Matt Lucas is taken aback when he learns about the Anne Frank link. ‘I had no idea.’
During the BBC genealogy series, the comedian, 48, delved into his family’s background. He went to Amsterdam to discover more about his Jewish ancestors who lived in Germany during the rise of the Nazis. When the Great British Bake Off presenter searched through historical archives and discovered his forebears had a substantial link to Anne Frank, the renowned young diarist, he was taken aback.
Matt was surprised to learn that a relative of his, Werner Goldschmidt, had lived with the Frank family before they were kidnapped in the episode, which airs Thursday evening.
He was even mentioned in the teen’s renowned journal, which Matt had never read and was unaware of.
“So my ancestor was acquainted with Anne Frank? The author of one of the most influential novels of all time, “Matt made a comment.
He said, ” “It’s the one narrative that everyone is familiar with. If you know nothing else about what happened to Jews during WWII, you’ve heard about the Frank family.”
“I should go there,” he said after learning that the house where his relative had lived with the Frank family was still there.
Later, he visited with an Anne Frank specialist, who wanted to show him the sole known film of Anne, which was recorded in her house, where his grandmother’s cousin was a lodger.
“Wow,” he said as he observed Anne leaning out of a window, watching a wedding below.
They entered the building where the video was shot to inspect the room where his relative had lodged.
He said, “It actually feels rather comfortable here.” “This is definitely nicer than how a lot of people would have lived 80 years ago.”
The TV and theatre celebrity enquired about Werner’s stay at the residence, and the expert supplied a snapshot in response.
Matt remarked, “Wow, that’s my grandmother’s first cousin.”
Matt then realised Werner’s name had been referenced in the world-famous journal.
He read aloud a section concerning Anne’s houseguest, who was residing with them when Anne and her family escaped.
Werner had lingered as the family made “subtle indications” about wanting to be alone, according to Anne.
“Oh, no, he wasn’t a pleasant house visitor!” Matt added his two cents.
“I would have read this and never realised she was talking about a relative of mine at the time,” he continued.
Werner had apparently joined the family the night before the family escaped to avoid the Nazis.
Matt emphasised, “He doesn’t necessarily know they’re preparing to go into hiding.”
“So the night before they go, he’s sort of hovering about, slightly uninvited.
“They’re nervous and reflective, and they’re probably wondering, ‘Have we got everything we need?’
“He wasn’t supposed to be aware that this historic event was going place.”
Werner had stayed in the flat after the Franks had gone because he had family in the region.