42. Gillian Walnes Perry; Anne Frank’s Amsterdam, Chased by the KGB in Soviet Russia, Obama’s Sister in Honolulu and World Cruising - The Big Travel Podcast

Episode 42
November 6 , 2018

42. Gillian Walnes Perry; Anne Frank’s Amsterdam, Chased by the KGB in Soviet Russia, Obama’s Sister in Honolulu and World Cruising

The founder of the Anne Frank Trust and author of The Legacy of Anne Frank, Gillan Walnes Perry, talks about the incredible legacy left by Anne and her famous diary, written when hiding from the Nazis in occupied Amsterdam. Gillian’s travelled all over the world spreading Anne’s message to help combat prejudice, was once chased by the KGB for her human rights work in Russia and now has the cushiest job in the world giving lectures on luxury cruise ship across the globe. 


On this episode we cover:

How she founded the Anne Frank Trust

Human Rights Campaign changing under Mikhail Gorbachev in Russia

The Rabbi’s father who was friends with Otto Frank

The first Anne Frank exhibition in Bournemouth

Persuading the Anne Frank House to support the initiative

Taking Anne Frank into schools, prisons and challenged communities

Training young people and prisoners to be exhibition guides

Encouraging young people with responsibility

Using Anne Franks message to combat prejudice

Taking Holocaust survivors into prisons

Anne Frank Day in June

National campaigns against bullying

How Anne developed a moral code in hiding

A glimpse into the heart of a teenage girl under persecution

The personalisation of war and genocide with Anne’s family

Anne’s German roots in Frankfurt

How Otto Frank was 7th generation German Jewish

Otto Frank’s photography

The rise of the far-right

Anne’s legacy in Amsterdam

The Dutch Resistance Museum

How Anne took comfort from the chimes from The Westerkirk Church

Anne’s first home in Amsterdam in the Merwedeplein

The still there bookshop where Anne’s diary was bought for her birthday

Anne being a flirt and writing about boys and her classmates

How the Merwedeplein apartment is now a refuge for writers seeking asylum

Visitign Russia to help Jewish people leave the Soviet Union

Being chased by the KGB in Vilnius and Lithuania

Being refused entry to Russia in 1990 due to being a persona non grata

Returning to St Petersberg in 2018

Watching England play Belgium in the FIFA World Cup

How Soviet hotels had a KGB office on every floor

Being followed around the streets

How cruises ‘let you unpack once and be taken everywhere’

Auditioning for P&O ferries

Lecturing on cruise ships – Honolulu to San Francisco

Working with President Obama’s sister in – Maya Kasandra Soetoro-Ng in Hawaii

Lectures on cruise ships – afternoon tea and European royalty

Boris Johnson’s Who Do You Think You Are

Gillian’s book about Anne Frank’s legacy

How Anne’s legacy has influenced people in post communist Europe, post apartheid South Africa, post dictatorship Argentina and Chile and post civil war in Sri Lanka and the inequalities of the caste system in India

Miep Gies and Otto Frank’s office workers who helped hide the family

How Otto Frank got the diary after he had survived the concentration camps

Port Elizabeth with Govan Mbeki

‘The Robin Island University’

Nelson Mandela’s reading of Anne Frank in Robin Island Prison

Nelson Mandela signing the Anne Frank declaration – written by Gillian on her sofa

Travelling with the UK with the Anne Frank Exhibition

Meeting the midwife who had met Anne in Amsterdam

Anne’s best friend Hanne who she met again in Bergen Belsen

Throwing the bicycles of Nazi officers into the canals at night

The social history of afternoon tea

Duchess of Bedford in 1880 in Woburn Abbey

Introducing afternoon tea to Queen Victoria’s court

How afternoon tea encouraged affairs

How tea rooms helped emancipate women

1950s Tupperware parties and Avon

The revival of afternoon tea

5000 years of tea drinking from China to tea dances

The history of the European Royal Families

How Queen Victoria spread tentacles all over Europe

The interrelated royal families

The Danish royal family relating back to Vikings

The Norwegian Royal family at Oslo Cathedral

Travelling the world giving lectures on cruise ships

How Joanna Lumley inspired a trip to Norway in search of the Northern Lights