A Holocaust Survival Story

Neighbors of the Anne Frank family in Amsterdam chose to flee and survived to tell their story.

I have often reflected on how a moment in history or a single, individual decision can alter the course of one’s life irrevocably. When I was six years old, my parents and I lived in Amsterdam under the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands. Our apartment at Merwedeplein 17 happened to be near the Frank family —Otto, Edith, Margo and Anne. As neighbors we were compatible because both the Franks and my parents were Jewish and had fled from Hitler’s Germany. The youngest daughter, Anne, whose diary later became world famous, was my babysitter and playmate. At the time, of course, none of us knew what difficulties and tragedies lay ahead.

This book is the account of my family's journey to freedom as told by my father Hans Kohnstam. I offer this chronicle of our family’s survival of the Holocaust during a time of persecution.

To schedule media appearances, speaking engagements, book signings, etc., please contact Pieter at 941-488-6166.

A documentary, featuring Pieter, that was shown at the Sarasota Film Festival on November 18, 2011 
(Cine-World Film Festival) is available on PBS television Florida. The series, Diamonds Along the Highway, of which Pieter's Story, "A Chance to Live" was one of the featured stories.
For more information contact Gus Molassis. 

A Chance to Live
     A Family's Journey to Freedom
by Pieter Kohnstam
HomeAbout the AuthorExcerptsTestimonialsFamily HistoryHans Kohnstam
Art of Hans KohnstamRecords and DocumentsMoKo ToysYad Vashem Letter

A Chance to Live can be purchased on

It is also available on Kindle
Click HERE to visit the Holocaust Museums "Behind Every Name a Story (BENAS) web project" 
relating to Pieter's story
Click HERE for the letter from the Buchenwald Memorial Foundation honoring Hans Kohnstam, 
Pieter's father, a gifted artist and Bauhaus student who also suffered under the Nazis.
Click HERE to learn about Pieter's return to Amsterdam
Diamonds Along the Highway Documentary, includes
 The Pieter Kohnstam Story
 Produced and directed by 
Mark Reese and Gus Mollasis

                    Visual History Archive Online
For a visual history of Pieter, click HERE, register and then search for Pieter Kohnstam

Pieter with Dienke Hondius, Professor of Holocaust Studies at Free University in Amsterdam and the Anne Frank House and Jan Erik Dubbelman, head of the Education Projects Department at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. Pieter is a volunteer representative for the Florida West Coast Anne Frank Center, USA.