Boise Exhibit Is A Glimspe Into Anne Frank's Life Pre-Diary

Apr 7, 2014

It’s hard not to be struck by how happy and normal the Frank family seems in the photos taken before they went into hiding in 1942 during World War II. There’s a black and white photo of Anne with her older sister Margot on the beach, another with all four of her family members dressed up and smiling in a courtyard.  

These photos are part of a special traveling exhibit brought to Boise by the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, formerly called the Idaho Human Rights Education Center. Boise was chosen among a handful of other U.S. cities to display the exhibit.

Panels juxtaposing Hitler's rise to power with the Frank family's peaceful existence in Amsterdam are displayed in stark contrast.
Credit Frankie Barnhill / for Boise State Public Radio

Dan Prinzing is in charge of the center. He says the free exhibit gives people a chance to see what life was like for the Frank family during the rise of the Third Reich. One panel positions a picture of a gangly-armed Anne Frank posing with her classmates beneath an image of a Jewish man having his beard cut off by a Nazi. Prinzing says the juxtaposition is stark.

“They had fled to Amsterdam thinking, ‘OK, we have left the rhetoric of what the Nazi’s were saying in Germany' -- they thought they were safe," says Prinzing. "And so these are photos that really show the lifestyle they were engaged in before going into hiding.”

Since the exhibit opened last week, hundreds of people have looked at the happy faces of the Frank family.

Prinzing says the pictures were only made available recently by Anne Frank’s cousin. Buddy Elias -- whom Anne references in her diary as her favorite cousin -- is 88-years-old. He’ll be in Boise April 23 to visit the Anne Frank Memorial.

The photos will be on display through April at the Creative Access Art Center in downtown.

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