The Man Who Hid Anne Frank By Rick Kardonne, Eda Shapiro
Of all the personalities associated with Anne Frank, the most important figure, without whom Anne Frank would never have... More Below
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The Man Who Hid Anne Frank
Rick Kardonne, Eda Shapiro
Gefen Publishing House
Of all the personalities associated with Anne Frank, the most important figure, without whom Anne Frank would never have been able to write her diary, is perhaps the least known. He is Victor Kugler, the Mr. Kraler of the diary. The principal business partner of Otto Frank, Victor Kugler assumed managerial control of the Franks’ Amsterdam spice-importing business when Nazi persecution forced the Frank family into hiding. It was Victor Kugler who kept the business going and obtained food rations under what was the harshest German wartime occupation in all of Western Europe. Without Victor Kugler, Anne Frank and her family would have starved to death a month after going into hiding.
For this heroism, Victor Kugler himself was arrested and sent to a series of German labor camps in Holland where he survived by his wits and finally escaped a few weeks before the end of the war. Several years after the end of the war, when the Dutch spice business collapsed following the Indonesian revolution that nationalized Dutch holdings, Victor Kugler emigrated to Toronto, Canada.
There, he led a quiet life where nobody knew who he was and what he had done during the war. Only twenty years later he began to reveal his story. The modern-day saga of this Righteous Gentile, who was honored as such at Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, is told here in semi-documentary style, largely in his own words as told to Torontonian Eda Shapiro, herself of Eastern European Jewish background; and by many others who knew him, as compiled by well-known Toronto writer-journalist Rick Kardonne.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Eda Shapiro interviewed Victor Kugler from 1969 to 1973, and wrote these memoirs as he dictated them to her. After her passing in 1992, her husband Irving Naftolin took it upon himself to have them published so the details of this shy hero’s life would be presented for the world to see. Without this endeavor by Eda and Irving, important facts about Anne Frank would have remained forever hidden.
Rick Kardonne is a journalist and a composer. He has written for the Jewish Tribune for over a decade during which he interviewed such people as Ariel Sharon, Benjamin Netanyahu, Shimon Perez, Mikhail Gorbachev, Lech Walesa and Liza Minelli. Rick was also a music critic for the Canadian Jewish News for fifteen years. He has had six stage musicals produced in Canada and he composed the original soundtrack for Cayle Chemin’s film I Am Home, which opened the Cape Town Film Festival of 1997. Rick is married to the former Eda Golub and they have two daughters.