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24 September 2014
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The Diary Of Anne Frank
Nicholas Farrell as Albert Dussel

The Diary Of Anne Frank



Nicholas Farrell plays Albert Dussel


Nicholas Farrell plays Albert Dussel who, after joining the Franks and the Van Daan's later in the annex, had to share a room with Anne.

 

Nicholas says: "Albert Dussel is a dentist in his fifties who is invited to join the two families a couple of months after they first go into hiding. He relishes his privacy, is quite religious compared to the rest of the people in the warehouse, and not averse to passing on his knowledge if he feels others will benefit.

 

"His real name was Fritz Pfeffer, (Dussel means nitwit) and his portrait in the diary is one of the least flattering. The diary on one level works as a study of what happens if we shut up ordinary people together in a small space for too long: 'hell is other people'.

 

"If a 13-year-old girl is suddenly forced to share her small bedroom with a 54-year-old stranger, a lot of tension is sure to ensue, and Anne's version of the man reflects that.

 

"The stage play and film that were first adapted from the book took that negative view further, to the extent that Pfeffer's wife and son both complained about his treatment.

 

"I suppose I was aware that we had a very biased picture of a man, and while trying to honour the frustrations and pettiness that result from the living arrangements that are recorded by Anne, there is another side to Mr Dussel.

 

"He had, after all, had the foresight to send his son (from his first marriage) to London in 1938. He was deeply in love with a catholic girl, and he felt the pain of the enforced separation deeply.

 

"I've never visited the camps in Poland, but I did visit Anne Frank's house in Amsterdam years ago, and its sadness stayed with me."


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