The center of the MOSH’s international exhibition Anne Frank: A History for Today, is a humble object. A replica of Anne Frank’s diary, the first volume, a plaid little book, opened with photos pasted to the pages, filled with the musings of a girl living through the darkest of times.
Those times are all around you in the exhibition, cordoned off by a fence based on the ones you might have seen had you been a prisoner of a concentration camp, as Anne eventually was. Large boards feature a timeline–on the top, Germany’s march from the end of WWI to WWII, on the bottom, the history of one family, the Franks.
The parallel timeline makes the historical personal. Here we see Hitler rising to power in Germany, in 1933 while the Franks escape to Amsterdam, like thousands of other Jews, ahead of the pogroms that would follow. They fled, but not far enough. The Nazis rolled into Netherlands by 1940 and soon began implementing the same sort of restrictions on Jews that they’d had in Germany. In 1941, Otto Frank transferred his businesses to other people in order to keep it from being confiscated by the Nazis as a Jewish-owned business. It was 1942 when Anne Frank received her diary for her birthday. In less than a month, the family went into hiding. They had already planned to hide in the secret annex of Otto’s former business, where the new owners and friends of the family were sympathetic to their plight, but Anne’s older sister Margot being recalled to a German work camp by the Nazi regime forced them to up their time-table.
The Franks were soon joined by other Jews, the van Pels, and a dentist named “Fritz” Pfeffer. As they stayed hidden and the war wore on, Germany cut rations for the people of the Netherlands, making it more difficult to feed them.
A little more than two years into their stay, in 1944, they were discovered. All of them were taken to various camps, with only Otto Frank surviving the war’s end in 1945. He was given Anne’s diaries by Miep Gies, a Dutch woman who had been instrumental in keeping them hidden.
“For someone like me, it is a very strange habit to write in a diary. Not only that I have never written before, but it strikes me that later neither I, nor anyone else, will care for the musings of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl.”
In the same month that Anne received her diary, she wrote, “For someone like me, it is a very strange habit to write in a diary. Not only that I have never written before, but it strikes me that later neither I, nor anyone else, will care for the musings of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl.”
Anne’s diary was published in 1947. Since then, her account of confinement has been published in 70 different languages and 30 million copies have been sold worldwide.
Supplemental to the exhibition, in a room to the side is a video for the more visually inclined, about Anne Frank, and her story, that’s about a half-an-hour long. Visitors should also take a look at Remembering the Holocaust in Art on the first floor before heading up to the Anne Frank exhibit.
But before you even get to that, in the lobby of the MOSH, there’s a poignant video, set to John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’, a what-if, a world where people such as Anne Frank and Martin Luther King Jr. might have have lived instead of dying. In it we see a newspaper clipping of a smiling older woman, proclaiming that Anne Frank has published another book of many, a tribute to what might have been, in a better world.
“We remember this dark period, but we use it to build a better future.”
A better world is what the MOSH’s Remembering the Holocaust in Art and Anne Frank: A History for Today is all about. Says MOSH Curator Paul Bourcier, “We remember this dark period, but we use it to build a better future.” The point is that we should never visit these horrors again. That there’s hope. As Anne Frank put it so well, “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more. In the meantime, I must hold on to my ideals. Perhaps the day will come when I’ll be able to realize them!”
She never did realize those ideals, but we can strive for them. Visit the MOSH to learn more about Anne Frank and her family through February 12th. Admission is free during this time, something that the MOSH has never done before. “We’ve removed every barrier that we could, so that it’s accessible for everyone,” says MOSH’s Executive Director, Maria Hane. They’ve done this not just with free admission, but also by having all the text for the exhibition in Spanish. They feel it’s that important, and so does the community at large in Jacksonville.
Go to AnneFrankJax.com for a full calendar of events inspired by Anne Frank and this powerful exhibition, held by various organizations all over the city through March 8th.
Anne Frank Events
ANNE FRANK: A HISTORY FOR TODAY
January 13 – February 12
Anne Frank: A History for Today brings to life Anne’s amazing story which is as relevant and important now as ever. This extraordinary exhibition has inspired, informed and mesmerized visitors across the world. You don’t want to miss this truly transformative opportunity. Anne Frank is perhaps the world’s best known and most discussed victim of the Holocaust. She was forced to live in hiding with her family in concealed rooms as Nazi forces were sending Jews to concentration camps. The diary she kept is considered one of the most important pieces of writing of the 20th Century and is one of the most read non-fiction works of all-time.
