Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Anne Frank Case: Simon Wiesenthal's Search for the Truth

The Anne Frank Case: Simon Wiesenthal's Search for the Truth

Susan Goldman Rubin
Illustrator:  Bill Farnsworth 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 8 to 11
Holiday House, 2010   ISBN: 978-0823423088

From June 1942 to August 1944, a Jewish girl called Anne Frank, her parents, and some friends lived in a hidden apartment in a house in Amsterdam. They, like so many other Jews in Europe, were trying to hide from the Nazi’s who were determined to wipe out as many Jews as possible. On August 4th, 1944 Anne and the rest of the people with her were arrested by the German police, and soon after they were deported to  concentration camps. Anne father Otto Frank was the only person to survive the war. During her years in the hidden apartment, Anne wrote a diary, and after the war was over her father had the diary published. It was read by millions of people all over the world, and adaptations of Anne’s story were turned into a play and a film.

During a performance of The Diary of Anne Frank play in Linz, Austria in 1958, some young neo-Nazis caused a disturbance, shouting that the diary and Anne Frank were fake, and that the Holocaust hadn’t happened. When Simon Wiesenthal heard about this, he decided that it was his duty to prove that Anne was a real person and that she did write her diary. He felt that the best way to do this was to find the policeman who had arrested Anne.

Simon Wiesenthal had already spent many years hunting for Nazi war criminals. A survivor of the concentration camps himself, Simon was determined to do what he could to help other survivors, and to honor the memories of the victims of the Holocaust by finding the men who had helped to bring about the deaths of millions of people.

For years, Simon tried to find the man who had played such an important role in Anne’s life. At times, he despaired that he would ever find the person he was looking for, but in the end, his determination and hard work paid off.

This remarkable picture book tells a story that is both painful and uplifting. The author shows us how hard Simon Wiesenthal worked to ensure that Anne Frank’s story was given the respect it deserved, and how he never gave up trying to honor the Jews who lost their lives during the Holocaust.