No, lockdown is nothing like hiding during the Holocaust

A mural of Anne Frank at Haus Schwarzenberg in Berlin. (Ilse Orsel/Unsplash)

When Elly Bollegraaf speaks to students in Ottawa about her experiences being a hidden child during the Holocaust in the Netherlands, she usually gets asked whether she knew Anne Frank. Each time, she disappoints the crowd by informing them she did not.

In reality, Bollegraaf was just two years old when the Germans began deporting Holland’s Jews to their deaths. While Anne Frank was already a teenager—and living in another part of the country, in Amsterdam—Bollegraf remained hidden for two years. She was reunited with her mother after the war ended, in 1945.

On today’s episode, Bollegraaf shares her incredible story of survival, and what she thinks when people say they feel like Anne Frank while living under lockdown during the pandemic.

What we talked about:

  • Watch a hypothetical video diary series of Anne Frank, created by the Anne Frank House, on YouTube
  • Listen to Elly Bollegraaf’s video testimony given to Carleton University at
  • The home where Bollegraaf was hidden is now a bed and breakfast run by Wetzel, which you can view at

The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Victoria Redden is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. Find more great Jewish podcasts at

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