Archive for the Episode Category

Episode 114: Anne Frank

Posted 9 November 2018 by
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Anne Frank’s life was only 15 years long, but her legacy? It’s going to outlast us all.


Annelies Marie Frank was born on June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany, second child to Otto and Edith who were both from well-to-do, German Jewish families. Otto was a decorated officer in the German army, well traveled, spent a couple years in the United States and went back to Germany to work at his family’s bank and throat lozenge company. Edith graduated from a Protestant girl’s school, and worked for her family’s business.

While Otto, Edith, big sister Margo (if three years is “big”) and Anne were having playdates and dinner parties in their inclusive Frankfurt neighborhood, Germany was not only sinking into a serious financial depression but there was a rising nationalist, far-right political party gaining strength who blamed all the woes of the country on the Jewish people. When that organization’s leader and most powerful mouthpiece, Adolf Hitler, took control as Chancellor and began enacting anti-semitic laws, Otto and Edith saw the writing on the wall and moved to the Netherlands.

Anne about age 11, 1940

In Amsterdam, Otto established a business, the girls went to school, made friends, learned Dutch…all while the Nazi’s were taking over the countries around them. When they invaded the Netherlands restrictions on the things Jewish people could do got tighter and tighter, but there was no place for the Franks to go this time. Shortly after Anne turned 13, the family went into hiding.

The Annex side of the building Anne and her family hid in in Amsterdam


The bookcase that hid the Annex, recreated, via wikicommons


Model of Anne Frank House Alexisisreal via wikicommons

For two years the Franks, the Van Pels family and Fritz Pfeffer lived in hiding with the help of a handful of very brave friends. And Anne wrote about the experience in a diary her parents had given her on that last birthday. When she heard that diarists were going to be needed after the war she began to rewrite her diary (which had grown from one book to several other notebooks) with the plan to be a published author.

The diary Anne receive for her birthday

We go into all the details in the podcast about life before, during, and after the time Anne and her family spent in hiding (there’s even a little romance in there.) The “after” is the saddest. The group was discovered, arrested and taken to Auschwitz concentration camp. All but Otto died before the end of the war.

Auschwitz Harshil Shah via Flickr

The diary we all read (you’ve read it, right?) was first edited by Otto, published and became a world-wide best seller. When her original diaries were discovered, more of Anne’s words were put into the book…and there was a very recent discovery of even MORE of her words.

Because of the time, care, honesty and talent that Anne put into her writing, she became the loudest voice for the millions murdered during the Holocaust. Her body may have been buried in a mass grave, but her dream of being a published author not only became a reality, it gave her message and words life.

Memorial for Anne and Margot at Bergen-Belsen


Time Travel with The History Chicks

This is the piece of music Beckett was working to get permission to put in the show. It’s based on Anne’s story…beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.

This is by no means even close to a complete list of the excellent resources available, but it’s a good start.


Middle Grade by Peggy J. Parks


YA by Barry Denenberg


The one we both recommended by Melissa Muller


Susan rec by Francine Prose


Beckett’s rec By Anita Brostoff


The book that stayed in Beckett’s car by Sybille Steinbacher


Susan rec, lots of pictures by The Anne Frank House


Here is part one of six of this award winning documentary on YouTube.


And Anne Frank: The Whole Story with Ben Kingsley (One of two parts):


Streaming services Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu all have offerings for documentaries or dramatizations of Anne’s story as well as general WWII and Holocaust films.

Susan’s favorite on Amazon: My Daughter Anne Frank, it’s a dramatization in German with English subtitles (and you know how much Susan doesn’t care to read her movies.)

Beckett’s favorite: The Diary of Anne Frank starring Millie Perkins (1959)

Also on Prime is The Man in the High Castle which isn’t about Anne but a sci-fi, alternative history, dramatic, scripted series (also, lots of violence, not for the kids.)

On Netflix: Auschwitz: The Nazi’s and the Final Solution – a documentary in six parts.



We think an early stop at the Anne Frank House website, is crucial. There are so many things, including a very thorough timeline and a virtual tour of sorts. Start here, at Inside The Museum and then The Collection, and the Tour

The Unites States Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, is also an excellent resource to either visit in person or online.

