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Frank Exhibit Opens Today

The original writings of Anne Frank, the precocious German-Jewish girl — whose personal musings in a time of international terror have become perhaps the best-known literature to emerge from the wreckage of Hitler’s war — will be unveiled to the American public for the first time today at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

“Anne Frank The Writer — An Unfinished Story,” part of the Holocaust museum’s 10th anniversary celebration, includes the young diarist’s photo album, assorted pages from her edited diary as well as selections from the last of her three notebooks.

Some of the closely guarded papers have never traveled outside of Holland since being donated to the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation by Frank’s father, Otto, after World War II. The Holocaust museum’s presentation of the writings, was undertaken in conjunction with the NIOD and the Switzerland-based foundation ANNE FRANK-Fonds, which holds the copyright for her writings.

The exhibit’s debut date — June 12 — is significant on two counts. Not only is it Frank’s birthday, but it also marks the day she began the first of her now famous diaries: that red-plaid book is permanently displayed at Amsterdam’s Anne Frank House.

Frank, who wrote her journals after fleeing Nazi Germany with her family for the Netherlands, eventually perished at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Northern Germany, just one month before its liberation by Allied forces. Had she lived, Frank would have turned 74 today.

Her insightful entries — which eloquently memorialize the looming fears of the period — were later published as “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

The effort to bring Frank’s writings to the United States is one of several offerings highlighting the power of the individual that the Congressionally mandated museum has launched in honor of its first decade of existence. This fall, the museum will showcase the stories of Jewish children who survived the Holocaust, as well as host a “Tribute to Holocaust Survivors,” a weekend for survivors, their families, liberators and rescuers.

“Anne Frank The Writer — An Unfinished Story” will be on view until Sept. 12 at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Wexner Learning Center. The exhibit is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On Tuesdays from June 17 to Sept. 9 it will stay open until 8 p.m. Same-day passes are free and can be obtained beginning at 10 a.m. For advanced passes, call (800) 400-9373. Service fees apply.

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