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The Woolpit Drama club's production of Anne Frank in the Village Hall. Julia Donovan (centre) and her sister Ursula Wilkinson (second from left) are pictured with the cast. Julia met the Frank family.
By Russell Cook
Monday, November 26, 2012
MEMORIES came flooding back for 92-year-old Julia Donovan when she was a guest at the opening night of a village drama group’s poignant play.
Julia and her sister Ursula Wilkinson, who live together in Bury St Edmunds, were guests at Woolpit Village Hall, for the Woolpit Drama Club’s production of The Diary of Anne Frank.
Julia had met up with the Frank family in the mid 1930s while she was living in Amsterdam. It was only a couple of fleeting occasions, but they are ones that live long in her memory.
She had fled with her parents Fritz and Maria Guttmann from Berlin to Holland in 1934 shortly after Hitler came to power in Germany.
“I met Anne and her father when I was about 18 and then went on to become a midwife. Anne was a real livewire and came to see the newborn babies. It was an excellent night at Woolpit and the play was extremely good.”
And for drama club committee member Stanley Bates the play, which charts two years of Anne Frank’s life from 1942 to 1944 whilst hidden from the Nazis with her Jewish family in a secret annex in Amsterdam, also bought back memories. His grandparents lived in Poland and both were taken to the two notorious concentration camps Treblinka and Auschwitz where they perished; his grandmother just six months before the complex was liberated.
The play began its run at Woolpit on Thursday and ended on Saturday.