photo: Globe and Mail
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Anne Frank House museum a special exhibit of nearly all of Anne Frank's diary went on display Wednesday April 28. 2010. According to a recent article in the Globe and Mail, this is the first time for nearly all of the diary to be displayed at the house where she wrote it during the two years the Jewish teenager was in hiding from the Nazis.
The original red plaid diary in which Anne began writing on her 13th birthday has been at the museum for several years but it covers just six months of the 25 months she hid with her family and four other Jews in a concealed canal-side apartment in Amsterdam.
Now on display, are the three parts of the diary, a book of short stories she wrote called “Tales from the Secret Annex,” and a notebook of her favourite quotations. Two other school exercise books and other pages were stored at the Netherlands War Documentation Center, the government war archives.
The diary chronicles Anne's life and coming of age from June 12, 1942, until August 1, 1944. The house was raided three days later and its occupants deported to Germany. Anne died of typhus at age 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945, about two weeks before the camp was liberated.
Anne also wrote 360 loose pages written on flimsy paper, mostly revising earlier diary entries with the intention of publishing it after the war. Because of the papers' fragile state, the museum said it will display 40 sheets at a time and rotate them.
The diary and other papers have all been studied, published and in some cases reproduced in replicas. But it will be the first time visitors see nearly the full collection in Anne's own hand in one place.
“The generation of people who experienced the war and Nazi persecution of the Jews is shrinking fast,” said former Prime Minister Wim Kok at the church ceremony. “Their stories must be kept alive and passed on to new generations. The Anne Frank House is one of the places where that happens.”
The diary has been translated into dozens of languages, has been read by millions of people and is on the curriculum of many schools.
The cramped apartment, with two stories and a small attic, was restored and opened to the public on May 3, 1960, by Anne's father, Otto Frank, the only survivor among the eight Jews who hid there.
The museum now includes the front of the building, where Otto Frank once had a warehouse and office, and a new building next door. It receives about 1 million visitors a year, compared with 9,000 the first year.
In 1983, members of the Alabama State Textbook Committee called for the rejection of The Diary of Anne Frank because it was “a real downer.” It was also challenged for offensive references to sexuality. Freedom to Read
In order to commemorate the official 50th anniversary of the Anne Frank House as a museum (May 3rd, 2010), the museum has announced they have launched the official Anne Frank quotes application on Facebook.
Read the Diary of Anne Frank as part of the "Banned Book Challenge." The challenge ends June 30, so sign up soon.