Friday, January 26, 2007

The Gates Were Locked

Newly disclosed letters written by the father of Anne Frank illuminate his desperate attempts to get the family out of the Nazi-occupied Netherlands.

The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, a New York-based institution that focuses on the history and culture of Eastern European Jews, said yesterday that it had discovered the file among 100,000 Holocaust-related documents about a year and a half ago.

“We have come across the file which belonged to Otto Frank, documenting his efforts to immigrate his family and get them out of Holland,” said Cathy Callegari, a spokeswoman for YIVO, which is to release the letters on Feb. 14. Time magazine first reported on the letters yesterday on its Web site.

...Ms. Callegari said the documents included letters that Otto Frank had written to relatives, friends and officials between April 30 and Dec. 11, 1941, when Germany declared war on the United States.

The letters document how he tried to arrange for his family — his wife, Edith; his daughters, Margot and Anne, and his mother-in-law, Rosa Hollander — to go to the United States or Cuba.

He failed, and the family took refuge in July 1942, hiding for more than two years before being arrested. Anne Frank described the family’s life in hiding in a diary.

The British had closed the gates to Palestine in their 1939 White Paper and entry into the UK was minimal. The 1938 Evian Conference fizzled. America and Canada were closed.No one wanted the Jews. (Canada 2)

Anne Frank's diary continues to reverberate.

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