Jacqueline's father was Dutch, her mother French; he was Jewish, she was Catholic. After her father succeeded in registering her mother in the Jewish Council, Jacqueline was considered Jewish from then on and, at a special school for Jewish children, she became immediate friends with Anne Frank. |For years after Anne Frank's diary was published, the identity of her |best friend| was secret. Then van Maarsen owned up. Now she has written about the Anne she knew.| - Sunday Telegraph
Jacqueline van Maarsen was born in 1929 in Amsterdam, where she still lives today. Anne Frank's best friend survived the war when her Catholic-born mother, a convert to Judaism, convinced the Nazis that she and her family were falsely registered as Jews. Van Maarsen saved Anne's letters sent from her hiding place in the attic of an Amsterdam spice firm owned by her father.Since 1986 she has been lecturing on Anne Frank, and on discrimination, in schools all over the world.She is the author of Anne Frank's Heritage to be published by Arcadia Books in 2008.