After the Nazis took over, Hannah Pick-Goslar’s family emigrated to Amsterdam. There she got to know Anne Frank, the two girls went to school together. In June ’43 »Hanneli«, as Anne named her in her diary, her father, her grandparents and her younger sister Gabi were arrested by the Gestapo and transported to Bergen-Belsen. At this place in March ’45 she met her school day friend again, shortly before Anne died. In April ’45 Hannah was penned up with the other prisoners in the Lost Train. She and her sister stayed alive throughout this odyssey and survived the Shoa. Nowadays, as a part of a big and loving family Hannah is living in Jerusalem – home of her faith and her choice.
»It hasn’t been the same like in other camps: we neither got tattooed, nor cropped, no one took away our sent packages, we were allowed to wear our own clothes and we haven’t been murdered. As you see, at some point you get thankful for really strange things.«
born 1928 in Germany, now resides in Jerusalem
At first Hannah Pick-Goslar disagreed to be part of our project. She explained that she doesn’t have such bad memories of this time. Since she was just a child back then, there were many things she didn’t notice at all. However I convinced her to tell her story, an important part of our society, so we can project it to the world.
In her living room Hannah and I were sitting vis-à-vis. Her apartment is very representative of her life as a sophisticated woman. Somehow, this atmosphere intimidated me at first, but that changed the moment Hannah started talking. When she told about her life in Germany, I almost forgot I am in Israel as Hannah and me have the same home and culture. While talking, the door bell was ringing: Hannah’s granddaughter came visit her on her way home from work. She comes every day. It made me feel happy watching both of them, members of two different generations, in their interaction so ful of love. At the same time Hannah’s radical political position clearly result from her past.
In the morning of our meeting, there was a family of settlers killed at the border to the Palestinian territories. What can one say to a woman that has been chased as a child, survived a concentration camp and still it’s not granted to her to live in a peaceful home? Even though Hannah Pick-Goslar got many invitations to talk about her past and about Anne Frank, she took the time she needed to finally talk about it. She did not only tell her story in a factual way but was very kind and open-minded. If there were more time left in the end, she would have invited me to join a Sabbat dinner with her family. It is quite impressive how open-minded and ful of warmth Hannah faced me, a total stranger to her.