Anne Frank diary turns 60

25th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

25 June 2007, Amsterdam (dpa) - Scholars and historians in the Netherlands were on Monday marking the 60th anniversary of the original publication of the diary of Anne Frank, the Jewish girl whose record of hiding from the Nazis during World War II has come to be regarded worldwide as a definitive document of the era. Among the events planned to mark the occasion were two symposia discussing Anne's life as well as various aspects of the research surrounding the book. Meanwhile the Swiss relatives of the Fr

25 June 2007

Amsterdam (dpa) - Scholars and historians in the Netherlands were on Monday marking the 60th anniversary of the original publication of the diary of Anne Frank, the Jewish girl whose record of hiding from the Nazis during World War II has come to be regarded worldwide as a definitive document of the era.

Among the events planned to mark the occasion were two symposia discussing Anne's life as well as various aspects of the research surrounding the book.

Meanwhile the Swiss relatives of the Frank family were also set to transfer their private archives to the Anne Frank Foundation in Amsterdam.

The transfer was to take place at the Prinsengracht canal house where Anne and her family hid from the Nazis. The transfer marks the merger of the Swiss Frank-Elias family archives with those of the Amsterdam-based Anne Frank Foundation (AFS).

The family archives are owned by the Anne Frank Fund, established in 1966 by the Jewish girl's father Otto Frank. The Anne Frank Foundation runs the museum at the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam.

The archives originate from the house in Basle, Switzerland, where many members of the Frank family lived since the 1930s. Anne Frank's cousin Buddy Elias, president of the Anne Frank Fund, still lives in the house.

In the past two years the unique archives have been inventoried for the first time. They contain letters, documents and pictures of Otto, Edith, Margot and Anne Frank, many of which have never been published before.

The archive merger takes place on the 60th anniversary of the original publication of Anne's diary The Secret Annex, later translated into English as Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.

The Secret Annex, which has sold tens of millions of copies since its publication and been translated into almost 100 languages, was written between June 12, 1942 and August 1, 1944.

Born in Frankfurt on June 12, 1929, Annelies Marie Frank was a Jewish girl who fled with her family from Germany to the Netherlands after the Nazis' rise to power in 1933. In the summer of 1942 the Frank family went into hiding with four other Jews in the annex of the house at Prinsengracht 263.

On August 4, 1944 the Jews hiding in the secret annex were betrayed and deported to Westerbork, the Jewish concentration camp in the north-east of the Netherlands before being deported to different camps in Poland and Germany.

Only Otto Frank, Anne's father, survived. In 1947 he published his daughter's diary, which had been saved by members of the resistance. The diary became an instant success.

On Monday, more than 300 people - two thirds of whom are professionally involved with Anne Frank or Holocaust research - are due to attend the first symposium organized by the Anne Frank Foundation and the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD).

Dutch and international scholars are to discuss the various aspects of the book as well as the development of academic research - historical and literary - on the famous diary.

On Tuesday evening, the NIOD and the Goethe Institute in Amsterdam are scheduled to discuss problems in translating the diary, which has been published in a number of languages from English to Hindi and Arabic to Swedish.

Patricia Bosboom, spokeswoman for the Anne Frank Foundation in Amsterdam, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa the diary of the teenage Jewish girl who died in the German concentration camp Bergen-Belsen remained "popular for each new generation of young people."

Bosboom said: "Anne Frank writes about scenes and problems all teenagers deal with, such as relationships with parents and siblings, but also about her will to make the world a better place."

"Between the lines, she tells the story of World War II. Most young people learn about the Second World War for the first time by reading her diary."

"The academic world has broadened its focus concerning the diaries. Previously, the diary was studied primarily as a historical document. Today, its literary qualities are acknowledged too," Bosboom said.

"Literary scholars but also the media have come to see the writings have significant literary qualities. That is very important," she added.

DPA

Subject: German news

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