Letters from Anne Frank’s father now at U of South Carolina

June 8, 2022 GMT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A woman has given the University of South Carolina 100 cards and letters she received as a girl and young woman from Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank.

Cara Wilson-Granat first wrote to Otto Frank in 1957, when she was 12 and had just auditioned for a movie based on the diary that Anne Frank wrote while in hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam.

Last year, Wilson-Granat published a memoir about her life and their correspondence, which lasted until Frank’s death in 1980.

Wilson-Granat wrote on her website that he became her mentor and “wise ‘grandfather,’ as he was for many, many others worldwide.”

She has now given Frank’s letters to the university’s Anne Frank Center, which opened in September as a partner to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, The Post and Courier reported.

“The letters are going to have a life where there’s discussion,” Wilson-Granat said during a news conference Wednesday. “We already have had the students sitting down and they’re talking about antisemitism and racism and bullying and there’s so much that I believe that we can grow from these letters.”

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The donation establishes the Anne Frank Archive in the world’s fourth Anne Frank Center.

Its director, Doyle Stevick, said he hopes others will be inspired to send it letters from Otto Frank. There may be thousands of undocumented letters from him, Stevick said.

“I pray that those letters can be retrieved and we read them,” Wilson-Granat told The Post and Courier. “You’re reading about people who have given up hope, and he helped them.

She heard about the center from a friend who also had corresponded with Frank. They and a third correspondent visited the center before Wilson-Granat decided to donate her letters.

A senior researcher from the Anne Frank House, Gertjan Broek, said the letters cover topics such as the JFK assassination, antisemitism and racism in the United States, the civil rights movement and conflict in the Middle East.

The Anne Frank Center, located in the Barringer House on USC’s Columbia campus, details the life of Anne Frank and her family, who entered what Anne Frank called “The Secret Annex” in 1942. They were discovered two years later and sent to concentration camps, where all but Otto Frank died.