stories are told lived separate from their birth families, during the war, absorbed into an underground railroad that took urban Jewish children to a secret life with Christian families in the Dutch countryside. Children as young as three were instructed to never reveal their true identities; and, somehow, understood the potentially fatal consequences of dropping their masks. Older children were sometimes treated as servants by their host families, and even blackmailed into choosing one host family over another. Readers will learn a great deal about the mechanics of their survival: joining Jewish governing committees, marrying gentiles, bleaching “Jewish-looking” dark hair to fool the Nazis, and their plentiful Dutch sympathizers. However, the question that should be debated whenever books about Righteous Gentiles are presented to students is what motivates one person to risk their own safety to rescue another person, and what causes people to align with an enemy against innocent victims. Another topic for discussion is the post-traumatic guilt of survivors, and the fractured emotional bonds that families experienced after the war. Pair this book with Corrie Ten Boom’s classic, The Hiding Place, for both sides of the hidden child story. Back matter includes a glossary of Dutch and Jewish phrases, survivors’ photos, and a marvelous link to on-line, animated videos that go with the personal stories. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross; Ages 12 up.
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-01-04
Dutch survivors of the Holocaust remember their years as hidden children. During Hitler's reign of terror, paths to survival for Jews were few and involved secrecy, danger, vigilance, and the kindness and bravery of strangers. Fourteen men and women recall their experiences with amazing clarity, detail and honesty. There are several commonalities in the accounts. Most began their ordeal at very young ages and had to take on heavy responsibilities and new identities, enduring frequent moves, incidents of near discovery, and unending fear and uncertainty. Some found compassion and love among their rescuers, and others were treated callously by sponsors who accepted them only for the stipend that the resistance organizations paid. After the war, most of them found that nearly all their family members had been killed, relationships with surviving parents were awkward, their homes had been given to other people, and postwar authorities were slow to help them resettle. The accounts are told in a matter-of-fact tone, with no attempt at sentimentality or self-pity. Photos of the survivors before the war and of some of their temporary homes and families accompany the text, and photos as they are now are shown at the end. Each memoir is poignant and heartrending on its own, and the compilation gives the reader a stunning sense of the horror of the Holocaust. Terrifying, haunting and powerful. (foreword, glossary) (Collective memoir. 12 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545543620
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
03/25/2014
Edition description:
Translatio
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
417,324
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Marcel Prins was inspired to create this project by his own mother, who went into hiding in 1942 to escape Nazi persecution. She was just six years old. Marcel Prins is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and cameraman. He lives in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Peter Henk Steenhuis is a journalist and the philosophy editor for the TROUW daily newspaper in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

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Hidden Like Anne Frank: 14 True Stories of Survival 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ALL I CAN SAY IS THAT IT IS AN AMAZING BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
There are fourteen true stories of survival from WWII in this novel, some of the stories are from individuals who were only three-years old at the time of this horrific event and others were teenagers, nevertheless they are all true accounts of survivors. I was amazed at the similarities of the stories; it seemed that most of the survivors were passed along to their relatives multiple times and that their names were changed often. Some individuals were shuffled around so frequently I almost forgot what their birth names were and they themselves were reluctant to say it even when liberation was at their front door. I was surprised at the tone of this book as there wasn’t much emotion, scary or traumatizing details in the stories. The narratives gave the facts, remarkable portrayal of facts of what occurred in their lives as the Nazi’s invaded their lives. Some of the stories that I especially enjoyed was reading about a gentlemen who was bitter towards his parents for abandoning him when he was a child. His parents sent him off into hiding at a young age to save him and after reuniting with him after the liberation, he just couldn’t see past this resentment. I found this amazing. Even after all the stories that he has heard about the war, he still harbors these feelings towards his parents when all his parents were trying to do was to provide him a future. Then there was the story of Sieny who worked in the kindergarten which cared for newborns through older children. This was the holding area for the children who were on the way to the concentration camps while their parents were in a different area, as the children made too much noise for the soldiers. Sieny worked to move the children out secretly with the parents as the parents would not register all their children in the kindergarten. Sieny secretly talked to the parents about when they would be leaving the holding area and whether they would like to take their children with them. Sieny knew ahead of time when this time would come. Using baby dolls they could also fool the soldiers. Sieny and other individuals working alongside her saved many children. The means these individuals used to save these children while putting their own lives on the line was truly spectacular.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I agree w/boby