Anne Frank became famous the world over for her published diary, detailing her family’s struggle to survive the Holocaust, but American Heroes Channel announced in a press release they will air Anne Frank: Beyond the Diary, featuring her little known stepsister, Eva Schloss, to commemorate the U.S. Holocaust Week of Remembrance in April. This spring also marks the 70th anniversary of Anne Frank’s death, estimated in early March as the exact date is unknown.
Schloss was not only Frank’s stepsister, but a childhood friend who became an Auschwitz survivor. The two girls first met while they were 11-years-old in Amsterdam, after their displacement there by the reigning Nazi regime. Anne and Eva were playing outside their apartment building, and little did they know that one day they would become stepsisters, much less that one of them would write one of the most compelling and most read first-person narratives of all time.
On June 12, 1942, Anne Frank received a diary for her 13th birthday, using it to create a classic work of literature read by thousands since then, and a view at the atrocities of World War II and Adolph Hitler’s concentration camps through the eyes of a child. As Anne Frank witnessed these events firsthand, Eva Schloss witnessed some of Anne’s journey firsthand, making her one of the few living authorities on the girl behind the legend.
Anne Frank and Eva Schloss lived parallel lives throughout the war, both having to hide with their families, but ultimately being betrayed and sent to concentration camps. Anne was sent to the Bergen-Belsen Camp, where she died right before the camp was liberated in March of 1945. Anne’s father, Otto, and Eva’s mother, Elfriede, survived and eventually married in 1953, having lost all of their families except Eva.
Otto and Elfriede were married 27 years, with Eva becoming a second daughter to Anne’s father, who was the first to read excerpts of Anne’s diary to her. Eva Schloss witnessed the publication of Anne Frank’s diary and the subsequent acclaim that has made it one of the most-read books of all time. Schloss established the Anne Frank Trust U.K. in her honor, whose goal is to challenge prejudice and hatred in all forms.
In addition to Schloss, Anne Frank: Beyond the Diary also features interviews with Ronald Leopold, executive director of The Anne Frank House and Gillian Walnes, executive director and co-founder of The Anne Frank Trust U.K.
Anne Frank: Beyond the Diary airs on American Heroes Channel April 18 at 10 p.m. ET.
[Image courtesy of The Times of Israel]