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Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 7:30 pm: Buddy Elias, Anne Frank’s first cousin, with Jonathan Kirsch on new Frank family documents

The Diary of Anne Frank has given insight to three generations around the world, to tens of millions of readers, about what people in hiding go through, the fear and frustration they suffer, the hunger for the outside world, the extent to which virtual prisoners will go to survive. That Anne Frank was just a child when she wrote it contributes to its profound nature; her entries about her adolescent ups and downs and her magnificent optimism make her diary one of the most valuable, heartwrenching and enduring books to emerge from the World War II era.

Buddy Elias is Anne Frank’s first cousin (his mother and Anne’s father were brother and sister), and he and Anne were close childhood friends.  Buddy Elias comes to Writers Bloc to tell his family’s story of a remarkable cache of letters, documents and photographs discovered in his mother’s attic, following her death, that contribute to a much broader understanding of the Frank family before their incarceration in the Amsterdam attic.  Buddy  Elias and Otto Frank, Anne’s father, remained close all of their lives; the letters, photos and documents , and Buddy Elias himself, close the gap between the distance of Anne Frank’s terrible Amsterdam attic, and Los Angeles in 2012.  The resulting book, Anne Frank’s Family, is notable because it was written by Mirjam Pressler, who served as the official German translator of The Diary of Anne Frank.  Pressler also wrote a biography of Anne Frank, and is the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the prestigious German Book Prize.

In conversation with noted author, attorney and book critic, Jonathan Kirsch.  Jonathan is the author of twelve books, including the bestselling The Harlot at the Side of the Road, and the great recent book, The Grand Inquisitor’s Manual: A History of Terror in the Name of God.  He has written extensively on Biblical history, including his critically acclaimed historical study of Moses.  He writes regularly for The Jewish Journal. You’ve heard him on KPCC and on KCRW chatting with authors, and about books.  When he’s not reading or writing or interviewing, he practices law in Los Angeles, with an emphasis on intellectual property and not surprisingly, publishing.

At the Goethe Institut, 5750 Wilshire Blvd.  Free Parking in the building.  Tickets, $20. For reservations, click here or email us at reservations@writersblocpresents.com .