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
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
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
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