Friday, 26 March 2010

Anne Frank exhibition

"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."
Anne Frank
It's a bit like blogging, really. ;-)

Like most teenage girls, I read The Diary of a Young Girl (1947) by Anne Frank when I was young and impressionable. The story generally needs no introduction; a Jewish family are forced to flee their home in Germany for Amsterdam, where they thought they might be safer as the political climate around them changed. However, after raids on other Jewish families during the Holocaust, they go into hiding in a secret annex behind their father's business premises, along with another family and an employee.

I went to see the Anne Frank exhibition on its final day at Te Papa on Wednesday. I thought I'd pop in and take a quick look around. It was crowded; no doubt there were many others, like me, who thought they had more time to get to it before realising that closing day had arrived all too soon. There was also a school group doing the rounds, and the little room became hot and stuffy. Lots of elbow shuffling going on!

The exhibition was mostly centred around a big timeline detailing the political events surrounding Hitler's rise and leading up to World War II. Running simultaneously to this was a timeline of events and occurrences in Anne Frank's family. The accompanying family photos are what made this exhibition noteworthy for me; these were ordinary, everyday people going about their lives: visits to the beach, birthday parties, school ... the photos were a rich, moving addition to an historical experience which never fails to touch me.


Kellee said...

I actually went to Anne Frank's attic when I was in Amsterdam 5 years ago. It was immensely powerful! The thing that really struck me most was how the whole book came flooding back to me as I walked around. Here's where this happened, there's where that happened etc. Incredible experience.

Sab said...

That looks interesting! I remember reading that book in school. I think I'd enjoy something like that!