FRANKFURT - Its a late homecoming: 80 years after Otto and Edith Frank and their daughters Margot and Anne fled to Amsterdam in the face of rising anti-Semitism, most of their estate has now been returned to their hometown of Frankfurt.
The decision was taken by the Anne Frank Fund in Basel, Switzerland, that manages the estate. The German citys Jewish Museum is to receive the items and will by 2015 have enlarged its premises in order to display them. The new wing is to be called the Frank Family Center.
Although some 500,000 Jewish children and adolescents fell victim to the Nazis, no fate is as widely familiar as that of Anne Frank: her diary has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. She and her family were able to stave off deportation to the camps by hiding in a house on Prinsengracht in Amsterdam, where Anne kept the diary from June 12, 1942 to August 1, 1944.
But then the family was denounced and arrested. In early March 1945, Anne Frank died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The only family member to survive was her father.
If the diary survived it is thanks to the bravery of Miep Gies (1909-2010), a Dutch woman who helped the family. On the same day the Franks were taken away, she went to get their things hoping that one day she would be able to return them and she did, to Otto Frank.
The original diary is not among the items that the Anne Frank Fund will give the Jewish Museum on permanent loan. It will continue to be displayed at the Anne Frank Museum on Prinsengracht in Amsterdam. In combination with the authentic setting where it was written, the diary draws more than a million visitors a year to the museums small rooms.
In Frankfurt, much of what will be on view are household items furniture, paintings belonging to the Frank family, along with photographs, letters and other memorabilia. A few weeks ago, Frankfurts City Council approved building an additional 3,000 square meters of exhibition space to accommodate the items. The new wing and its exhibit are expected to be open to the public by 2015.
Read the full article in German by Sven Felix Kellerhoff
Photo - Okko Pyykkö
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