Though many know her story, the Holocaust Center for Humanity’s first traveling exhibit considers the life of Anne Frank from a contemporary perspective. Anne Frank: A History for Today, which runs from March 6-May 18, centers around the young Holocaust victim, whose life story was made famous by her book, The Diary of a Young Girl.
The exhibit presents the life of Anne Frank as a gateway to the greater history of the Holocaust, illustrating events the occurred before, during, and after Nazi control. Photographs of the Frank family are placed alongside images of historical events, allowing viewers to gain a better understanding of the historical world in which Frank lived. Visitors will leave the exhibit with a better understanding of the political decisions that affected the lives of Holocaust victims and survivors.
By focusing on Frank and her family, the exhibit invites attendees to consider the families and children who continue to be victims of violence, war, and conflict today.
“Never more relevant than today, this exceptional exhibit resonates with people of all ages and backgrounds. Anne’s life story challenges us to think critically, engage with current events, and to take an active role in our communities and government,” said Ilana Cone Kennedy, Director of Education at the Holocaust Center for Humanity.
This dedication to not only educating the public, but also inspiring self-reflection seems to be the mission of the Holocaust Center for Humanity. Since 1989, the nonprofit organization has been committed to teaching lessons of tolerance and citizenship through the history of the Holocaust. It does so primarily by working with teachers, students, and community groups across the Northwest. Through its programs, Holocaust survivors have been given an outlet for their stories, which they share with 20,000 students every year.
With this latest exhibit, the Center will continue to give voice to the survivors of the Holocaust.
On March 23, Bertie Maarsen, Pete Metzelaar, and Hester Kool, will tell their stories of survival over a brown bag luncheon. The event, Hidden Like Anne, will take place at the Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Attendees will hear from these individuals who were born in Amsterdam and continued to live there as the Nazis took power.
Towards the end of the exhibit, there will be several other programs commemorating Anne Frank’s life. The first two, Anne Frank Tree Planting and “Life with Anne” takes place on May 1, from 2-4 p.m. at the Seattle Center. Laureen Nussbaum, a Holocaust survivor who knew the Frank family personally, will share her childhood memories of Anne and her family.
That same day, the Anne Frank Tree Sapling Dedication will occur at Seattle Center’s Peace Garden. In early January, the Holocaust Center planted a sapling from the same chestnut tree that Anne saw from her attic window in Amsterdam. It will now dedicate that sapling to the city of Seattle, as a symbol of hope courage, diversity, and respect.
In light of this tree planting, the Center is also hosting the Writing, Art, & Film Contest: Inspired by Anne. Participants must answer the question: How does Anne’s tree, and what you have learned about the Holocaust, inspire you? The contest is open to students grades 5-12 from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. There will be up to $300 in Grand prizes, as well as prizes for teachers.
The final program will take place on Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom Hashoah, May 4, 6:30-8:30 p.m. At the Stroum Jewish Community Center, there will be a memorial service and candle lighting ceremony to honor those who perished. Local Holocaust survivor Henry Friedman, will tell his own survival story of how he hid for eighteen months with his family and teacher in a barn attic.
Between the exhibit and the events, it is sure to be moving and inspiring event. School groups are encouraged to schedule field trips now, as spots are sure to fill up. The exhibit will be open to the general public in March, though advanced tickets are required. Information about scheduling and events can be found online.