MUSCATINE, Iowa–75 years after its first publication, “The Diary of Anne Frank” continues to intrigue people of all sorts, from historians to school children. Its first-hand account of the life of a Jewish girl hiding from the Nazis during World War II has helped people understand these events in a more meaningful way than many histories of the time do. From March 21 through 25, Muscatine Community College encourages people to learn more about Anne Frank and how her story continues to change the way people think about the world today by visiting the exhibit “Let Me Be Myself: The Life Story of Anne Frank,” which they will display on their campus at 152 Colorado Street in Muscatine.
Brought to the United States from the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam by the Anne Frank Center at the University of South Carolina, the University of Iowa received permission to host it for their annual Provost’s Global Forum. Through a partnership with the Stanley Center for Global Education, Muscatine Community College got a chance to bring it to Muscatine as well.
A multimedia exhibit, “The Life Story of Anne Frank” tells the story of Anne’s full life, from her birth in 1929, through the time she spent in her early teens hiding in Amsterdam, to her death in 1945. The exhibit also makes connections to modern day youth, and how learning their stories can help prevent the sorts of prejudice and discrimination Anne experienced.
To make the exhibit even more engaging for those who visit, three Muscatine Community College student volunteers attended a two-day training at the University of Iowa to allow them to offer peer led tours. These tours will include additional information about Anne’s life and experiences as well as how the tour guides relate her story to their own lives. Anyone interested in having a free peer led tour or school group visit may sign up for one by contacting Admissions and Community Outreach Coordinator Kari Hanson at 563-288-6007 or emailing her. People may also take self-guided tours of the exhibit between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily as well as during select evening hours, which the college has yet to announce.
A powerful telling of Anne’s story that highlights why her experiences remain relevant today, Muscatine Community College and the Stanley Center encourage the community to come out and view this exhibition.
“We are looking forward to providing an experience to our students and the community that normally would not be accessible to them,” said Hanson: “The story of Anne Frank is important and needs to be told to each generation, over and over again. This exhibit takes the life story of Anne and parallels it with experiences of youth today.”
Program Officer for Global Education at the Stanley Center Krista Reginnitter reflected: “Visiting the Anne Frank traveling exhibit is an opportunity for community members to critically reflect on Anne and her family’s experience throughout the Holocaust. We hope that people walk away with a deeper empathy and understanding of the importance of valuing the inherent dignity of all people.”