Coster was in Anne Frank's class in 1941, in a segregated Jewish class of 28. His and the other student's memories offer rich - and often surprising - insights into Anne. She is remembered by various classmates as both vain and compassionate, generous and rebellious.
Of the 21 children in Anne Frank's class at the Jewish school she attended in Amsterdam, eleven survived WWII and six are alive today. These are their stories. In 1941 theo Coster was a student at the Amsterdam Jewish Lyceum, one in a class of twenty-eight Jewish children segregated by the Nazis from the rest of the Dutch population. Among theo's fellow students was Anne Frank, whose diary would later become one of the most important documents of the Holocaust. In this moving group portrait, Coster and five of his fellow classmates remember the girl they knew and share their own remarkable stories. their accounts offer rich and often surprising insights into Anne. She is remembered at various times as both vain and compassionate, generous and rebellious-by turns an ordinary child and a precocious girl seemingly destined for greatness. the memories gathered here also stand as powerful individual stories of ingenuity and survival-from Albert Gomes de Mesquita, who had to hide in ten different European towns during the war, to Hannah Goslar, who experienced the horrors of Bergen-Belsen but also made a miraculous reconnection with Anne days before her death. taken together, these stories reveal the vitality, resilience, and complex humanity of children living through one the darkest chapters in modern history. In theo's own words: "It wasn't about me; it was about leaving something behind. Something tangible - the book had to be like a legacy - for future generations so they will be able to imagine what it was like to be a child during the war. the everyday and the extraordinary, the moments of good fortune and the unimaginable suffering, the cruel randomness of fate. I hope that this book will contribute to a better understanding of the personal histories of children at a time of war. Children should never become victims of the intolerant ideas of adults." "A marvelous book which beautifully complements Anne Frank's diary. A must-read for anyone interested in the lives of Anne's Jewish contemporaries in Nazi-occupied Holland during WW2"-Dr. Efraim Zuroff, Chief Nazi-Hunter, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Author of Operation Last Chance: One Man's Quest to Bring Nazi Criminals to Justice