January 13, 2003
ANNE FRANK’S WRITINGS TO BE ON VIEW FOR UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM 10TH ANNIVERSARY
First–Time Display Outside the Netherlands Made Possible Through Unprecedented International Partnership
Washington (D.C.)/Amsterdam (the Netherlands), January 13, 2003 — In honor of its 10th Anniversary, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will present selections of Anne Frank’s original writings. The display opens in the Wexner Learning Center at the Museum in Washington, D.C., on June 12, 2003, which would have been the extraordinarily gifted writer’s 74th birthday, and runs through September 12, 2003.
This unprecedented project is a joint effort of the Museum, the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD) in Amsterdam, which holds all of Anne’s original writings, and the ANNE FRANK-Fonds (Foundation) in Basel, Switzerland.
In his will, Otto Frank, Anne’s father and the only family member to survive, donated all of her writings during hiding to NIOD, which was created after World War II as the Netherlands’ national center for information and research on the War. They are presently owned by the State of the Netherlands and are on permanent loan to NIOD. He gave her copyright to the ANNE FRANK-Fonds, which he established in order to promote charitable work and to play a social and cultural role in the spirit of Anne Frank. The Fonds gave its consent to the loan and is supporting the project. Anne’s closest living relative, her cousin Buddy (Bernd) Elias, currently serves as president of the Fonds.
The display will present Anne Frank as a writer and as a humanist, and will include her photo album and selections from the last of her three diary notebooks as well as some of her other writings, with which the public may be less familiar. Anne began her diary on June 12, 1942, her 13th birthday. After she filled up the red-plaid diary given to her by her father, she began using school notebooks and later edited her diary on loose sheets of paper. This first diary is permanently on display at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, but selections from Anne’s other diary entries, written later in the War, will be shown in Washington for the first time. Some of the items have never before been on public display outside the Anne Frank House, which is supporting the project.
With exceptional powers of observation and eloquence for a young girl, so many entries in Anne Frank’s diary resonate with extraordinary insight and depth. Exactly 60 years ago today she wrote from her “Secret Annex” hiding place about the deportation of Dutch Jews:
Terrible things are happening outside. At any time of night and day, poor helpless people are being dragged out of their homes... I could spend hours telling you about the suffering the war has brought, but I’d only make myself more miserable. All we can do is wait, as calmly as possible, for it to end. Jews and Christians alike are waiting, the whole world is waiting, and many are waiting for death. Yours, Anne
Translated into nearly 70 languages and one of the most read works of non-fiction in the world, The Diary of Anne Frank has been for millions of young people on every continent their first and often most powerful encounter with the history of Nazi Germany’s attempt to exterminate Europe’s Jews. Her extraordinary account as a teenager coping with adolescence during the Nazi occupation of Holland, living first at home and then in hiding for two years in the “Secret Annex,” resonates with young and old even more than a half century after her death.
“It is our wish on the occasion of the Museum’s milestone 10th Anniversary to bring these rare Holocaust artifacts to the American people,” said Museum Director Sara Bloomfield. “Millions have read Anne’s diary and visited her hiding place, but few have ever seen her original words on paper in her own hand. We are deeply grateful to our partners in Amsterdam and Basel for agreeing to this unprecedented project.”
“The diaries of Anne Frank are the most valuable historical documents of the rich collections of the NIOD. Members of the staff have been doing academic research on the history of Anne Frank and the background of the writings for more than 20 years. The project at the Holocaust Museum in Washington is an excellent opportunity to display the variety of Anne’s original writings for a broad international audience and to expand knowledge of Anne Frank, her ideas, and especially her sense of herself as a writer,” said Professor J.C.H. Blom, Director of NIOD.
Mr. Elias stated, “I am deeply moved and grateful to the U.S. Holocaust Museum for honoring my cousin Anne Frank and all other victims of the Holocaust. May her writings continue to fight discrimination in every form and help to unite humanity in peaceful co-existence.”
The Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD), established after the liberation of the Netherlands in May 1945, is the Dutch center for information and research on the Netherlands and World War II. NIOD’s scope of responsibility includes: collecting and storing archives on World War II and the Netherlands and making them accessible and available; conducting academic research and publishing the research findings; and providing information to government institutions and members of the public. For more information, visit www.niod.nl.
The ANNE FRANK-Fonds was established by Otto H. Frank in January 1963, to safeguard the copyright of Anne’s writings, to promote charitable work and to play a social and cultural role in the spirit of Anne Frank. It was his particular wish that the Fonds should contribute to better understanding between different religions, to serve the cause of peace between people and to encourage international contacts between the young. For more information, visit www.annefrank.ch.
Created by unanimous act of Congress, the Museum is America’s national institution for Holocaust education and remembrance. As a public-private partnership, the Museum brings the history and lessons of the Holocaust to Americans from all walks of life through educational outreach, teacher training, traveling exhibitions, and scholarship. Since opening in April 1993, the Museum has welcomed nearly 19 million visitors, including over 5.5 million children. For more information, visit www.ushmm.org.
The Anne Frank House was established with the help of Otto H. Frank in May 1957, to save the Frank family’s hiding place from demolition. In May 1960, the House opened its doors as a museum. Since then visitors from all over the world have come to see the former hiding place, which is one of the most frequently visited museums in Amsterdam. The Anne Frank House manages and maintains the museum and develops educational products and activities. For more information, visit www.annefrank.nl.
NIOD, Amsterdam — David Barnouw, Herengracht 380, TEL+31(0)20-523800, Cell phone +31-(0)6-542 761 35, FAX+31(0)20-523888; email@example.com
HOLOCAUST MUSEUM, Washington, DC — Arthur Berger TEL 202-314-0323 firstname.lastname@example.org; Andy Hollinger TEL 202-488-6133 email@example.com; FAX 202-488-2695
ANNE FRANK-Fonds, Basel — Christoph Knoch, Steinengraben 18, TEL +41-31-951-8759, cell phone +41-78-888-7686, FAX +41-31-951-8758; ChristophKnoch@csi.com