Anne Frank: A history for today

TIMELY REMINDER: Edwin Jeffries, president of Hartlepool TUC
TIMELY REMINDER: Edwin Jeffries, president of Hartlepool TUC

ORGANISERS of an acclaimed Anne Frank exhibition currently on show say it is a timely reminder of the “horrific consequences” of intolerance and hatred.

Anne Frank: A History for Today is on display at Hartlepool Further of Education, in Stockton Street, and visitors have been getting an insight into what life was like as fascism swept through Europe during the Second World War.

The exhibition has been organised by Hartlepool Trades Union Council in partnership with the Anne Frank Trust and supported by Unison Hartlepool and Radio Hartlepool.

The display, owned by the Anne Frank Trust, charts the rise of fascism in Nazi Germany and the persecution of Jewish people which caused the Frank family to leave their home in Germany and to flee to Holland before the start of the war.

It also charts Anne Frank’s life, including her two years in hiding with her family in Amsterdam and tragic death in Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp in March 1945, just weeks before it was liberated by British troops.

During her time in hiding Anne kept a diary which was fortunately found by friends in the families’ hiding place shortly after their arrest by the Germans.

It was returned to Otto Frank, Anne’s father, on his return to Amsterdam after the war.

Of the eight people who went into hiding in the annexe, only Otto survived the concentration camps and he soon realised the significance of the diaries which were then published.

Edwin Jeffries, president of Hartlepool TUC, said: “The exhibition covers a wide range of issues and challenges us to consider the contemporary relevance of these issues leading the visitor to a greater understanding of the steps that we can all take as individuals to prevent the rise of prejudice and discrimination in our own communities and workplaces.

“The exhibition is a timely reminder of the horrific consequences of intolerance and hatred. Feedback from visitors so far has been positive with people saying it is a very informative exhibition.”

Organisers say Anne Frank is a symbol of the millions of innocent children who have been victims of persecution and that her life shows what can happen when prejudice and hatred go unchallenged.

The exhibition, open between 9am and 4pm, is open to the public until lunchtime 
on Friday, July 5 at Hartlepool College of Further Education.

For further information people can contact Edwin Jeffries on (01429) 523868 or email edwin.jeffries@yahoo.co.uk