Exhibition: Anne Frank – A History for Today 6 March – 8 June 2014
Anne Frank, a Jewish girl growing up in Amsterdam, celebrated her 13th birthday on 12 June 1942 with the gift of a diary. In it she began to record her thoughts and feelings but just a few weeks later on 6 July, she and her family moved into hiding in a secret annex in her father Otto’s office building. The secret annex had been made ready after her sister Margot received a call-up to be sent to a concentration camp. The Franks, together with another family, the Van Pels, hid themselves away in four rooms, with one other person, Fritz Pfeffer. Hidden behind a moveable bookcase, the eight people lived together for two years, keeping silent during working hours and never going out. Four Dutch work colleagues sneaked in food and other necessities. They lived in fear of being discovered. From the outset, Anne’s diary became her best friend, her confidant and subsequently one of the most powerful memoirs ever written.
After being betrayed to the Nazis, Anne, her family, and the others living with them were sent to Westerbork and then deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Later Anne and Margot were transported to Bergen-Belsen where, in March 1945, Anne died of typhus. She was 15 years old. Her sister had perished shortly before. Bergen-Belsen was liberated by British and Canadian soldiers on 15 April 1945. Anne and Margot and 1.5 million other Jewish children never lived to see the day.
Anne Frank’s diary has been translated into 65 languages with over 30 million copies sold.
The exhibition ‘Anne Frank – A History for Today’ was created by the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, which was established in 1957 to preserve and maintain the Secret Annex, where Anne and seven other Jews hid from Nazi persecution for more than two years during the Second World War. The exhibition tells her story against the backdrop of a general history of World War II and the Holocaust. Anne Frank’s life story encourages people to work together for a free and democratic society, in which people tolerate each other despite their differences.
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