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Anne Frank exhibition opens at Auckland Museum

Anne Frank exhibition opens at Auckland Museum in the same week the Frank family was taken to Auschwitz

Anne Frank: A History for Today exhibition opens Auckland Museum this week (Wednesday 5 Sept) – the same week that sixty eight years ago saw a young Jewish woman Anne Frank and her family transported to Auschwitz.

The family’s location had been betrayed and after more than two years spent hiding in a small annex – unable to venture outside and reduced to whispers to avoid detection – they were arrested.

Sixty-eight years ago today, on September 3 1944 Anne, her family and four others that had joined them in the annex were taken to Auschwitz where they were separated and by the end of 1945 there was only one survivor, Otto Frank.

The story of Anne and her family is the uniting thread running through the exhibition Anne Frank - A History for Today.

The family’s story is juxtaposed against world events before, during and after the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party.

Auckland Museum is the last venue for the Anne Frank: A History for Today exhibition before it is taken to Australia.

The exhibition includes photographs of the Frank family and the other occupants of the secret annex and shows how people were persecuted both by political decisions and by the actions of individuals.

Entries from Anne's famous diary, now translated into 70 languages, also help to tell the story: "I don't believe that the big men, the politicians and the capitalists alone are guilty of the war. Oh, no, the little man is just as keen, otherwise the people of the world would have risen in revolt long ago!”

Auckland Museum exhibition developer Janneen Love has developed new content to accompany the Anne Frank exhibition including a diary from German-born Jew Egon Schoenberger who settled in New Zealand just as WWII was beginning.

The newly translated diary and letters from the museum’s archives tell the story of Schoenberger’s journey to New Zealand and his gradual discovery of the events that were unfolding in his home country – the confiscation of his family’s business and then the fate of his mother and sister.

Egon’s story will be told in a 24-part online series on www.aucklandmuseum.com beginning on 4 September.

“Like Anne’s diary, Egon’s diary and the letters from his family tell a very personal story amid the much larger story of persecution and loss in WWII,” says Janneen Love.

“The museum holds an incredibly rich collection of manuscripts – this is one story that lives among thousands and it’s such a privilege to be able to share it.”

Egon’s daughter Michele Schoenberger Orgad, from the Waikato, will attend the opening of the exhibition next week.

The touring exhibition, created by Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, ends its two-and-a-half year run in Auckland. The exhibition was brought to New Zealand by a special team, set up by the New Zealand-Netherlands Foundation and chaired by Boyd Klap QSO.

“This exhibition presents an opportunity to learn from our history and to remember these terrible events that happened in our lifetime. It is easy to say it would never happen but it needs all of us to be aware and to reject prejudice. We must learn from history and make sure a Holocaust never happens again to any race or group of people.”

The opening week of the exhibition also coincides with the week WWII broke out – after Germany’s invasion of Poland on 1 September, Great Britain and France both declared war on Germany on 3 September.

Anne Frank: A History for Today will run at Auckland Museum until 22 October – entry is free.

Auckland Museum will also run a programme of events during Anne Frank: A History for Today including:

Diary making and storytelling
Weekdays, Oct 1 - Oct 12
10am – 12pm & 1.30pm – 3pm
Auckland Museum

Create your own diary and listen to stories from others who have shared their experiences. We’ve created a cosy corner perfect for storytelling and writing. Suitable for children.

Anne Frank: Film Screening & Talk
Wed 12 Sept – Holocaust survivors Bob and Freda Narev share their insights and experiences
Wed 17 Oct – Chief Human Rights Commissioner David Rutherford & Associate Professor Friedrich Voit discuss the importance of communicating history and remembrance
6pm
Auckland Museum

Visit the Anne Frank exhibition after hours and take part in our evening programme with our guest speakers and a film screening of the academy award-winning documentary
Anne Frank Remembered (1995).

New Zealand-Netherlands Foundation chair Boyd Klap, exhibition developer Janneen Love and Egon Schoenberger’s daughter Michele Orgad are available for interviews.



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