We both enjoyed this article about Joop te Heul books…like Laura Ingalls Wilder, Anne Shirley or Jo March–except with shenanigans. More online articles we got a lot out of, Anti-Semitism in Germany: a Historical Background, Were the Nazi’s Socialists? The Bebelplatz book burning memorial, and The Misuse of Anne Frank’s Diary (you may not agree, but things that make you go, “hmmmmmm”)

And, don’t forget, you can practice your Dutch and mess it up as well as we did, Hear Dutch Names and Words from the Diary of Anne Frank

We can’t embed the video, so you have to click over, but Rick Steves explains the story of Fascism in Europe is a good watch.


Don’t forget to check out our Pinterest board for Anne and every other woman that we cover!


Episode 113: Jane Addams Part 2

Posted 14 October 2018 by
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When we left Jane in part one, she and her friend Ellen Gates Starr had just opened Hull House. The Settlement movement in the US was about to take off, and in Chicago the community was embracing the work being done by Jane, Ellen and the many women like them that came to share their time and talents by settling in the impoverished, immigrant community and working together with neighbors to provide social services. (more…)

Episode 112: Jane Addams Part 1

Posted 23 September 2018 by
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Library of Congress

Jane Addams is called the “Mother of Social Work”; which is impressive enough, but really doesn’t cover her whole story. You know what else won’t cover her whole story? One episode. Jane’s life was so packed that we decided to  break it into two parts to cover it thoroughly. (If you’re looking for the media recommendations, they’ll be on the shownotes for Part Two.) (more…)

Episode 111: Clara Barton Revisited and Refreshed

Posted 1 September 2018 by
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To end the summer we thought we would revisit and remaster our 2011 episode about the life of Clara Barton. Her story touched both of us when we recorded it but she’s come to our minds a lot since then. The lessons from her life, including strength, perseverance, bravery and compassion are ones that we can all use in our lives at any time.


Episode 110: Georgia O’Keeffe

Posted 12 August 2018 by
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The line between Georgia O’Keeffe’s childhood in Wisconsin to her death nearly 100 years later is as jagged, complex, colorful, unique, ever- changing and interesting as the vistas outside her final New Mexico homes.


Episode 109: Grace O’Malley

Posted 21 July 2018 by
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Gráinne Ui Mháille, Grainne, Granuaile, Gráinne MhaolGrace, That Irish Pirate Queen From the 16th Century…whatever you call her, her life and legacy as a strong, independent, bold, fearless (and yes, criminal) woman doesn’t change.

Statue at Westport House, Co Mayo, Ireland


Episode 108: The Statue of Liberty

Posted 30 June 2018 by
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She’s neither alive nor dead; she exists but has never taken a breath; her innards are as hard as steel, but just the sight of her has brought men to grateful, hopeful tears. The Statue of Liberty is a she, which makes her fair game for one of our conversations.



Episode 107: Mary Pickford

Posted 11 June 2018 by
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Mary Pickford was an actress, writer, director, producer, studio head and entrepreneur…but she’s often remembered as “that pretty girl with the curls in silent movies.”

Excuse us? Oh no, that just won’t do.

Library of Congress


Episode 106: Beatrix Potter Revisited and Refreshed

Posted 19 May 2018 by
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This week we’re taking a look back at one of the women who surprised us both, in the most delightful of ways-Beatrix Potter. As time and technology has allowed, we’ve gone back and quietly remastered the audio in a number of our older shows and Beatrix is the latest. When we know better, we do better! (more…)

Episode 105: Dowager Empress Cixi of China

Posted 30 April 2018 by
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The true story of a woman who, essentially, ruled China for almost 50 years is cloaked by years of inaccurate (read: fabricated) reporting and several sources muddled through translation. Sometimes it feels as if her history is behind the same silk screen where she ruled, a clear outline with veiled detail.

So this’ll be fun!

Yehenara Tsing was born on November 29, 1853. Her name changes several times through her life (and more through translated spellings): Tsing (some sources use her family name which appears first), Lan, Yi and finally the form that she is known to history: Cixi. (more…)