Anne Frank Display Opens in Cape Breton

first_imgMore than 60 people have volunteered as docents — specially trained guides — for the Anne Frank in the World display that opened Monday, Sept. 11, in Cape Breton Regional Municipality. The Nova Scotians were trained last week by representatives of the Anne Frank Center USA, Inc. to help guide visitors at the exhibition being hosted in Cape Breton by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission and presenting sponsor Martin Chernin. “We are thrilled with the response to our call for volunteers,” said Michael Noonan, acting director and CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. “We have also received tremendous support from private and public sector partners, and a great turnout at the opening ceremony Monday night. “We take this to be an indication that people understand the unique influence a display of this kind can have on Nova Scotians’ discussions of serious issues like discrimination, propaganda and personal responsibility.” Anne Frank was 13 when she and seven other Jews went into hiding in a secret annex above her father’s Amsterdam office during the Second World War. Her diary, discovered after German authorities raided the space and took away its occupants, details the more than two years that the group spent in the cramped quarters. Anne Frank in the World is a travelling exhibit that features excerpts from Anne’s diary as well as historic photos by her father, Otto, and others. It has also been customized for its Nova Scotia visit to include panels specific to provincial issues of prejudice and discrimination. The bilingual exhibit was developed by the Anne Frank Foundation in Amsterdam and sponsored in the United States and Canada by the New York-based Anne Frank Center USA, Inc. It remains at Victoria Park in Sydney until Sunday, Oct. 15. It then travels to the Museum of Natural History in Halifax for a showing, thanks to presenting sponsor Southwest Properties, from Oct. 24 to Jan. 28, 2007. Individuals interested in participating as docents for the Halifax segment of the show should call 424-3137. Mr. Noonan said the commission is continuing to caution Nova Scotians that some viewers may find portions of the display disturbing and that it may not be appropriate for young children. “Some of the content could be considered graphic,” said Mr. Noonan, “that is why context is so important. We hope many families and schools groups will take advantage of this opportunity to not only look at the historic realities but to also explore how we identify and deal with acts of discrimination in a modern context.” For more information on the exhibit see the website at www.gov.ns.ca/humanrights/annefrank .last_img