Sydney Anne Frank Exhibition raises questions for racism today

TMAAT May 22, 2014

Anne Frank would have been 85 this year. Olga Horak is 88. She says she never knew Anne Frank, but records show they were both held captive in the brutal Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at the same time.

Olga told of seeing people freeze together on their ways to the camps, digging trenches in the frozen ground for the Nazi Army, witnessing Dr Josef Mengele perform evil biological experiments on humans at Auschwitz and watching her mother collapse and die shortly after liberation.

“It is hard to believe that people could be so cruel,” she said.

Olga says she will always remember the good people who helped her, and says we all must never forget those who helped the victims of the Holocaust.

“Without remembering them, I will lose faith in humanity,” she says.

Tragically Anne Frank was among the millions who didn’t survive the Holocaust. However, her diary continues to impact people all around the world today.

The Anne Frank Travelling Exhibition in Australia has received more than 50,000 visitors since launching in Melbourne last year. It is showing in Sydney until 8th June, when it will continue to Dubbo, and other locations across Australia.

CEO of the Sydney Jewish Museum, Norman Seligman, and Consul General to the Netherlands in Australia, Willem Cosijn, were among the speakers at last week’s event.

“Anne Frank gave a face to intolerance, racism and persecution,” Mr Cosijn said.

Dutchman Richard Kuipers, founder of Australian removal company Two Men And A Truck, described the exhibition as “the most rewarding and fulfilling project” he has been involved with.

“For me and my friends growing up in Holland, Anne Frank symbolised the suffering during the Second World War and the importance of appreciating whatever we have – even if that is just a diary, pen and a chestnut tree for comfort,” he said.

“When you become older you realise more the enormous contributions some people have made to bettering the world. Anne was one of them.”

William Attoh, Principal at Legal Made Easy said Anne Frank means different things to different people.

“To me, she is a powerful symbol against oppression and racism,” he said.

However, he acknowledged that racism is still destructive and we will all be confronted with it, in some form, in the future.

“The question is, where will we stand?” he asked.

For more information about the Anne Frank Exhibition, visit www.annefrank.org.au

Two Men And A Truck has sponsored the Anne Frank Exhibition as part of its Moving Together Program, which aims to support worthwhile causes and build community spirit.

Richard Kuipers and William Attoh will be participating in the St Vinnies Winter Sleepout on 19th June. If you would like to sponsor them, visit: https://www.ceosleepout.org.au/ceos/nsw-ceos/richard-kuipers-two-men-and-a-truck-pty-ltd

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