No Asylum: The Untold Chapter of Anne Frank’s Story

Poster for No Asylum: The Untold Chapter of Anne Frank’s Story A great treasure trove of history was lost in the mists of time for 70 years, until recently. A volunteer was sorting through boxes of dusty Holocaust manuscripts deep in the archives of YIVO, the Institute for Jewish Research, when she came upon a fragile envelope. She was stunned to find inside lost documents that detailed the desperate efforts of a loving father to save his family from the murderous clutches of the Nazis. They were the letters of Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father, and reveal his heartbreaking failure to find a safe haven for his daughters, Anne and Margot, and his wife Edith. In No Asylum, Anne’s only surviving family members relate the emotional story of her family’s frantic search for sanctuary – Buddy Elias and Eva Schloss. Buddy, Anne’s cousin and best friend, speaks about their childhood and shares unseen family photographs and letters. He reveals Otto’s last letter before going into hiding, and sheds new light on their struggle for immigration. Eva Schloss, Anne’s stepsister, recounts the Franks’ riveting personal stories. More than any other Holocaust survivor, her life parallels Anne’s. In 1933 in Germany, when discrimination against the Jews worsened, Otto moved the family to Amsterdam. Eva’s family also moved there to escape persecution against the Jews; she grew up across the street from the Franks, and was friends with Anne. But as the Nazi noose tightened throughout Europe, Otto’s desperation increased. When the doors to other countries closed, he turned to the US as their last hope for refuge. Otto’s letters and the US State Dept. responses paint a picture of the world’s failure to respond to the plight of the Jewish refugees. 73 documents bring the Franks’ struggle into dramatic focus. Otto’s letters elevate the human drama of the Franks to a new level.

73 minutes
Paula Fouce

Shown at

  1. Chicago Jewish Film Festival - 2017

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