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About The Book

'Devastating and compelling' DAILY MAIL

'Poignant' TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
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The extraordinary story of Bep Voskuijl, Anne Frank’s closest friend during the 761 days she spent in the Secret Annex.


Bep Voskuijl was just twenty-three when the Franks went into hiding and she risked her life to protect them, sourcing food and medicine under the noses of German soldiers and Dutch spies. But while Bep’s friendship with Anne blossomed, Bep’s sister Nelly – whose name was scrubbed from Anne’s published diary – was collaborating with the Nazis. Long after the war, haunted by the loss of Anne, Bep is unable to put to rest the horrifying suspicion that she had been betrayed by her own flesh and blood.

Written by Bep’s son, The Last Secret of the Secret Annex is a captivating story of heroism, betrayal and the devastating, destructive power of a secret.

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‘Fascnating. Not only conveys the quiet heroism of what his mother contributed to Anne Frank’s story, but a sad playing-out of a family’s dysfunction, of the pain of survival, of the ripples of trauma flowing into succeeding generations’ DAILY TELEGRAPH

About The Authors

Joop van Wijk-Voskuijl is the third of Bep Voskuijl's four children. He was born in 1949 in Amsterdam. After a successful career as a video producer (creating corporate movies for major Dutch companies) and marketing manager (for newspapers such as NRC Handelsblad and Algemeen Dagblad), Joop retired in 2010 to pursue research and writing with the goal of telling his mother's story. He also volunteers as a guest lecturer, teaching Dutch schoolchildren and other groups about Anne Frank, the Holocaust and the resistance during World War II.

Jeroen De Bruyn was born in 1993 in Antwerp. At age fifteen—the same age as Anne when she died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp—Jeroen began doing original research on the Secret Annex. He got to know the Anne Frank House firsthand during an internship there in 2011. He went on to study journalism, subsequently contributing to prominent Flemish news magazines like Knack and Joods Actueel, and working as a senior editor for the major Belgian newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (June 8, 2023)
  • Length: 336 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781398518230

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Raves and Reviews

Fascinating . . . not only conveys the quiet heroism of what his mother contributed to Anne Frank’s story, but a sad playing-out of a family’s dysfunction, of the pain of survival, of the ripples of trauma flowing into succeeding generations’

– Daily Telegraph

'Devastating, compelling'

– Daily Mail

‘This gripping account adds a missing human dimension to the story of the young girl hidden in an attic during the Nazi occupation of Holland—and those who helped and those who betrayed her. I read it in one gulp—as will you

– Kati Marton, author of 'The Chancellor'

‘As much a work of painful family therapy as painstaking historical analysis . . . A riveting read’

– Peter Hayes, author of 'Why? Explaining the Holocaust'

'A superbly well-written, intimate, engrossing, and heartrending reckoning with the endless damage done by genocide'

– Booklist (Starred)

‘An important contribution to the literature on Anne Frank’

– Kirkus

‘For long, the story of Bep Voskuijl, one of Anne Frank’s courageous helpers, has been mostly kept in the dark. This captivating book tells her moving and tragic story, her wartime assistance in the Secret Annex, and the long shadows of the war on her life and her family’s’

– Dr Bart Wallet, professor of early modern and modern Jewish history at the University of Amsterdam

Part biography and part whodunit, The Last Secret of the Secret Annex is, above all, a bereaved son’s cri de coeur, simultaneously mourning and celebrating the mother he lost even before she died’

– Wall Street Journal

‘This powerful story brings to life Bep’s heroism and illuminates generations of a Dutch family, its secrets, and the trauma the Nazi occupation bequeathed to the future’

– Pamela S. Nadell, author of 'America’s Jewish Women'

‘Provides a poignant account of the poison left by Dutch collaboration . . . [and] the devastating effect that Bep’s lifelong secretiveness had on her family. It is for their own stories that these books should be read, not for the extraordinary fame of Anne Frank

– TLS

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