Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations
list an event      1 million Australian readers every month      facebook

'Anne Frank: A History for Today' Exhibition at Coal Creek Community Park & Museum

Home > Melbourne > Exhibitions
by Sue Stevenson (subscribe)
I write essays, short stories and political commentary and believe the colour orange is unfairly discriminated against.
Event: -
Photos and excerpts from her diary

"Writing a diary is a really strange experience for someone like me. Not only because I've never written anything before, but also because it seems to me that later on neither I nor anyone else will be interested in the musings of a thirteen year old schoolgirl."

For her 13th birthday, Anne Frank received a diary. Three and a half weeks later, in 1942, her family went into hiding. They were Jews, living in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Originally from Germany, they had fled there in 1933 after Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party came to power.

The Nazis came to occupy the Netherlands in 1940, and by 1942 persecution of Jews had heated up so high that the family - Anne, her mother, father and sister Margo - hid, in some secret rooms behind a bookcase in the building where Anne's father, Otto, ran a business.

The family hid there for two years, being fed by several of Otto's employees, before the authorities were tipped off by an anonymous person and the Franks were all sent to different concentration camps.

Otto was the only one to survive the camps. When he returned, his employee Miep Gies gave him the diary she had hoped to give it to Anne when she returned.

Anne had wanted to be an actress, and then a writer. Her diary began as a true "for my eyes only" diary until she heard a radio broadcast by a member of the Dutch government, Gerrit Bolkestein, which was itself in exile at the time. Anne, in exile in the middle of Amsterdam, listening quietly to a radio broadcast so the family would not be found, decided that she wanted to contribute to the public record Gerrit was describing, one which, when the war ended, would tell the world of the plight of the Dutch Jews in the Netherlands under German occupation through their own letters and diaries.

Anne decided that she wanted to be part of this. She began editing her diary to this end, leaving out some parts and rewriting and editing others. Otto used parts of both her original diary and this "version B" in the version that became The Diary of a Young Girl.

There's no denying that Anne was smart and thoughtful, and her diary is inspiring reading.

"I don't believe that the big men, the politicians and the capitalists alone are guilty of the war," she says. "Oh, no, the little man is just as keen, otherwise the people of the world would have risen in revolt long ago! There is an urge and rage in people to destroy, to kill, to murder, and until all mankind, without exception, undergoes a great change, wars will be waged, everything that has been built up, cultivated and grown, will be destroyed and disfigured, after which mankind will have to begin all over again."

And yet while holding this view on the one hand, she holds this on the other: "In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can't build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death ... I think peace and tranquility will return again."

The traveling exhibition Anne Frank: A History for Today will be at the Coal Creek Community Gallery until December 22, 2013. It exhibits photos from the Frank family and excerpts from Anne's diary.

It hopes to ensure that Anne, one of the most well-known faces of the Holocaust, is remembered, along with the events of the Holocaust and the Nazi era. Anne Frank House coordinates this international traveling exhibition which aims to promote the beautiful human qualities which almost all of us wish for - of freedom and equality among people, regardless of our many differences.
Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  108
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? Hope in the face of brutality
When: Till December 22, 2013
Phone: 03) 5655 1811
Where: Coal Creek Community Park & Museum
Cost: $2 adults/$1 children
Your Comment
nice article
by Joy (score: 3|1912) 2473 days ago
Thank you, Joya :)
by Sue Stevenson (score: 2|569) 2473 days ago
thanks you, all must go
by steve (score: 0|4) 2472 days ago
More Melbourne articles
Articles from other cities
Top Events
Popular Articles