The Anne Frank Trust UK has opened a stunning month long exhibition 'Anne Frank + You' at the Alley Theatre in Strabane. Joining the official launch was Sammy Wilson MP MLA and Mrs Inge Radford, one of Ireland's last Jewish Holocaust survivors assisted in the opening of the exhibition. Mrs Radford lost her widowed mother and 5 brothers to the Nazi concentration camps in 1942.
Launched in 2005 to give Anne Frank’s story and message a contemporary profile for today, this major display includes a near life size replica of Anne’s bedroom in hiding.
It has a strong focus on the issues of identity and moral choice we face in 21st century society. The opening in Strabane is particularly significant as it is the first time the “Anne Frank + You” exhibition has visited Northern Ireland.
Starting from Anne Frank’s writings and experiences, the exhibition is a journey of self exploration for the visitor.
Themes that Anne wrote about in her diary, such as racial hatred, war and conflict and the value of democracy and freedom, are presented in an up to date and contemporary fashion, along with filmed interviews with teenagers discussing their own views, concerns and hopes for the future.
“The story of Anne Frank not only reminds us about what has happened in the past, but also what is happening in society today.
“This exhibition will be an ideal way to inform our community about the need to stand together and support those in society who need our help and support. Anne’s short life shows us what can happen when hatred and extremism goes unchallenged, we therefore intend to challenge and stimulate discussion within our community about what are the best ways forward in offering everyone an equal place in society today” stated Cllr Kieran McGuire, Chairman of Strabane District Council.
Steve Nimmons, special advisor to the project - “The Anne Frank exhibition provides an exceptional opportunity for young people to discuss and truly understand the value of tolerance and its importance in our society. The beauty of Anne’s writing, the tragedy of her short life, and yet the ultimate truth that hope and understanding triumph over repression and hatred is exceptional, powerful and ultimately life changing.”
Strabane District Council and the Community Relations Council are funding this project in association with the Cultural, Heritage and Identity programme, which is supported by the Peace III programme and managed for the Special EU programmes Body by the North West Peace III Cluster.
The significance of the opening is further amplified, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.
Anne Frank exhibitions have been visited by over 3 million people from across Britain. They continue to provide a unique experience for visitors to learn more about the story of Anne and the history of the Holocaust. For further information on the exhibition contact the Alley Theatre on 048 7138 4444 or www.alley-theatre.com.