April 26, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Pick of the Day: Otto Frank, Father of Anne (DVD)

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B & w photo of Anne and Otto FrankOtto Frank, Father of Anne. DVD. 75 min. MVD Entertainment Group. 2012. ISBN unavail. $119.97.
Gr 9 Up–Anne Frank’s diary has been translated into more than 67 languages and, as a result of her father’s persistence, it has become the world’s greatest single document about the Holocaust. In David DeJongh’s revealing documentary, we meet Otto, Anne’s father, who was an officer in Germany’s army during WW I.   The family fled to Holland during Hitler’s reign, and Anne’s diary was written while they were in hiding. Otto survived Auschwitz and was disconsolate over losing his daughters and wife. But his life took on a singular, passionate purpose when Anne’s diary anonymously came to him. He edited the diaries and doggedly pursued publishers to print the book. Finally, faced with rejection, he paid for the printing of the initial editions.  Firsthand interviews and rare footage from Europe reveal controversies and battles unimagined by the Diary’s readers. There were also lawsuits over stage and screen rights. Testimonies revealing the Franks’ life in hiding and Otto’s own bias favoring his younger daughter contribute to a compelling investigation of a father’s mission to make his daughter’s voice heard. This film offers conflicting accounts form eyewitnesses about the events surrounding Anne and her diary as well as source material that is sure to spark discussion and debate. An excellent addition to Holocaust collections.–Robin Levin, Fort Washakie School/Community Library, WY

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