Lola Lafon spent a night in the Anne Frank museum in Amsterdam, to confront her family history and some other ghosts.
A moving story about history
In 2021, writer Lola Lafon spent a night at the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam. From this experience in the famous Annex was born a book, “When you will listen to this song”. A moving story about memory and family heritage. the In this book, Lola Lafon recounts this very strong experience but also the resonances with the history of her own family. Lola Lafon tells us about the trajectory of her own Jewish grandparents, as her mother learned very young never to mention her Jewish identity. She then retraces her childhood under the regime of terror, that of Nicolae Ceaușescu in Romania and her arrival in France at the age of twelve.
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Like an echo of the constraints imposed on the Frank family
“When you listen to this song” is the disturbing, gripping account of this formidable confrontation. Ten hours spent alone by the writer, on August 18, 2021, in the 40 square meters of the Annex, where Anne Frank lived for two years from the summer of 1942 to August 1944, hidden with her parents, her sister then four other people. Anne Frank wrote her famous diary there before being arrested and deported to Bergen-Belsen. her bag has a doorknob. Like an echo of the constraints imposed on the Frank family. For twenty-five months, the eight inhabitants hidden in the heart of the city who tracked them were forced to silence.
A tribute to the dead
The author of “When you will listen to this song” looks back on her family heritage marked by emptiness, by absence and which she tries to grasp: “When you come from a family where what predominates is absence and death, how can I find a place in it ? Me, I can’t know who my great-grandparents were, I can’t know anything, I can’t find them. But I tell myself that in spite of all that, in the absence, in the void, you have to leave a trace. A book is a trace, it is proof that you are alive, and it is also a tribute to the dead.“