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Jacqueline van Maarsen’s father was Dutch, her mother French; he was Jewish, she a Catholic. In 1938, after unremitting effort, he succeeded in registering his wife with the Jewish Council in Amsterdam. From that moment on, his two daughters were also considered to be Jews. Jacqueline was forced to go to a special school for Jewish children – it was there that she met Anne Frank and they immediately became friends. Unlike Anne Frank, Jacqueline van Maarsen escaped deportation thanks to her strong-willed mother who persuaded the German Registration Bureau to undo her listing as a Jew. She left the school a few months after Anne Frank went into hiding (or ‘went to Switzerland’, as Jacqueline believed). It was only after the war when Otto Frank, Anne’s father, told her what had happened that she found out the truth about her best friend’s fate.