Oct. 28, 2022
We were sad to learn of the death of Hannah Pick-Goslar at the age of 93. Hannah, or Hanneli as Anne called her in her diary, was one of Anne Frank’s best friends; they had known each other since kindergarten.
On 14 June 1942, Anne wrote in her diary: ‘Hanneli and Sanne used to be my two best friends. People who saw us together always used to say: “There goes Anne, Hanne and Sanne.”’ Hannah shared her memories of their friendship and the Holocaust into old age. She believed everyone should know what happened to her and her friend Anne after the last diary entry. No matter how terrible the story.
Best of friends
Hannah Goslar was born on 12 November 1928 in Berlin-Tiergarten. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, the family moved to London and on to Amsterdam. There, they came to live next door to the Frank family at Merwedeplein. Hannah and Anne were in kindergarten together and attended the 6th Montessori School and later the Jewish Lyceum. They became close friends and were always in and out of each other’s houses. Hannah recounted: ‘My mother described Anne Frank well. She said: “God knows everything, but Anne knows better.”’
Anne Frank and her family went into hiding in the Secret Annex on Prinsengracht in 1942. In 1937, Hannah had moved to Zuider Amstellaan, where she continued to live until June 1943. Then, she and her father (her mother had died in childbirth), her grandparents, and her younger sister Gabi were deported to Westerbork and, in February 1944, from there to Bergen-Belsen. There she met Anne Frank in February 1945, shortly before Anne died. Hannah and her sister Gabi were the only ones in their family to survive the horrors of the concentration camps.
My best friend Anne
In 1947, Hannah emigrated to then Palestine (presentday Israel), where she became a nurse. She married Walter Pick, and they had three children, 11 grandchildren, and 31 great-grandchildren. She used to say: ‘This is my answer to Hitler.’
When Hannah was asked if she would talk about her memories of Anne Frank, she had to think about it because reliving the past was painful. However, she felt that it was important to share what had happened. One and a half million children, like Anne and Margot Frank, were murdered simply because they were Jewish. She felt obligated to talk about Anne and the Holocaust ‘because I survived, and Anne didn’t.’
In 1997, Alison Leslie Gold chronicled Hannah’s story in the book Memories of Anne Frank: Reflections of a Childhood Friend. Ben Sombogaart’s film My Best Friend Anne Frank (released in 2021) was based on the book. The film tells the story of Hannah’s and Anne’s friendship during World War II.
Hannah Pick-Goslar meant a lot to the Anne Frank House, and we could always call on her. Hannah’s last visit to the Anne Frank House was in October 2012, at the opening of the temporary exhibition ‘So now I’m fifteen.’ Photos, letters, and books of Anne Frank. The exhibition featured photographs of Hannah and Anne. A short video was recorded in which Hannah talked about her friendship with Anne.
We offer Hannah’s relatives and friends our deepest sympathy and sincere condolences.
May her memory be for blessing.
Article about Hannah Goslar from the 1998 Anne Frank Magazine:
Interview with Hannah about meeting Anne in kindergarten, from Jon Blair’s documentary Anne Frank Remembered, December 1994:
Interview with Hannah about her last encounter with Anne in Bergen-Belsen, from Jon Blair’s documentary Anne Frank Remembered, December 1994: