Like Anne Frank, Hilde Jacobsthal was born in Germany and brought up in Amsterdam. Unlike Anne Frank, she survived the war and Otto Frank later became her godfather.
The author writes: "I am the child of a woman who survived the Holocaust not by the skin of her teeth but heroically ... This book tells the story of her dramatic life before, during and after the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands in 1940."
Hilde Jacobsthal was born in Berlin and arrived in the Netherlands as a young child. She was fifteen when the Nazis invaded, and when Jewish students were forbidden to attend Dutch schools, she trained and worked as a day care nurse. Thus began her long association with the Underground, helping to save Jewish children when they came to the deportation point.
She fled to Belgium after the deportation of her parents in 1943, and spent a year in hiding under a false identity, while continuing her work in the Resistance. After she was liberated by the American army in 1944, she joined the British Red Cross and found herself at Bergen-Belsen a week after British forces arrived in April 1945. She had hoped to find her parents there, but learned, eventually, that they had perished at Auschwitz. She was one of the first people to tell Otto Frank that Anne and Margot Frank had died at Bergen-Belsen; much later, Otto asked her opinion about publishing Anne's diary.
In Bergen-Belsen she met her future husband, Max Goldberg, a camp doctor, and together they went as a medical team to take part in Israel's War of Independence where he was badly wounded.