Sneak Preview Of The Book: Anne Frank The Untold Story
During the hiding period, Bep developed the habit of usually having lunch in the Annex. She was always welcome, especially to Anne, who always demanded that Bep sit with her at the table. Apparently, Anne considered her to be a permanent fixture at the afternoon table. When she discussed the goings-on during lunch in her diary, she described Bep as well as the eight hiders: “No. 9 is not an Annex family member, but certainly a house and table companion. Bep has a healthy appetite. Doesn’t leave anything on her plate, is not picky. One can please her with anything and that pleases us. Happy and cheerful, willing and good-natured, those are her traits.”
Bep was aware that her presence at the lunch table was a positive addition to the Annex. She let the hiders express their wishes and needs, after which she tried to grant those with the limited means at her disposal. Additionally, Bep had an informatory role at the table. She was able to paint a truthful picture of the outside world and while she concealed some of the sadder events, she had everyone’s full attention when she spoke.
Moreover, Bep was an outspoken participant in discussions on the war. Later, son Joop was told by his mother how things went at such times: “They discussed politics. The people who were running things at the time, or the people who weren’t there at all, and who they felt should have been there. The developments of the war were followed closely. Maps and drawings were used to show where the Germans were. The encouraging role, making sure the residents didn’t all get depressed, was taken on by those from the outside. Because it’s no easy feat to be locked up for two years, having to rely on hearsay. The conversations that were held were quite heavy.”
The hiders enjoyed the visits from their helpers immensely – their only link to the outside world next to the radio – and always missed them greatly when one of them was ill. Anne carefully detailed the wellbeing of her helpers in her diary. According to Kugler “our visits interrupted the daily rut for those locked up. When they got nervous and started quarreling, we could break the tensions and keep the peace.”
That knowledge was also the reason why Bep was talked into spending the night in the Annex on October 30, 1942. Initially, the plan was that Bep would join the hiders for dinner that evening, but when she got ready to leave Anne refused to let her go. That moment had often occurred before: Anne who tried to prolong Bep’s visit and Bep who forced herself to say goodbye with a heavy heart. This time, however, Bep decided to grant Anne’s wish.
On this evening, Bep became more intensively acquainted with Anne’s passion and talent for writing. She was given a few stories to read that Anne had come up with and was sincerely surprised by the fact that such a young girl was so literarily developed. In a letter to Otto Frank, she later remembered the moment that Margot read from Anne’s stories. “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I could not believe that Anne had written those words. I can still see Margot’s face: ‘Yes, Anne wrote these all by herself.’ Then I thought, you’ve got to be older to be able to write such a thing, or perhaps it was herdetail. A few months before, she had experienced the same thing – with her husband she too had spent the night in the Annex. Bep and Miep agreed that it was a macabre experience, but they felt it was only right they now had an idea of what it meant to be in hiding. According to son Joop, she referred to that night “when she was talking about her respect for the people who were hiding there. She could vividly imagine that each squeak and crack was associated with ‘I’ve been betrayed’ or ‘they’ve heard me now.’”
At the end of the workday, Bep didn’t go home like the other helpers. She had not been herself all day and had been unable to keep her head at her tasks, so she wanted to catch up on some work at the office. It was around 8 o’clock in the evening when the office door opened and Anne’s face appeared in the doorway. After office hours, the hiders often moved freely through the building to have a little more privacy. “Is everyone gone?” Anne whispered, meaning the company’s warehouse employees. “The coast is clear,” Bep reassured her. Anne snuck into the office and stood by the window, obscured from view by the curtain. As she looked outside, Bep heard her utter a deep sigh. Anne loved getting a glimpse of the outside world, but it also frustrated her that she was unable to go outside. It was the second time that day that Bep was confronted so directly with the confined position of the hiders.
5 reasons for buying this book:
- geschiedenis nooit vergeten
- de moed van deze mensen
- verrassende inkijk voor én achter de boekenkast
- stille helpster Bep Voskuijl krijgt een stem
- unieke nieuwe details, direct van de bron
I truly love this book!
This book has more of an in depth information and account about Bep Voskuijl. I am so glad to learn about her. I can relate and understand what and how Bep have gone through. She was afraid, nervous, and few others but amazingly she was very brave to deal and handle things during the WWII and Nazi persecutions. I am truly glad and pleased that Bep and Anne Frank became very good friends.
Deborah A. Kamrowski on Amazon.com
“I must uphold my ideals,
the time will come
when I shall be able to
carry them out.”