‘My Best Friend Anne Frank’: Separated by the Nazis


Anne Frank once spoke sadly that she might survive the war and her friend Hannah Goslar probably wouldn’t. It’s a haunting perspective to remember when watching “My Best Friend Anne Frank”, it is a Dutch film told from Hannah’s point of view. Ben Sombogaart’s fantasy drama moves between Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, where Hannah and Anne are friends, and the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they were later imprisoned separately.

My Best Friend Anne Frank

The film highlights a story of friendship and childhood innocence during the Holocaust. Mischievous Anne (Aiko Beemsterboer) delights and frustrates her loyal friend Hannah (Josephine Arendsen), who feels left out when other girls and boys enter the picture. When Anne then disappears, Hannah does not realize that her friend has hidden nearby. She soon finds herself burdened with the Nazis’ persecution of her own family.

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In the camp scenes, a blotchy-faced Hannah trudges through a drab environment. This feels confusing and strange compared to other movies about the experience, and it doesn’t help that Hannah is less vividly portrayed than Anne. The director seems to wait until the dramatic reunion, when Hannah discovers that Anne is dying on the other side of a campsite wall.

Clinging to Hannah’s naive point of view and the cherished ideal of her friendship with Anne results in some hard truths being hidden. Physical violence tends to be staged in the background of shots, for example — even when Hannah’s pregnant mother is brutalized at home. The credits underscore the ear of the entire enterprise, declaring that Anne “became what she wanted: famous the world over”.

The Director is Ben Sombogaart, the writers are Marian Batavier, Paul Ruven and the artists: Aiko Beemsterboer, Josephine Arendsen, Roeland Fernhout, Lottie Hellingman, Björn Freiberg. The film lasts 1 hour and 43 minutes, and the genre is drama.

Five fun facts about Hannah Goslar- Friend of Anne Frank

My Best Friend Anne Frank

1. First Meeting

The two met at school in 1933. Shortly after Adolf Hitler was elected by the Nazi party, Hannah’s parents tried unsuccessfully to move to England, choosing to try life in Amsterdam, Holland.

2. Reason for Friendship

The trip to Holland resulted in a linguistic problem for both of them, who came from Germany – Hannah from Berlin and Anne from Frankfurt. Therefore, without knowing other colleagues or even being able to dialogue, the closeness came naturally.

3. Physical Memories

On the first day of class at school, the friend was greeted by a hug from Frank, who just before had been playing at making melodies with the little bells hanging in the school, today these bells are in Hanna’s house.

4. Unsustainable Situation

Both Anne’s and her friend’s family ended up in Nazi concentration camps; Hanna stayed at the Bergen-Belsen exchange camp, where episodes of violence were less than the section occupied by the Frank family.

5. Last Meeting

Shortly before her friend’s death, Hanna managed to find her through a fence that separated sectors of the field. The encounter was quick, but Anne managed to catch a bag of bread, prunes and socks thrown through a barbed wire fence.

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