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Treasures from the Attic: The Extraordinary…

Treasures from the Attic: The Extraordinary Story of Anne Frank's…

by Mirjam Pressler

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Showing 5 of 5
There is no doubt that Anne Frank was an extraordinary writer and human being. Her family, though, until the rise of the Nazis, led very ordinary lives, and these simply do not make for fascinating reading. Yes, absolutely, this material should be recorded because they matter, because every human being matters, but there is really nothing compelling about the material. Were this not about Anne's family, no one would read it.
Unforgivable is the author's decision to "recreate" conversations and invent actions to tell the story. There are already a ridiculous amount of accusations that the Holocaust is fiction, and literary devices used when writing of it are absolutely unnecessary. ( )
  Eliz12 | Oct 7, 2015 |
I can remember when my father gave me The Diary of Anne Frank to read, I was twelve years old, we had just moved and he solemnly handed me the book. Over the years, I have read it four times. It made a huge impression on me so when I saw this book, Treasures from the Attic by Mirjam Pressler, I had to read it. Anne Frank’s aunt Helene Elias (Otto Frank’s sister) had passed away and left a huge amount of family letters, poems and pictures in her home. As the blurb on the inside cover says over 6,000 documents.

What this book does is make a fuller picture of Anne, her family and the life of Jews in Germany in particular in Frankfurt. The author goes back to 1492, the year the Jews were required to live in a walled part of Frankfort. They were locked in at night and their occupations strictly limited to what was not wanted by the rest of the population. Over time, the accordion of oppression swung open and shut as there were looser or more restrictions. This part is so fascinating that I want to read more about the history of Frankfort.

Then the author weaves the stories of Anne’s ancestors on both side with copies of the letters, poems and paintings and later poems. It was a surprise to see a family so talented in poetry. And Anne’s family were exceptionally loving and caring. When the book progressed to the period of the concentration camps and their aftermath, I had to stop reading and cry. The story is so sad and so maddening that so many are gone and for reasons of being hated. The searching for relatives and the awareness of the many who died was not neglected in this book. Her father learned about what his daughter was really like from her diary and we would read it learned what is was like to live in constant fear of being exposed and living a very restricted life. This book is like the frame around Anne Frank’s picture.

I strongly recommend reading this memoir of a family in very heartbreaking times. ( )
  Carolee888 | Jan 5, 2015 |
I can't do this right after The Book Thief. Maybe later.
  E.J | Apr 3, 2013 |
Unbeknownst to most people, Anne Frank's paternal grandmother as well as two of her uncles and her two cousins lived relatively unscathed lives in Switzerland while World War II sucked the life out of the Otto Frank family. Originally from Germany, the family had migrated to Switzerland, France, England and the Netherlands as the four brothers tried to escape the Nazi influence. The Netherlands proved the worst choice, and Anne, Margot and Edith Frank lost their lives as a result. But, before and after that time, lots of letters were written between these widely scattered relatives. And those letters that went to Switzerland were bundled up and stored in an attic, where they stayed unmolested for years until the wife of Anne's first cousin, Buddy, found them and realized their importance. Using those letters and other bits of family history materials, the lives of the Frank family has been reconstructed in this fascinating book which includes lots of pictures. The story basically takes the reader to the present-day. If you like history, you will find this a fascinating read. Highly recommended. ( )
  kblinn | Jan 21, 2012 |
This is a fascinating look at the extended family of Anne Frank told through letters, pictures and postcards exchanged between Helene and her brother, Otto, the father of Anne Frank. There are notes of joy and happiness mixed in with the despair and concern of the family that comes to realize that Otto's family is trapped by the Nazis and there is no way for them to find freedom. Most people know the story of Anne and her family, but I don't think anyone has ever documented the horror that her family went through and with the literal treasure trove of newly found documents that this all comes to light. Any history lover would love to have this book on their shelf. ( )
  MaryinHB | Jun 18, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mirjam Presslerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Elias, GertiContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 038553339X, Hardcover)

The story is one that is envisioned by many: a relative, an old woman who has lived in the same home for a lifetime, passes away, her death prompting the inevitable task of sorting through her effects by her surviving family. But in the attic in this particular house, a treasure trove of historic importance is found. Rarely does this become an actuality, but when Helene Elias died, no one could put a price on what she left behind.

Helene Elias was born Helene Frank, sister to Otto Frank, and therefore aunt to Anne Frank. Ensconced upstairs in the house she inherited from her mother, and eventually passed on to her son, Buddy Elias, Anne’s cousin and childhood playmate, was the documented legacy of the Frank family: a vast collection of photos, letters, drawings, poems, and postcards preserved throughout decades—a cache of over 6,000 documents in all.
Chronicled by Buddy’s wife, Gertrude, and renowned German author Mirjam Pressler, these findings weave an indelible, engaging, and endearing portrait of the family that shaped Anne Frank. They wrote to one another voluminously; recounted summer holidays, and wrote about love and hardships. They reassured one another during the terrible years and waited anxiously for news after the war had ended. Through these letters, they rejoiced in new life, and honored the memories of those they lost. 

Anne’s family believed themselves to ordinary members of Germany’s bourgeoisie. That they were wrong is part of history, and we celebrate them here with this extraordinary account.
Insert Authors’ photo: © Jürgen Bauer
Mirjam Pressler is one of Germany’s most beloved authors. She was the German translator of Anne Frank’s diary.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:05 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Traces the discovery by Frank's aunt's daughter-in-law of numerous family correspondences and keepsakes and what they revealed about the Frank family and the forces that shaped the famous young diarist.

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