Jacqueline van Maarsen - photo Bert Nienhuis Jacqueline van Maarsen Voor Nederlands, klik hier!
photo: Bert Nienhuis

During her successful career as an art bookbinder, Jacqueline Sanders started what she planned to be a one-off project: she set out to write a book. Having remained silent for decades about her friendship with Anne Frank, circumstances arose that obliged her to write for the one who could no longer write. Jacqueline Sanders returned to being Jacqueline van Maarsen. Anne Frank had called her Jopie during her period in hiding, when she was reworking her diary for publication. Jacqueline had hidden behind the name Jopie for years, determined not to have to live her life as Anne Frank's girlfriend.

JACQUELINE VAN MAARSEN titled her book Anne and Jopie. The book caused something of an uproar because of the message it contained. It was later translated into German, English, Japanese and Russian and promotional trips to Germany, America, Japan and St Petersburg quickly followed. There wasn't much time left for her former passion: art bookbinding. A new passion was born: writing.

After a couple of years she decided to publish her memoires once again, this time in two volumes with the accent in each instance on discrimination and racism. The two volumes were published as Ik heet Anne zei ze, Anne Frank - My Name is Anne, she said, Anne Frank (2002/2007) and De Erflaters - Inheriting Anne Frank (2003/2009). The many translations that followed led to a new round of promotional trips, lecture invitations and interviews on radio and television. School visits were also a regular feature of her programme.


Jacqueline's talks for schoolchildren were so satisfying, especially in Germany, that she decided to follow advice and rework her book for children. Je beste vriendin Anne - Your Best Friend Anne was published in 2011 and in 2012 awarded the Zilveren Griffel - a literary prize for books for young people. The jury described her book as 'informative'. In her book, Jacqueline explains how, as a child, she slowly came to realise the meaning of anti-Semitism and racism and what it could lead to if both concepts were pushed to the extreme. The title is taken from the signature at the bottom of the farewell letter Anne wrote to Jacqueline when she went into hiding.

Deine Freundin Anne Frank was published in Germany in March 2013.

Jacqueline van Maarsen is presently working on a new book of short stories inspired by her many travels. It will focus for the most part on racism and discrimination.