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The Continuing Relevance of Anne Frank’s Story is Portrayed in A History For Today

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)April 4, 2002

(Mahwah) – Anne Frank: A History for Today, an exhibit created by the staff of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, will be on display at Westfield Shoppingtown Garden State Plaza in Paramus from May 4 though June 4 in the Neiman Marcus Court. The exhibit depicts Anne Frank’s life story using a wide selection of family photos and passages from her diary. Her biographical narrative is enhanced by testimony from Holocaust survivors and rescuers. Also included is information on the time in which Anne lived.

During the two years her family was in hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam, Anne kept a very personal diary, revealing her feelings and thoughts about life, growing up, her relationships with family and friends, racism and discrimination. Her father, Otto Frank, published the diary in 1947, following Anne’s death in a German concentration camp.

Anne Frank’s story is the thread that connects the five thematic periods that are presented in the 56 exhibit panels of Anne Frank: A History for Today. In an introductory panel, the viewer is greeted with a series of quotes from Anne’s diary. The next section covers the period from 1929 to 1933, Anne’s first four years and the rise of the Nazi Party are juxtaposed with themes of nationalism and scapegoating. During the next period, from 1933 to 1939, the Frank family finds refuge in the Netherlands and the persecution and expulsion of Jews in Germany are illustrated through the theme of “cleansing.” In the period from 1939 to 1942, the themes of influencing people’s attitudes and civil courage are presented in connection with the persecution of the Frank family and other Jews in Europe. In the period from 1942 to 1945, the Frank family is in hiding in the “Secret Annex,” where Anne writes her diary and the subsequent deportation of the Annex residents is depicted in the context of the Holocaust and genocide. The last period covers the time from 1945 to today. Anne Frank’s diary and its impact on readers since its publication 50 years ago are used to emphasize the importance of human rights, individual responsibility and positive action.

Anne Frank: A History for Today is co-sponsored by Westfield Shoppingtown Garden State Plaza, New Jersey/Rockland Jewish Media Group, The Gross Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies at Ramapo College and Ramapo College of New Jersey. The exhibit was brought to the United States by Anne Frank Center USA and made its North American debut at Rockefeller Center in New York City in December 1997.

For more information on the exhibit, individuals and school groups may call Laura at (201) 843-2121. Those interested in working as docents may call the Gross Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies, (201) 684-7409. School and community tours may be scheduled from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. School and community groups should allow one hour to view the exhibit. The exhibit is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Westfield Shoppingtown is not open on Sundays.


About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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