Based on the memoirs of Hannah Goslar, ‘My Best Friend Anne Frank’ is about her friendship with Anne Frank, whose diary containing the details of her family hiding from the Nazi’s was later published.
Trigger warning- The following article contains descriptions of the effects of Nazi brutality and concentration camps.
Hannah Goslar was born in Berlin in 1928. With the rise of Nazi power, her family moved to Amsterdam in 1933 where she met Anne Frank. The film tells the two best friends’ stories in a non-linear fashion; the scenes constantly jump between the times in the concentration camp and their times together in Amsterdam.
‘My Best Friend Anne Frank’ opens with a faint whistling sound, a tune that the friends make which becomes a symbol of their friendship. It is just another day for the girls in the year 1942; busy role-playing in their home while the Nazis terrorise people outside.
It is established that the two friends are very different. While Anne is the chatty troublemaker, Hannah seems more reserved. Teasing her friend, Anne asks Hannah if she has french kissed Alfred and Hannah’s reaction makes Anne think of her as a very decent girl. She then informs that Jonas Summer wants to french kiss her.
The girls are playing hide and seek with Anne’s father and they discover that a door that is always closed is unlocked and so Anne decides to inspect even after Hannah’s protest. The door leads to the stairs into a room and through the window they see a Jew man getting mercilessly beaten by the Nazis on the street. Anne’s father is quick to rush them away from the window.
Anne steals her sister Margot’s ball and asks Hannah to tag along to play catch ball and they go to a park where Jonas is playing ball with his friends. One of his friends ask Jonas if he is meeting Anne and he confirms with a “yes” but he never goes to her, probably because he is not a Jew. The ball slips from Hannah’s hands and hits a Nazi soldier.
They confiscate the ball. Now the poor girl has to try and get it back. Anne giver her a pep talk and asks her to think, “What shall Anna do?”. So, Hannah gathers her courage and marches towards the Nazis trying to do what Anne would have done. Their plans of getting the ball back are soiled when the Nazis ask them for their papers.
Anne is a social butterfly. Not paying any attention to Jonas, she is busy talking with his friend who is also not a Jew. In all of this, Hannah is left behind and is given the responsibility to look after Anne’s cardigan. She looks on as the group of teenagers talk and waits for Anne to come back. Instead, she becomes the third wheel and is dragged into the cinema with Anne and the boy.
When she objects, Anne is quick to emotionally blackmail her and so she is left with no choice. Later in the movie hall, Hannah helps Anne to get rid of the boy as he was making Anne uncomfortable.
Hannah’s father hides all the family wealth under the floor of their house but gives her a ring, hoping that she’ll find her happiness someday. Anne ignores Hannah and is busy spending her time with other girls. They also tease Hannah for being a prude. She tries to tempt her friend with different balls, expecting Anne would fall for the bribes and finally give her attention. Later at school, she pulls out the ring which finally does grab her affection.
The girls discuss their dreams together; Anne wants to travel the world while Hannah wants to become a nurse. This goes against their pact of being together forever. So, Anne pulls a book out which have drawings of intercourse which grosses Hannah out. Anne did it with the hopes that Hannah will change her plans of becoming a nurse and travel along with her but this only snaps her and she yells at her and leaves in a rush. Anne cries and asks her to come back but she doesn’t.
Later, she gets to know that Anne and her family have left for Switzerland to escape from the Nazis (They went into hiding in a cellar).
One night, Hannah’s pregnant mother is in pain and they couldn’t get a doctor as the German soldiers were surrounding the main gate, cutting the access to necessities. Hannah’s mother passes away. The family could not even mourn her death and are soon taken to the concentration camp.
My Best Friend Anne Frank ending explained in detail:
Looking for Anne
Hannah hears faint sounds of whistling and not just any tune but the one that she used to do with Anne. The following night she sneaks out of her room and tries to find Anne. She goes to the barn wall where she heard the whistling from the other side.
She whisper-shouts Anne’s name. Someone replies but sadly it’s not Anne. She asks the person if she knows her friend and gives her a description – pretty black hair. The person from the other side informs her that they don’t have hair.
A chance at escape
Hannah pretends to be sick so that she and Gabbi can meet their sick father at the chambers with the sick people and nurses. She is informed by her father they are on the list of people who will be set free in exchange for a German prisoner of war. As happy as she is with the news, she can’t help but feel conflicted as she wishes to be with her friend.
Hannah goes looking for Anne again in the night. This time, it is her friend on the other side but any traces of her are removed. The first thing Anne says is food- she begs Hannah to bring her food. The camp on Anne’s side was starving the people. Anne tells her that they soon would be liberated and this erases any thought of getting out of the camp from Hannah’s mind.
On another occasion, when Hannah brings Anne food, she makes a hole in the barn wall and she is finally able to see her friend. Anne tells her that she still wishes to travel the world but Hannah has changed her plans. She’ll go wherever Anne is.
Hannah informs her father that she will stay with Anne and she is furious. They break into an argument. Her father soon passes away due to his deteriorating health even before they could escape. Her litter sister is the only living family member she has left now.
Anne and her family, except her father, are all murdered in the gas chambers. On April 11, 1945, Hannah and her sister Gabriel are set free as the Nazis flee and the camps are evacuated.
Though not together physically anymore, Hannah says that her thoughts are always travelling the world with her best friend Anne Frank.