Total Page Views

Monday, January 24, 2011

14b. Prairie Museum--Anne Frank Exhibit

©AFS/AFF, Amsterdam/Basel

The Prairie Museum of Art and History had a travelling exhibit about the life of Anne Frank.  I (Angel) have to admit writing this blog was a bit difficult to start because I want to be sure to give it the importance and dignity it deserves.  World War II, Nazi Germany, and Anne Frank's life are not subjects to be taken lightly.

If you have not recently read A Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, I highly recommend you do so in conjunction with your visit to this exhibit.  I read it to prepare myself to visit this exhibit and I was glad I did.  Reading the book gave me a sense of connection with Anne.  I remember thinking, as I was reading, that she dealt with many of the "normal" thoughts and feelings of an early adolescent girl while living a completely "unnatural" existence.  I remember being completely impressed with her writing style and ability to express her feelings and draw the reader into the story.  Perhaps what is most amazing about all this is she wrote only for herself and did not expect others to view her journal.  If you are looking for a book that details the history of WWII, this is not the book for you.  If, however, you are interested in the feelings and experiences of one adolescent girl in hiding, definitely read this book.  I am not a history buff, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book and could not put it down.  It does give a bit of the history of WWII in the afterward.  Part 1 discusses general history, but after that it gives specific history about the history of Anne Frank after their discovery. 

The exhibit was able to fill in holes of Anne Frank's life that the journal did not.  The journal was written when Anne was 13-15 years old.  The exhibit told her whole life story from birth-death, with some WWII history thrown in.  It was able to fill in the first 12 years of Anne's life and answer any questions about what happened to her after their discovery.  It answered the question I had about how they (The Gestapo) did not notice that  a bound journal might be important.  Anne had rewritten her journal on loose leaves of paper and that was what was in her father's briefcase that was scattered all over the ground.  One of their "helpers" later picked them up and stored them in her desk.  Finding out details of the end of Anne's life was sobering.  It breaks my heart to learn she died a matter of months before the liberation of her concentration camp.  What a sobering and monumental exhibit.  I would encourage everyone to visit.

Anne Frank had a dream that she would someday become a famous writer and journalist.  I am sure she never could have envisioned the impact her words would have on the world.  It just goes to show you that we never really know how our dreams will be realized.

I did pick up the book, Tales from the Secret Annex by Anne Frank. According to the back of the book it is a compilation of her "short stories, fables, personal reminiscences, and unfinished novel."  In her diary, it had mentioned stories she had written, but I assumed they were lost forever.  Imagine my excitement to find them all contained in another book.  I can't wait to get it read.

Anne Frank: A History for Today was developed by the Anne Frank House and is sponsored in North America by the Anne Frank Center USA.
©AFS/AFF, Amsterdam/Basel


Sherry said...

It was wonderful the Prairie Museum was able to get this display. What a treasure!

Ann said...

Thanks for your thoughtful post on the Anne Frank exhibit and the Prairie Museum in general. Would you please email us at at your earliest convenience? Or call at 785-460-4590
Thanks! Ann