Teaching the Lessons of the Holocaust: Anne Frank Exhibit Coming to Georgetown Library | Shalom Austin

Teaching the Lessons of the Holocaust: Anne Frank Exhibit Coming to Georgetown Library

Community News, The Jewish Outlook

Aug 24, 2021

Anne Frank. Credit: AFS/AFF, Amsterdam/BASEL.

Congregation Havurah Shalom of Sun City Georgetown, in partnership with the Georgetown Public Library, will be bringing a new Anne Frank exhibit to the library for six weeks, October 2-November 15, 2021.  ANNE FRANK: ‘LET ME BE MYSELF’ is sponsored in North America by the Anne Frank Center USA and was developed by the Anne Frank House.

This new exhibit brings the history and lessons of the Holocaust into the present with contemporary commentary from six teens who have confronted prejudice and exclusion and how they dealt with it.

“Let me be myself and then I am satisfied,” Anne wrote in her diary in 1944.  In the Secret Annex where the family hid from the Nazis, Anne dreamed of becoming a writer and journalist after the war.  To the Nazis, Anne Frank was just Jewish.  The anti-Semitism of the Nazis resulted in the Holocaust: the murder of six million Jewish men, women, and children.  Anne Frank was one of the one and a half million children who died. She was 15.

 Photos on the panels tell the story as does a thirty minute DVD.  The top portion of each panel centers on Anne and her family, while the bottom of each panel provides images and texts about the world around Anne and the Frank family – the rise of Hitler and the Second World War.  The exhibit also includes a scale model of the Frank’s hiding place and a replica of Anne’s famous diary which has never been out of print since first published in 1947.

It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams, and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality,” Anne wrote. While the differences with the days of Anne Frank are huge, there is an analogy to Ann’s comments to be gleaned in the last part of the exhibit from the six teens who tell their stories of intolerance, discrimination and racism today. Discrimination is still a daily occurrence all over the world with violence and hatred escalating. The teens depicted in the exhibit come from various backgrounds with diverse identities and disabilities.  Batja is Jewish; Busra is Muslim; Michiel is Black; Kim is a musician who is also disabled; Jim is a “nerd”; and Dylan describes himself as a “feminine man – neither gay nor transgender.”  “Aren’t we all born equal?” they ask.

Volunteer docents from Congregation Havurah Shalom will lead groups of school children, youth groups, as well as other groups through the exhibit.  The docents will be trained by a professional from the Anne Frank Center.  “This exhibit provides an excellent resource for schools and charter networks to comply with a new state law, signed by Governor Abbot in the previous legislative session, to teach students about tolerance, genocide and the Holocaust”, said Lenora Hausman, Co-Chair of the Exhibit.  It is recommended teachers allow two hours to view the complete exhibit.

Docent led tours can be scheduled on the website, www.annefrankexhibitgeorgetown.com.  Public walk-in tours will also be available on weekends, two each on Saturdays and Sundays.  The exhibit is open to the public during regular library hours and is free.

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