The Anne Frank Case: Simon Wiesenthal's Search for the Truth

Overview

This inspiring and suspenseful account testifies to the difference that one man's dedication can make.

In October 1958 renowned Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal received a disturbing phone call at his home in Linz, Austria. He rushed to the Landes Theater, where a group of teenagers were disrupting a performance of The Diary of Anne Frank. Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor, had made it his life work to ensure that Anne Frank and others who had ...
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Overview

This inspiring and suspenseful account testifies to the difference that one man's dedication can make.

In October 1958 renowned Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal received a disturbing phone call at his home in Linz, Austria. He rushed to the Landes Theater, where a group of teenagers were disrupting a performance of The Diary of Anne Frank. Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor, had made it his life work to ensure that Anne Frank and others who had died in the Holocaust were not forgotten. He was deeply concerned that many local teenagers seemed to agree with the neo-Nazi protesters that Anne's diary was a hoax. Determined to find definitive proof that the diary was authentic, Wiesenthal began a five-year-long search for the Gestapo officer who arrested the Frank family.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Myrna Dee Marler
Explaining the Nazi-engineered Jewish Holocaust to children is complicated. This book may or may not succeed at the task. The mostly dark-toned pictures are of angry people in meetings, of people suffering or of Simon Wiesenthal on the hunt for survivors who can attest to the veracity of Anne Frank's diary. Maybe a child's imagination will be captivated by the story, but it's a grim subject for a picture book. The story itself is complex, recounting the story of Wiesenthal's life, the rise of the Nazis to power, the sufferings of the Jews, his own ordeal in the concentration camps, the motivation behind his dedicated search for Nazis after the war, the questioned authenticity of Anne Frank's diary and his search for the Nazi policeman who arrested the Frank family in the Annex before they were sent to a concentration camp. Perhaps this is best for older children who wouldn't be turned off by the picture book format and who are interested in history. It's an important story that needs to be told, and it is told well. However, the choice of format is puzzling. Reviewer: Myrna Dee Marler
School Library Journal

Gr 6-8

In 1958, Holocaust deniers disrupted a theater performance of The Diary of Anne Frank . In response, the well-known Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal vowed to prove Anne's story true by finding the Gestapo officer who'd arrested her and her family. Much detective work led to the 1963 discovery of the man in question. This "hook" is the framing story for a picture-book biography chronicling Wiesenthal's experiences during World War II and illustrating the development of his unusual career. The book is meticulously researched and packed with dates, facts, and quotes from the subject and others. Back matter includes an overview of Wiesenthal's life. The amount of detail, while admirably scholarly, makes the text rather dense and dry, and casual readers will find it slowgoing. Farnsworth's dark, realistic paintings are quietly dignified. The scenes have a cinematic drama in their use of lighting and in the contrasts between long shots and close-ups. This book is highly recommended for Holocaust collections, but it will be best appreciated by sophisticated readers or those with an already strong interest in the subject.-Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL

Kirkus Reviews
The post-World War II publication of Anne Frank's diary made her the icon for all the murdered Jewish children during the Holocaust. In 1958, an Austrian performance of the play based on the diary was disrupted by teenage neo-Nazis who had been taught that the Holocaust was a fraud. Simon Wiesenthal was a Holocaust survivor who gathered information about the whereabouts of Nazis in order to bring them to justice. Called to the theater, he vowed to find the Gestapo officer who had arrested the Frank family, thus proving that the diary was not a fake. This lengthy picture book carefully details the horrors of Wiesenthal's life, from ghetto to concentration camps to liberation, and emphasizes the phenomenal memory that made possible his determination to "tell what it was really like." It is a painstaking, long, frustrating piece of detection, hampered by postwar political realities and aided by phone books. Rubin, who has authored other titles on the Holocaust, has crafted another notable contribution. Farnsworth's full-page paintings in dark hues are stark and haunting. (author's note, resources, glossary) (Picture book/biography. 10 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823421091
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/15/2009
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,456,126
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Lexile: 910L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Goldman Rubin is the award-winning author of more than thirty-five books for young readers, including Fireflies in the Dark, a Sydney Taylor Award Honor Book, a SCBWI Golden Kite Honor Book, and a Booklist Top Ten Art Book for Youth. She lives in Malibu, California. Visit Susan at susangoldmanrubin.com.

Bill Farnsworth has illustrated numerous books for children. Publishers Weekly called his oil paintings for The Flag with Fifty-six Stars by Susan Rubin "nothing short of extraordinary" in a starred review. Bill lives in Florida. Visit him online at BillFarnsworth.com
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