My Memories of Anne Frank; My Work With Her Diaries
Almost seven decades after her death at Bergen-Belsen, Anne Frank remains the best known of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, this owing to the diary that she kept while hiding in Amsterdam. On May 1, we had a rare opportunity to hear from a woman who knew Anne in the late 1930's and early 1940's, one of her last contacts still alive. Laureen Nussbaum was born Hannelore Klein. Like the Frank sisters, she and her two sisters were born in Frankfurt, Germany, Hannelore herself being a little closer in age to Margot Frank (born 1926) than to Anne (born 1929). Their parents knew each other in Frankfurt and they became friends in Amsterdam, where they had taken refuge after the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933. The girls of both families shared many experiences. However, as the persecution of Jews in the Netherlands progressed, the two families suffered very different fates. Of the Franks only Anne's father, Otto, survived the war, while the Kleins made it through intact, for reasons Laureen explains in her talk. Two years after the war ended, Hannelore, called Hansje in the Netherlands, married Rudi Nussbaum, another young refugee from Germany, who was the only survivor of his family. Otto Frank was the best man at their wedding. After Rudi had completed his PhD in Physics at the Amsterdam City University, they moved with their young family to the United States. Hansje, now Laureen, eventually acquired her PhD at the University of Washington and joined her husband on the faculty of Portland State University, where both of them enjoyed long teaching careers, he in Physics and she in Foreign Languages and Literatures. Rudi passed away in 2011. In this video, Nussbaum tells her own story of survival, shares her unique memories of Anne and Margot, and examines and appraises the extraordinary legacy that is Anne's Diary.
Nussbaum, L. (2014). Keynote speaker at the Oregon State University Holocaust Memorial Week, “My Memories of Anne Frank; My Work With Her Diaries. Lasells Stewart Center, Corvallis, OR.