Amsterdam This Summer ?

Yesterday marked the opening of the new temporary exhibition in the Anne Frank House: “We too might move on”. The exhibition sheds light on the flight of the Frank family, the Van Pels family and Fritz Pfeffer from Germany to Holland in the 1930’s and their subsequent vain attempts to find a safe refuge elsewhere. Eva Schloss-Geiringer, Holocaust survivor and stepdaughter of Otto Frank, opened the exhibition and talked about her life in Amsterdam after she escaped from Austria with her parents and brother in 1938. The exhibition will be on display in the Anne Frank House until 15 September 2012.

Eva Schloss-Geiringer

The exhibition places the story of the Frank family, the Van Pels family and Fritz Pfeffer in the context of the approximately 410,000 Jews who fled Germany and Austria between 1933 and 1941. After Hitler came to power in 1933, a large section of the German Jewish population left their fatherland. Between 1933 and 1941, approximately 280,000 Jews fled Nazi Germany and 130,000 left Austria, which had been annexed by Hitler: half of the total Jewish community of these countries. Several tens of thousands arrived in the Netherlands. For many of them it was only a stop on a longer journey.

The Frank and Van Pels families and Fritz Pfeffer also tried to move on from the Netherlands. On 24 December 1937 Edith Frank, Anne’s mother, wrote in a letter to a friend: “We too might move on”. The Frank family tried to find a safe refuge in Britain, the USA and Cuba, the Van Pels family in the USA, and Fritz Pfeffer in Australia, Aruba and Chile. None of their attempts succeeded. They were betrayed, and sent to concentration camps. Otto Frank was the only one to survive.

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