Lawyers without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany Under the Third Reich
Jan 8th – Feb 4th • Jacksonville Main Public Library
An exhibit that shows how the Nazis purged Jewish lawyers in Germany as one of the early steps to attack the rule of law in their country.Free admission. For more information, contact [email protected] or call 904-630-2665.
Anne Frank Exhibit Docent Training
Jan 11th at 6-9 PM, Jan 12th at 9-12pm or 1-4pm • MOSH
For more information, call Eddie Santos at 904-396-6674 ext.234.
Readings from “The Diary of Anne Frank”
Jan 12th at 4pm • San Marco Bookstore
Free admission. For more information, contact 904-396-7597 or Sanmarcobooksataol.com
Anne Frank: A History For Today
Jan 13th – Feb 12th • MOSH
The exhibit is open to the public. Free admission to the Museum and exhibit.For more information, go to www.themosh.org or call 904-396-6674.
Witnesses to the Shoah
Jan 13th – Feb 12th • MOSH
A video of interviews with Jacksonville Holocaust survivors.
Remembering the Holocaust in Art: From the Collection of Dan and Cindy Edelman
Jan 13th – Feb 12th • MOSH
An exhibition of photographs, woodcuts, and other visual art to inspire visitors to help create a more inclusive community.
Letters From Anne and Martin
Jan 14th at 8pm • Ritz Theatre & Museum
An inspiring play that brings to life the written words of Anne Frank and Martin Luther King and their shared hopes and dreams of a world free of discrimination and hatred. The facilitated discussion that will follow between the actors and the audience is intended for adults. Free admission. For reservations go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/letters-from-anne-and-martin-tickets-29250911263
I Am From – Poetry Workshop
January 14th, 21st, 28th, and February 4th, 11th at 11am, 1pm, 3pm • MOSH
A poetry workshop for participants 13 years and older to help process and connect with what they learned from the Anne Frank exhibit while exploring their own experiences with injustice or discrimination. Free admission.
Letters From Anne and Martin
Jan 15th at 3pm • The Main Public Library
An inspiring play that brings to life the written words of Anne Frank and Martin Luther King and their shared hopes and dreams of a world free of discrimination and hatred. The facilitated discussion that will follow between the actors and the audience is intended for families and teenagers. Free admission. For more information, contact lbuggsatcoj.net or call Caroline Williams at 904-630-4654. To reserve tickets: http://jplcalendar.coj.net/evanced/lib/eventsignup.asp?ID=291066
Readings from “Hana’s Suitcase” by Karen Levine
Jan 16th at 4pm • San Marco Bookstore
Parallel Journeys: World War II and the Holocaust Through the Eyes of Teens
Jan 17th – Feb 24th • Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ)
A traveling exhibit of about 40 teenagers who were witnesses, participants or victims of WWII and the Holocaust. Free admission. For more information, contact Beth Harvey at 904-646-2349
Medical Ethics Today: Lessons Learned from Anne Frank and the Holocaust
Jan 17th at 5.30pm • MOSH
A panel discussion with Dr. Guy Benrubi, Dr. Yank Coble, Professor Dr. Theo Prousis and moderated by Dr. Todd Sack. The program addresses events leading up to the Holocaust, the role of health professionals during the Holocaust, the medical profession’s ethical framework developed since WWII, and today’s medical ethical challenges. For more information and tickets, contact Erin Cohen at 904-448-5000 ext. 1205
Anne Frank: Beyond the Diary – An Exploration of Her Influence on the Visual Arts
Jan 18th at 7pm • MOSH
A discussion led by art teacher and historian, Cindy Edelman, who will share her personal art collection pertaining to the Holocaust with music from the Ritz Chamber Players. Free admission.
Readings from “Night” by Elie Wiesel
Jan 19th at 4pm • San Marco Bookstore
Orchestra of Exiles
Jan 19th at 7pm • The Jewish Community Alliance
Author, Josh Aronson, will discuss his recent book and documentary about Bronislaw Huberman, the Polish violinist who founded the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and saved nearly a thousand people from the Holocaust. Free admission with advance registration. For more information or to register, go to www.jcajax.org/ji or call 904-730-2100 ext.228.
Temple Brotherhood Breakfast: Why Did Anti-Semitic Acts Dissipate in Mid-Twentieth Century America?
