All posts tagged: Stalin’s attempt

Mother Survived the Nazis. Father Survived the Soviets.

Mother Survived the Nazis. Father Survived the Soviets.

“Should I mention that I saw Anne Frank in Belsen? Do you think they’d be interested in that?” I was in my late teens when my mother was first asked to give a talk about her experiences as a German refugee and Dutch Jew in the Second World War. Until the late 1970s, people rarely asked her about it, and she didn’t want to be a bore. Then things began to change. Within a few years of her first speech, she was giving lectures in schools quite regularly. She was invited to Downing Street and talked with the prime minister about knowing the Franks, and about her father’s work fighting fascism and his encounter with Hermann Göring. The BBC made a documentary in which my mother met the daughter of a prominent Nazi. She was forever telling her story. No one, however, ever asked Dad to tell his. The interest in what happened to him never came. It still hasn’t come. Yet my father was the victim of one of the war’s greatest crimes: Stalin’s …