New Exhibit at the Canadian War Museum

Anne Frank – A History for Today presents a personal perspective

By Canadian War Museum March 4, 2021

Anne Frank is remembered as the German-born Jewish-Dutch teenager who confided her thoughts, ambitions and feelings to a diary, while hiding from the Nazis during the Second World War. Marking the 76th anniversary of her death, the Canadian War Museum presents Anne Frank – A History for Today, a travelling exhibition that examines her life against the backdrop of historical events before and during the war.

 The German military occupation of much of Europe during the Second World War enabled the Holocaust — Nazi Germany’s persecution and murder of Europe’s Jewish people. The Nazis also targeted other groups: Roma and Sinti, people with disabilities, homosexuals, Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, and political and religious objectors. Some Jewish people, like Anne and her family, went into hiding to escape the German forces and the people who collaborated with them. Within the walls of the secret annex where her family hid from 1942 to 1944, Anne recorded her intimate thoughts in her diary, offering a unique insight into the lives of those caught up in the brutality of war and occupation.

 “Although the events explored in Anne Frank – A History for Today happened nearly 80 years ago, an exhibition like this remains highly relevant in today’s world,” said Caroline Dromaguet, Acting Director and CEO of the Canadian War Museum and the Canadian Museum of History. “Anti-Semitism and many other forms of discrimination are still with us today, making it important for educational institutions like ours to share tragedies like this, both from a historical perspective, and as cautionary tales.”

This panel exhibition juxtaposes a timeline of events with personal photographs, stories, diary entries, one original artifact and two reproductions. It illustrates the rise of Nazism in the 1920s and 1930s, the increasing persecution of Jewish Germans, the start of the Second World War, and the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands that began in 1940. Visitors will meet Anne and her family, and learn about their lives in Germany before they fled the escalating persecution of the Jewish people.

 Anne Frank – A History for Today was developed by the Anne Frank House, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and will be presented at the Canadian War Museum from March 4 to April 25, 2021 in the Exhibition Hub.


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