Jan 22nd at 10am • Congregation Ahavath Chesed
A breakfast discussion and presentation about the factors that contributed to a lull in anti-Semitic rhetoric and acts after WWII and through the 1960s. Tickets: $6 in advance; $8 at the door. For more information and to purchase tickets, contact Mike Elkin at 904-343-6329 or mikeelkin383atgmail.com
Jan 22nd at 12.30pm • San Marco Movie Theatre
A documentary film followed by Q&A with the Director about the journey of Holocaust survivor, Henri Landwirth, and his quest to be liberated from his harrowing past while creating extraordinary organizations to help others.Free admission with a donation of new children’s underwear and/or socks. Reservations at www.DignityUWear.org. For more information call, 904-636-9455. Sponsored by Dignity U Wear.
Jewish Federation of Jacksonville’s Women’s Division Champagne Brunch
Jan 22nd at 9:45pm • MOSH
The annual Federation Women’s Division brunch followed by a tour of the Anne Frank: A History for Today exhibit. Tickets: $36 for the event along with a minimum contribution of $52 in advance to the Federation’s annual campaign. For more information and to purchase tickets, contact the Federation office at 904-448-5000 ext. 1209 or emmapatjewishjacksonville.org
The Diary of Anne Frank
Jan 22nd at 12pm • Jewish Community Alliance
Anne Frank’s diary is brought to life in this film. Free admission. For more information or to register go to www.jcajax.org/ji or call 904-731-2100 ext. 228.
Violins of Hope: Understanding the Vision
Jan 24th at 7pm • MOSH
Author, James Grymes, will interview Amnon Weinstein, a violin restorer from Tel Aviv, who will discuss his efforts to restore violins played during the Holocaust to honor those who perished. Free admission. For more information, contact Arlene Wolfson at 904-396-7062 ext. 214 or go to www.themosh.org. Sponsored by the Jacksonville Symphony and MOSH.
The Nazi Hunters
Jan 25th at 6:45pm • MOSH
Award-winning journalist, editor and author, Andy Nagorski, will discuss his recent book highlighting the saga of those who sought to bring Nazi perpetrators to justice.Free admission but registration is required. To register and print tickets, go to https://nazihunters.eventbrite.com/ For more information, go to www.themosh.org, or contact jgreenleeatthemosh.org or call 904-396-6674 ext. 238. Sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville and MOSH.
Defiance: Movie and Discussion with the daughter of Asael Bielski who is portrayed in the movie
Jan 26th at 7pm • Jewish Community Alliance
This inspiring Hollywood movie reenacts the largest armed rescue of Jews by Jews during WWII, led by three Bielski brothers who built a protective village and saved over 1,000 Jewish non-combatants from Nazi death camps. Assaela Weinstein will provide accurate and personal insight into what really transpired. Free admission with advance registration.
Never Fight a Shark in Water: The Wrongful Conviction of Gregory Bright – One Man’s Struggle to Find His Voice
Jan 27th at 7pm • The Munnerlyn Center for Worship and Fine Arts at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville
A one-man show about the wrongful murder conviction of Gregory Bright, who overcame poverty, prejudice and oppression to fight for freedom. Tickets: $15 adults, $12 students. For more information and to purchase tickets, contact Julia Daze 904-396-5751 or dazejatesj.org.
Seven Sixty-One: The Works of Anne Frank
Jan 28th at 8pm • MOSH
A performance by Jacksonville University Theatre students that focuses on the 761 days Anne Frank, her family and friends spent hiding from the Nazis. Anne’s own journal entries from The Diary of a Young Girl and short stories and fables she wrote during this time will be presented to give life to her words and her personal story. Free admission. For reservations go to edeciccatju.edu.
DISCRIMINATION IN OUR COMMUNITY: A CALL TO ACTION
Jan 30th at 6-8pm • MOSH Wells Fargo Room
A private tour of the exhibit followed by a discussion facilitated by OneJax Executive Director, Nancy Broner, about the Holocaust victims, modern-day discrimination in our community and what actions individuals and organizations can take today to address these challenges. Private event for WGA, JLJ and their guests.
rGEN and Anne: A History for Today
Jan 31st at 6:30pm • MOSH Wells Fargo Room. Private event
A private tour of the exhibit for rGEN followed by dinner and a discussion with a second generation Holocaust survivor.
Enemy of the Reich: A Muslim Woman Defies the Nazis in WWII
Jan 31st at 6:30pm • The Atlantic Institute
A documentary about a courageous Muslim woman who risked her life to fight against the brutal Nazi regime followed by a panel discussion to explore xenophobia and the challenges and opportunities to fight oppression today. Free admission. For more information, go to http://www.atlanticinstitutejax.org/ or contact ysivarattheatlanticinstitute.org or call 904-379-2915. Sponsored by the Atlantic Institute.
