Jacqueline van Maarsen

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Jacqueline van Maarsen
Born (1929-01-30) 30 January 1929 (age 95)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Occupation bookbinder, author

Jacqueline Yvonne Meta (Jacque) van Maarsen (Dutch pronunciation: [ʒɑkəˈlin iˈvɔnə ˈmeːtaː (ʒɑk) vɑm ˈmaːrsə(n)]) (born January 30, 1929) is a Dutch author and former bookbinder. She is best known for her friendship with diarist Anne Frank. Jacque's Christian mother was able to remove the J (Jew) signs from the family's identity cards (Jacque's father was Jewish) during the Second World War, an act which helped the Van Maarsens to escape from the Nazis.

Early life

Jacque was born in Amsterdam to a Dutch-Jewish father, Hijman van Maarsen, and a French Christian mother, Elline van Maarsen.[1] Jacque has a sister, Christiane. Jacque studied in a normal school in Amsterdam until 1940, when the Nazis invaded the Netherlands. Then Jacque had to move to a Jewish lyceum. In the Jewish school, Jacqueline befriended many girls, including Anne Frank, Nanette Blitz, Sanne Ledermann and Hanneli Goslar. Jacque was the secretary of the ping-pong club started by her friends, Little Bear Minus Two.

Anne and Jacque became best friends, and they often visited each other's houses and did their homework together. Jacque sincerely liked Anne, but found her at times too demanding in her friendship. In July 1942, Anne's family went into hiding, but Jacque did not know about this.[2] Anne, in her diary later, was remorseful for her own attitude toward Jacque, regarding with better understanding Jacque's desire to have other close girlfriends as well - "I just want to apologize and explain things", Anne wrote. After two and a half months in hiding, Anne composed a farewell letter to Jacque in her diary, vowing her lifelong friendship. Jacque read this passage much later, after the publication of the diary.

Meanwhile, the Nazis were arresting Jews throughout the country. Jacque, who was half-Jewish by Nazi standards, felt the threat of arrest. Because she was Christian, Jacque's mother was able to remove the "J" (Jew) signs from the family's ID cards. This act helped the Van Maarsens to escape from the Nazis, and it allowed Jacque to transfer out of the Jewish school and back into general education.

After the Second World War

After the war, Jacque came to know Anne had not survived. Otto Frank, Anne's father, got in touch with Jacque, and Jacque was one of the first people to whom Otto Frank showed Anne's diary.[citation needed] In 1947, The Diary of a Young Girl was published.

Jacque became an award-winning bookbinder. She married her childhood friend, Ruud Sanders, in 1954.[3] They had three children. She has written five books on her notable friendship with Anne Frank (see below),

Present life

Jacque still lives in Amsterdam and has seven grandchildren.

Since 1987, Jacque has been giving speeches about Anne Frank in different schools in Germany and the United States.

Jacque has also written four books about her and Anne's notable strong and close friendship.

Additionally, Jacque appeared in the 2008 documentary Classmates of Anne Frank.

At present, Jacque is writing a book of short stories, inspired by her travels.[4]


See also

People associated with Anne Frank


  1. My Name Is Anne, She Said, Anne Frank- a memoir book by Jacqueline van Maarsen
  2. The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition, edited by Mirjam Pressler, and translated by Susan Massotty
  3. Anne Frank: The Biography- by Melissa Muller
  4. http://www.jacquelinevanmaarsen.nl/biography.html

External links