Dear Diary: Traveling exhibit exploring the world of Anne Frank comes to Sulphur Springs Library
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Robert and Sandra Osborne of Sulphur Springs were among the first to view the Anne Frank exhibit at Sulplhur Springs Public Library. The traveling exhibition tells the story of Anne Frank against the background of the persecution of the Jews during World War II. The panel show will be displayed at Sulphur Springs Library through Monday, Aug. 29.
Staff Photo By Kerry Craig

Aug. 12, 2005 -- The memory of a young girl whose spirit would not be stamped out, even by the Nazis, lives on 50 years after her death in her diary, and in displays such as the 30-panel traveling exhibit “Anne Frank: A History for Today,” on display for the next two weeks at Sulphur Springs Library.

The $35,000 exhibit arrived Thursday afternoon in diplomatic crates shipped most recently from Mississippi but on loan from the Holocaust Museum of Houston under auspices of the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It took three men collectively to move the boxes, and eight people in addition to the library staff to assemble.

All insurance, packing and shipping and other associated costs for the exhibit were covered through a grant from the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Foundation, which provides funding to rural areas which would otherwise be unable to afford to host the educational project.

Although not officially open until Monday, the assembly and library crew completed the cumbersome task of putting the panels in order and taping off the display section of the library Thursday so that library patrons could begin experiencing the exhibit Friday.

Kitty St. Claire, director of library services, warns that those attending the exhibit should plan to stay awhile. She said they can expect to walk away with a better understanding the lives of Anne Frank and others Jews who were also forced to hide, as well as the people who literally risked death to help them escape their oppressors.

The exhibit also casts more light on Holocaust survivors and victims, war and its aftermath.

It features pictures of Frank, her family and the people noted in her diary, but also of the Holocaust, both the soldiers, victims.

“I’m just amazed and overwhelmed,” a teary St. Claire said Friday after viewing the exhibit a second time. “I hope everyone can come and see this. It talks about her life, brings the situation up to right now, and if nothing else makes you become aware that this is a continuing issue.”

Already officials from Texas A&M University-Commerce, Sulphur Bluff Independent School District and North Hopkins Independent School District have expressed interest in organizing a time for students to view the exhibit.

Amie Davidson, youth librarian at Sulphur Springs Library, is helping coordinate information for the event and has put on display library books about Anne Frank that are geared toward different age levels, from adult to younger children.

Those bringing children should be warned that the content of the panels is “rough” and may not be suitable for very young children.

The panel is geared more toward middle school age children through adults, as its content is based around Frank’s diary, written when she was 13-year-old and submitted for publication by her father in 1947, two years after she died in a concentration camp of typhus. Anne and her sister Margo died in March 1945, and the camp was liberated by the British in April. Their father was freed by Russians from another camp, but only learned of his daughters’ death in 1946, after receiving a reply to his newspaper ad used in an attempt to locate the girls, according to the panel.

The exhibit will be on displayed in Sulphur Springs Library, located at 201 North Davis St., from Monday, Aug. 15, through Monday, Aug. 29. The library will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and on Friday, and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday. For more information about the exhibit or scheduling a school tour contact St. Claire or Davidson at 903-885-4926

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