Searching for Identity: Memorial Through the Lens of the Second Generation Holocaust Survivor
Jan 31st – Feb 11th • Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens
This multi-media exhibit highlights essays authored by Jacksonville second generation Holocaust survivors in collaboration with maquettes hand-built by the Bolles School AP art students and portraiture by Jacksonville photographer, Chad Dennis. Free admission.
Feb 1st at 7pm • Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens
A documentary followed by a discussion with Dr. Howard Dodson, Director Emeritus of the Schomburg Center, New York, about Julius Rosenwald, a Jewish philanthropist, and Booker T. Washington, an African American educator and civil rights activist, who worked together to build more than 5000 schools for African American children in the south. Tickets: $10. Doors open 6:30pm. For more information, call 904-899-6038 or visit http://www.cummermuseum.org/event/rosenwald-movie-and-discussion. Sponsored by MOSH and the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens.
Readings from “Run, Boy, Run” by Uri Orlev
Feb 2nd at 4pm • San Marco Bookstore
Salem Neighbor: Syrian Families Living as Refugees
Feb 4th at 3pm • The Foundation Academy
A documentary, discussion and exhibit about the challenges refugee families face abroad and in the US as they struggle to care for their children while trying to overcome personal loss and cultural barriers. Free admission. For more information, contact staugustinefilmsocietyatgmail.com or bboydstonatwr.org or call 904-535-4575 or 904-254-9524.
Workplace Discrimination: Have We Progressed?
Feb 6th at 6-7pm • MOSH Wells Fargo Room
A panel discussion with a diverse group of community leaders to examine workplace discrimination, modern-day challenges and possible solutions. Free admission.
Watchers of the Sky
Feb 7th at 6:30pm • MOSH
A powerful documentary that interweaves mass atrocities around the world and examines the life of Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term “genocide” in an effort to have it recognized as an international crime and prevented from ever reoccurring in history. Tickets: $5 General Public; $4 MOSH members.
Readings from “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” by John Boyne
Feb 9th at 4pm • San Marco Bookstore
WJCT Presents An Evening with Dr. Richard Freund, The Secret Escape Tunnel from the Holocaust in Lithuania
Feb 9th at 6pm • WJCT
A discussion and clips from the upcoming NOVA science series about the courageous escape in 1944 by Jewish captives in the Ponar Burial Pits in Lithuania through a secret tunnel they dug. For more information and tickets, call 904- 353-7770
Equity and Justice Will Not Be Silenced – How the Voice of Technology Has Evolved for At-Risk and Under-Served Teens and Young Adults
Feb 24th at 6-8pm • Jacksonville Marine Science Research Institute
An exhibit and discussion about how young role models who have suffered hardship and discrimination spread their message of equity and social justice.Free admission.
Race Films as a Voice of Hope Against Discrimination and Stereotypes
Feb 25th at 12-5pm • Norman Studios Silent Film Museum, Inc.
Ed Safer’s presentation about the Holocaust, a documentary, exhibit and panel discussion about the use of “race films” to combat stereotypes, discrimination, and break down racial barriers. Tickets: Adults $5; Students Free.For more information, contact Rita Reagan at 904-716-0706 or ritareaganatcomcast.net
Race Films as a Voice of Hope Against Discrimination and Stereotypes
Feb 26th at 12-4pm • Norman Studios Silent Film Museum, Inc.
Ed Safer’s presentation about the Holocaust, a documentary, exhibit and panel discussion about the use of “race films” to combat stereotypes, discrimination, and break down racial barriers. Tickets: Adults $5; Students Free. For more information, contact Rita Reagan at 904-716-0706 or ritareaganatcomcast.net.
Lessons from the Holocaust: Standing Up To Anti-Semitism And Hate Today
Feb 26th at 9:15am • Etz Chaim Synagogue
A community breakfast and discussion highlighting practical tools and resources to empower individuals and communities to stand up to modern forms of anti-Semitism and hate. Free admission. For more information, call 904-262-3565 or dazejatesj.org.
Searching for Identity Through the Lens of the Second Generation Holocaust Survivor
Mar 8t2 and May 1st • Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church
A multimedia exhibit that highlights essays authored by Jacksonville second generation Holocaust survivors in collaboration with maquettes hand built by the Bolles School AP art students and portraiture by Jacksonville photographer, Chad Dennis. Free admission.