Alternatives presents a screening of the No Asylum movie and talks by its director Paula Fouce and Auschwitz survivor Eva Schloss, step-sister of Anne Frank.
Anne Frank is an icon of courage for people everywhere and has become the face of the Holocaust.
In No Asylum, the most iconic story of the Holocaust has new light shed on it.
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 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, 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. Otto’s letters stopped abruptly. Two years later, the Franks were arrested by the Gestapo, and deported to Auschwitz.
As his step-daughter, in No Asylum, Eva divulges insights into Otto’s attempts to emigrate and save the family. Then Otto found Anne’s diary, a window into the soul of a trapped young girl whose eloquent writings offer hope for a future without prejudice. Eva witnessed him dedicating the remainder of his life to spreading Anne’s message of tolerance and respect.