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Susanne "Sanne" Ledermann (October 7, 1928 – November 19, 1943) was a German Jewish girl who was killed by the Nazis in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Susanne is best known for her friendship with the famous diarist Anne Frank and her sister Margot Frank.
Early life and Family
Sanne was born in Berlin, the younger of two daughters of Franz Ledermann, lawyer and musician, and Ilse Citroën-Ledermann, a pianist. In 1933, Adolf Hitler's Nazi party came to power. The Ledermanns, faced with the threat of death because they were Jews, emigrated to Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Sanne was admitted to the Jeker school, where her sister Barbara and Margot Frank were also admitted. Later in 1940 Eva Schloss the stepsister of Anne Frank was also attended Sanne Class. In 1940, the Nazis invaded the Netherlands, and Sanne had to move to a Jewish school. Hanneli and Anne moved to a different Jewish school. However, Sanne still kept good contacts with both Anne and Hanneli, and was a member of the ping pong club Little Dipper Minus Two (they had thought the little dipper had five stars for the five girls who were in the club, while there were actually seven stars, thus they called it "Little Dipper Minus Two"), which was formed by her friends. In July 1942, Anne and her family (Margot, Otto, and Edith, along with the van Pels family and Fritz Pfeffer) went into hiding, although Sanne didn't know about this.
On June 20, 1943, the Ledermanns were arrested by the Nazis. They were transported to the Westerbork transit camp, and on November 16  were deported to the Auschwitz death camp. Immediately upon their arrival, Sanne and her parents were murdered in the gas chambers of the camp.
Sanne's sister, Barbara, was able to escape the Nazis through her contacts with the Dutch underground. Barbara emigrated to the United States and later married the Nobel prize winning biochemist Martin Rodbell.
Sanne in Anne Frank diary
Sanne Ledermann was one of Anne Frank's closest friends, including Hannah Goslar and Jacqueline van Merssen. Sanne is mentioned in Anne Frank's diary several times, and one of the more famous events appears in the diary on June 21, 1942, when Anne is asked to write a essay as a punishment for over-chatting during class.
"It was time to come up with something else, something original. My friend Sanne, who's good at poetry, offered to help me write the essay from beginning to end. I jumped for joy. Keesing was trying to play a joke on me with this ridiculous subject, but I'd make sure the joke was on him. I finished my poem, and it was beautiful! It was about a mother duck and a father swan with three baby ducklings who were bitten to death by the father because they quacked too much. Luckily, Keesing took the joke the right way. He read the poem to the class, adding his own comments, and to several other classes as well. Since then I've been allowed to talk and haven't been assigned any extra homework. On the contrary, Keesing's always is making jokes these days."
Part of the original essay written by Sanne Ledermann appears in Anne's book Tales from the Secret Annex, which is a collection of other events and stories written by Anne Frank besides the diary.
Part of the essay Sanne wrote with Anne Frank
"Quack Quack Quack, said Mistress Chatterback
Calling Her duckling from the deep
And up they came cheep cheep cheep
Well do you have any bread for us
For Gerald, Mina and little Gus
Why yes of course I do
A lovely crust I stole for you
Its all I could find You'll have to share
Now please divide it fair and square
So following their mom's advice
They did their best to be precise
Eating and calling' Cluck, cluck, cluck
My piece is bigger I'm in luck
But, oh along came Papa swan
Scowling at their noisy going-on"
The school is located close to the Merwedeplein square and before the German occupation of the Netherlands, many Jewish students among them Margot Frank, Barbara Ledermann, Sanne Ledermann, Eva Schloss and many others, attended it. At the entrance to the school building is a memorial plaque for the teachers and students who were sent to concentration camps and never returned.
Joodse leerlingen en leerkrachten van de in dit gebouw gevestigde joodsche schoolen 10 en 11 werden in de oorlogjaren 1940 - 1945 op last van de duitse bezetter weggevoerd en keerden niet meer terug.
Jewish students and teachers of the Jewish schools 10 and 11 established in this building were taken during the war years 1940 - 1945 by order of the German occupiers and did not return.
- Letters From the Ledermanns: The Story of the Ledermann Family at amazon.com
- Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BD8D5gZZSYI&t=60s Hannah Goslar memories of Sanne
- Photo: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/353673376960857289/ Margot Frank stand next to the entrance of the Jeker elementary school in Amsterdam.
- Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_dL5n2LUss Tour in the neighborhood where Anne Hanne & Sanne Lived
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BD8D5gZZSYI&t=60s Herinnering aan een vermoord kind – NL (Willy Lindwer Collection) Minute: 2:45
- https://collections.ushmm.org/iiif-b/assets/714396 Photo of Sanne and Eva in Jeker Elemntry school
- Yad Vashem Archive file: 4315955 document page 64 / 65
- Yad Vashem Archive file: 4315955 document page 82 / 83 Letter sent by Sanne Mother Ilse on 16.03.43 boarding the train to Auschwitz
- Anne Frank: The Biography- by Melissa Muller