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.

Click here for the SNN YouTube Video of

Pieter Kohnstam

 Letter written by Clara Habermann, Pieter's maternal   grandmother, on the Day of Liberation. The letter was   professionally translated from German to English. She was   hidden in The Netherlands from 1942 through May 7, 1945,   the Day of Liberation.

Click here to read the letter.

 Click here for the YouTube video of Pieter

at the 27th Annual Holocaust Education Conference in Arkansas.


Visual History Archive Online

​for a visual history of Pieter, clickHERE, register and then search for Pieter Kohnstam.

Connecting the Past and Future

   For Anne Frank  Promotional Material

Click here

To read about Pieter's dream, click here.

   Click here for the Power Point Presentation of reading     excerpts of Pieter's German Book on 2/1/21 through Anne   Frank Zentrum, Berlin.

Click herefor the link to the video presentation to the University of Arkansas in October 2020.

 in St. Petersburg, FL and at Holocaust Museum 


On Tuesday, August 23, 2022, the City of Venice, FL at a City Council meeting,  presented a Proclamation condemning anti-Semitic attacks. This proclamation includes attacks  to any person, group or organization based on their religious beliefs, race or ethnicity.  Area clergy as well as Pieter Kohnstam were present. Pieter represented the JCV.

Schools in the Diocese of Venice

Pieter Kohnstam and his wife, Susan, were recognized for their humanitarian work.

Click here for the article in the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

  Click here for the translated  article by   Rian Verhoeven  about the Merwedeplein    residents in the Amsterdam newspaper.

Click here for Pieter's story  told through the eyes and heart of 9-year-old, Karina Kopacz. Her film short won a state award in the Florida PTA Reflections Arts Contest 2016-2017.

Click here for the

Update on Holocaust Education and Legislative Programs

A Chance to Live

A  Family's Journey to Freedom

in Southwest, FL

City of Venice Proclamation

by Pieter Kohnstam

A Chance to Live

can be purchased on


It is also available on Kindle


Click here for Part 1 of the Power Point Presentation video lesson produced by the Florida Holocaust Museum.

Click here for Part 2 of the Power Point Presentation video lesson produced by the Florida Holocaust Museum

Pieter speaking with Congressman John Lewis, who received the Anne Frank award at the Anne Frank Tree Dedication at Liberty Park, World Trade Center, NYC, on June 12, 2017. 

Click here for the YouTube video of Pieter's Speech