The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme
honours the legacy
of Anne Frank with student event
The Department of Public Information organized a student event on Thursday, 9 November, to mark the 70th anniversary of the publication of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.
More than 500 high school students gathered for the event, “From Desperation to Inspiration: The 70th Anniversary of the Anne Frank Diary” to honour Anne Frank’s legacy and learn about the Holocaust and its devastating impact on the Jewish community.
(left to right): Katherine A. Meade, Director of Education, Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect; H.E. Ms. Lise Gregoire, Deputy Permanent Representative of The Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations; Ms. Alison Smale, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications; Kevin Feinberg, Program Director, New York, Facing History and Ourselves; Ms. Kimberly Mann, Chief, Education Outreach Section, Outreach Division. Credit: DPI/Devra Berkowitz
Anne, a young Jewish girl born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1929, wrote a diary of her experiences while hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam during the Second World War. Between 1942 and 1944, while living in an attic with her family, Anne transferred her fears and feelings onto paper until she was deported and died at the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen at age 15 in 1945.
Students also left United Nations Headquarters with a better understanding of the difficulties facing refugees and migrants in today’s world. Students read excerpts from four diaries or memoirs written by other young people whose lives had been deeply affected by discrimination and conflict. A subsequent conversation, entitled “Repairing the World – Our Obligation towards the ‘Other’”, helped students empathize with the situation of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee boy.
“Today, we have much to learn from Anne Frank’s bravery and the legacy she has left us”, said United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications Alison Smale, who welcomed the students, before the screening of the film Short Life of Anne Frank, and the reading of passages from Anne’s diary.
Ms. Smale applauded “the efforts of the Netherlands to preserve the memory of Anne Frank and support Holocaust remembrance and education”.
Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations, H.E. Ms. Lise Gregoire added: “Prevention starts with the respect for human rights, with equal treatment for all human beings, with rule of law. It is our duty here at the United Nations to make sure that governments around the world take up that responsibility. For me and many diplomats, Anne Frank’s diary inspires us to do that work every day”.
H.E. Ms. Lise Gregoire, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations (right).
Also in the picture is Ms. Alison Smale, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications for
the UN Department of Public Information (left). UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
Students also observed the 9 November 1938 pogrom against the Jewish people known as “Kristallnacht”, or Night of Broken Glass, the two-day surge of violence that tore through Jewish communities throughout Nazi Germany and areas under Nazi control on 9 November and 10 November 1938. This brutal episode became known as Kristallnacht for the shards of shattered glass that littered German streets after the devastation.
Students participating in the event. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
Remarks by H.E. Ms. Lise Gregoire, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations