The Other Side of Anne Frank : Books: Aging survivors come forward with their memories of the Jewish teen-ager. She wasn't always an angel.


She was bright and charming, but she could be domineering and acidly critical of those around her.

Anne Frank, the Jewish teen-ager whose diary became a symbol of human resilience and suffering under Nazism, has had new light shed on her personality more than 40 years after her death in a Nazi concentration camp.

Aging survivors whose lives touched hers have recorded their personal experiences of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during World War II.

Recent months have seen the publication of a memoir by her childhood friend, Jacqueline (Joopie) van Maarsen, and a biography of Fritz Pfeffer, a dentist in hiding with the Frank family who was frequently derided in Anne's diary under the fictitious name Albert Dussel.

Van Maarsen's memoir, "Anne and Joopie," describes Anne as extremely jealous.

"She was quite dominating. She decided the rules, also in friendship," Van Maarsen said in an interview after her book's release.

"She couldn't stand it if I had another friend. If she noticed that I did, she would say not very nice things about me and the other girl," she recalled.

Joopie never saw Anne after the Franks, along with Pfeffer and the Van Daan family, went into hiding in the annex of an Amsterdam office, where they lived for two years until they were arrested by the Nazis in 1944.

Anne depicted the dentist, who died in a concentration camp, as petty and indecisive. But in the Pfeffer biography, "Anne Frank's Roommate," he emerges as sensitive and kind.

"Pfeffer in freedom was a very different man than the one we have come to know through Anne's diary," wrote his biographer, Nanda van der Zee.

The material for the biography was discovered by Joke Kniesmeyer, spokeswoman for the Anne Frank Foundation, while browsing in an Amsterdam flea market in 1987.

She discovered a photograph album, full of pictures of Pfeffer, which had belonged to his wartime lover, Charlotte Kaletta.

A search of Kaletta's belongings uncovered more material on Pfeffer, including four love letters he had written to Kaletta, whom he was unable to marry because of the Nazi ban on marriages between Jews and Christians.

Kaletta married Pfeffer posthumously when the ban was lifted after the war.

Memoirs about Anne Frank began appearing in 1987, starting with those of Miep Gies, who supplied food to the fugitive Franks and tried to bribe Nazi SS officers to release them after their arrest.

Gies waited until she was 78 to break her silence with her book "Anne Frank Remembered."

A year later, Dutch filmmaker Willy Lindwer produced an award-winning film and book, "The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank," based on interviews with seven women interned with her.

They described her trek from the Netherlands to Auschwitz in Poland and finally to Bergen-Belsen, where she died of starvation and typhus in March, 1945, weeks before the camp was liberated.

Many spoke of her for the first time, remembering her change from a somewhat vain, naive girl into a lice-infested wreck who, succumbing to delirium, tore off her clothes in terror.

In 1989, "A Survivor's Tale of Anne Frank's Stepsister" was published by Eva Schloss, a contemporary of Anne who was also deported to Auschwitz and whose mother later married Anne's father, the only Frank to survive the war.

Kniesmeyer was not surprised that memoirs have appeared so many years later.

"In the 1950s, '60s and '70s, survivors put the past behind them to start a new life," she said.

"But as they approach their 70s, many of them think more about the past and have an urge to document what happened," she said.

"People who have kept silent for 40 years and not even talked to their children about what happened, suddenly talk. It's a natural process."

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