January 31, 2022
UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM AND IRANWIRE.COM LAUNCH ANNE FRANK: THE GRAPHIC BIOGRAPHY, MAKING HER STORY, AVAILABLE IN PERSIAN, MORE ACCESSIBLE FOR YOUNG IRANIAN AUDIENCES
Developed through the Museum’s and Iranwire.com’s The Sardari Project partnership, which creates and distributes Persian-language multimedia content to counteract Iranian state-sponsored Holocaust denial, antisemitic rhetoric and restrictions on accurate information about the Holocaust
WASHINGTON, DC — For International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and IranWire.com launchd Anne Frank: The Graphic Biography, a centerpiece in the latest phase of The Sardari Project: Iran and the Holocaust initiative. The Sardari Project, named in honor of Iranian diplomat Abdol Hossein Sardari who worked to save Iranian and non-Iranian Jews in occupied Paris during the Holocaust, was launched in December 2020 to distribute articles and videos about the Holocaust to Iranian audiences and to counter the Iranian government’s Holocaust denial, antisemitic rhetoric and suppression of information. The project also spotlights the current dangers of rising antisemitism and other forms of hatred, while showcasing Iranians who are working to combat these trends.
The Anne Frank graphic biography is the first part of a series of foundational resources on the Holocaust in Persian for young Iranians seeking accurate historical information on this watershed event in human history; this book is suitable for children as young as 12 years old. The series will also include content on Nazi propaganda, victims of the Nazis and their collaborators, Nazi racial ideology, cultural control and destruction, rescue and resistance and postwar trials. Notably, IranWire will serialize the Anne Frank: The Graphic Biography book over its social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter, as well as the social-messaging app, Telegram. It is also available on SardariProject.com.
“Anne Frank’s story has educated and inspired young people all over the world,” says Tad Stahnke, William and Sheila Konar director of international educational outreach in the Museum’s Levine Institute for Holocaust Education. “Her diary is the first encounter many have with the Holocaust, and Anne provides an important perspective of immense loss on an individual scale. This graphic biography is being made available to young Iranians for the first time and serves as a powerful tool to counteract the Iranian regime’s Holocaust denial and antisemitic rhetoric.”
With permission from the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, the graphic biography of Anne Frank tells the full story of the teenage diarist in a clear and accessible way. Written by Sid Jacobson and illustrated by Ernie Colón, the story begins with the life of Anne Frank’s parents and the early years of the sisters Anne and Margot in Frankfurt. It ends with the return of Otto Frank – the only one of the eight people in hiding who survived the Holocaust – the publication of Anne’s diary and the opening of the Anne Frank House as a museum.
“It is the mission of the Anne Frank House to make the life story of Anne Frank accessible to as large an audience as possible,'' says Ronald Leopold, executive director of the Anne Frank House. “People, young people in particular, enjoy reading graphic novels. The Graphic Biography tells the complete life story of Anne Frank in words and images, and makes connections between her life and important historical events. Since 2010 the Biography has been published and well received in many countries worldwide. We very much welcome a Persian-language edition of the Graphic Biography; it is an excellent addition to the series of editions published so far.”
“Anne Frank was a young person writing about her experiences living under a totalitarian regime,” says Maziar Bahari, IranWire.com founder. “What’s unique about Anne’s writings, though, are her messages of hope throughout. In a July 1944 entry, one of her final entries before her arrest, Anne writes, ‘It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams, and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart…’ “Though Anne’s story doesn’t have the outcome we would like — she died in Bergen Belsen and did not get to realize the dreams she documented so well in her diary — her writing still serves as an inspiration to many today.”
About The Sardari Project
The Sardari Project: Iran and the Holocaust, a partnership of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and IranWire.com, seeks to engage with young Iranians about the history and lessons of the Holocaust, the dangers of unchecked hatred, conspiracy theories, propaganda, and more. The Iranian government prevents Iranians from learning about the Holocaust, including to their country’s unique connection to this history. During World War II, Nazi Germany targeted Iran for its resources, and Allied forces invaded and occupied the country. Iran accepted some 116,000 Polish refugees and army personnel fleeing horrible conditions in labor camps in the Soviet Union. Among the civilians were 1,000 Jewish children, the majority of them orphans.
About the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
A federally chartered, nonpartisan educational institution, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum serves as America’s national memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. The Museum is dedicated to ensuring the permanence of Holocaust memory, understanding, and relevance and inspires leaders and individuals worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. For more information, visit ushmm.org.
Since its start in 2013, IranWire has become one of the most popular Persian language news websites inside and outside of Iran. Similarly, IranWire English has become required daily reading for tens of thousands of people around the world who want to have a better understanding of the country. The site is a joint venture of a group of Iranian journalists in the diaspora who started the site to empower young citizen journalists by creating a forum in which they can discuss local and international news.
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