Derry to host Anne Frank exhibition

Anne Frank. (courtesy of Anne Frank Fondes Base, Switzerland)
Anne Frank. (courtesy of Anne Frank Fondes Base, Switzerland)

The City Centre Garden of Reflection Project is pleased to announce that throughout November they will be hosting a prestigious exhibition from the Anne Frank Trust UK.

Anne Frank: a History for Today will be based in HOLYWELL-DiverseCity Partnership Building on Bishop Street. The exhibition looks at the life of Anne Frank, presenting the story of the Frank family, and the wider picture across Europe in the 1930s and 40s, while challenging audiences to find the contemporary relevance of the Holocaust.

The City Centre Garden of Reflection Project is a partnership between Inner City Trust (Lead Partner), Derry City Council and DiverseCity Community Partnership.

The exhibition is part of a wider programme, which includes the Lunchtime Event Series and the Chairs of Learning. In addition the project has two major physical elements – the installation of lights to illuminate the City Gates and the development of the Garden of Reflection to the rear of the new Holywell building in Bishop Street.

The project is funded by the PEACE III Programme through the European Union’s Regional Development Fund managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

This highly stimulating exhibition follows the Frank family’s journey from Anne’s birth to her tragic death from starvation and disease in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany in 1945 and how her diary went on to become a worldwide phenomenon. Gillian Walnes MBE, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Anne Frank Trust UK said:

“We are so delighted to be bringing the exhibition Anne Frank, A History for Today to Derry-Londonderry.  We have not had an Anne Frank exhibition in the city since 1999, so a new generation of young people will be able to learn about Anne’s unforgettable story and reflect on where prejudice, discrimination and irrational hatred can lead. The Garden of Reflection seems absolutely the most appropriate venue for this exhibition.”

As well as the exhibition, the Anne Frank Trust UK will be training volunteers to act as guides for the exhibition. Susan Glass, Garden of Reflection Programme Coordinator said:

“When we first spoke to the Anne Frank Trust UK they were very keen to work with the Garden of Reflection Project to bring this exhibition to the City. When Gillian suggested the Peer Guide Training we jumped at the chance to include this as part of our programme. We are working with some of our local secondary schools and a number of their pupils will be trained to guide their school around the exhibition. We are very excited, as the Garden of Reflection is the only venue hosting the exhibition in Northern Ireland this year and we would encourage everyone to take the opportunity to visit.”

The exhibition challenges the viewer to think about fundamental social values such as mutual respect, human rights, and democracy, as well as educating the viewer about our individual and collective responsibilities and to understand and respect diversity in our society. It also challenges audiences to find the contemporary relevance of the Holocaust, allowing them to see how racial intolerance and hatred can begin and the steps we can take to stop this from happening in the future.

From Wednesday 5th November the exhibition will be open daily to the public (Monday to Friday, from 9.30am to 5.00pm). There will be guided tours for the public and local secondary schools on selected dates (booking required), as well as a special Lunchtime Event on Saturday 8th November as part of the Women of the World Festival.