To mark the seventieth anniversary of the publication of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, the United Nations Department of Public Information, in partnership with New York’s Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect and Facing History and Ourselves, will host an interactive educational programme for more than 500 high school students on Thursday, 9 November, at New York Headquarters.
Organized by the United Nations Education Outreach Section, From Desperation to Inspiration: The Seventieth Anniversary of the Anne Frank Diary aims to increase students’ awareness of the Holocaust and its devastating impact on the Jewish community while helping them understand the plight of refugees and migrants in today’s world. The event will run from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The event will honour the legacy of Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl who 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 to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where she died in 1945 at age 15.
The Center will begin the day’s first student activity with a brief film, Short Life of Anne Frank, and the reading of passages of her diary. The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme will carry out a second activity meant to help students better understand the ongoing migration and refugee crisis. Facing History and Ourselves will then launch a brief conversation titled “Repairing the World — Our Obligation towards the ‘Other’”.
To prepare for the event, students will discuss excerpts from four diaries or memoirs written by other young people whose lives have been impacted by discrimination and conflict: The Diary of Mary Berg: Growing up in the Warsaw Ghetto; The Diary of Petr Ginz: 1941-1942; Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo, by Zlata Filipovic; and Left To Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, by Immaculée Ilibagiza.
Students will also observe the 9 November 1938 pogrom against the Jewish people known as “Kristallnacht”, or the “Night of Broken Glass”, the two-day surge of violence that tore through Jewish communities throughout Nazi Germany and areas under the party’s control on 9 November and 10 November 1938.
The Anne Frank Center preserves Anne’s legacy through education and arts programming. Through workshops, exhibitions and performances, it teaches children and youth the lessons of the Holocaust and to counter discrimination, challenge prejudice and advocate for the kinder and fairer world of which Anne Frank dreamed.
Facing History and Ourselves is a non-profit international educational and professional development organization. Its mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and anti-Semitism to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry.
The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme was established by General Assembly resolution 60/7 in 2005 to further education about and remembrance of the Holocaust to help prevent future acts of genocide. Its multifaceted programme includes online and print educational products, seminars, exhibitions, a film series and the annual worldwide observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, held on 27 January.
For more information, please contact Kimberly Mann, United Nations Department of Public Information, +1 212 963 6835, firstname.lastname@example.org; Alexandra Devitt, The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, +1 917 861 0760, email@example.com; or Kevin Feinberg, Facing History and Ourselves, +1 646 998 5840 x232, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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