Book Recalls Anne Frank in Camps

At age 7, Berthe Meijer was freed from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where she says she remembers Anne Frank telling fairy tales to other kids to distract them from the horrors of the Holocaust. Meijer’s family knew Frank’s in Amsterdam, where both families hid from German occupiers until they were caught and sent to the camp. Meijer’s book deals with her struggles to live with her memories after the war ended, and though she mentions the famous diarist on just a few pages, the book is titled Life After Anne Frank, because it’s meant to tell victims’ stories after Frank’s diary leaves off. "The dividing line is where the diary of Anne Frank ends. Because then you fall into a big black hole," Meijer told the Associated Press. She remembers Frank, who died at the camp at 15, telling "fairy tales in which nasty things happened, and that was of course very much related to the war… But as a kid you get lifted out of the everyday nastiness. That's something I remember. You're listening to someone telling something that has nothing to do with what's happening around you—so it's a bit of escape."