Melson Society Opens Anne Frank Exhibit

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Penelope Melson Society and the Ingram Library will open the exhibit “Anne Frank: A History for Today” on Sunday, Sept. 7. The exhibit is free and the community is welcome to attend during library hours.

The Penelope Melson Society and the Ingram Library will open the exhibit “Anne Frank: A History for Today” on Sunday, Sept. 7. The exhibit is free and the community is welcome to attend during library hours.Produced in the Netherlands and made available through the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust and the Anne Frank Center USA, the exhibit juxtaposes photographs of the Frank family with historical events of the time period.

With 55 exhibition panels that chronicle the rise of Nazism and a three-dimensional representation of the dining room of the Secret Annex, the exhibit challenges the audience to think about the value of tolerance, mutual respect and the significance of human rights.

Another component of the exhibit features photographs taken by soldier and photojournalist William A. Scott III as he participated in the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp in a segregated all-black army unit.  Scott was also a member of one of the leading African-American families of Atlanta who founded and operated The Atlanta Daily World, the nation’s first black owned daily newspaper.

Adding more historical drama to the exhibit is guest speaker Dr. Leon Bass, an educator from Pennsylvania and an African-American soldier who participated along with Scott in the liberation of Buchenwald.  He will speak on Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom. His presentation will also be free to the community through the sponsorship of the UWG Office of Minority Affairs.

Lorene Flanders, professor and director of university libraries, said that the exhibit would open the eyes of its viewers.

“The Anne Frank exhibit on the UWG campus gives members of the campus community and local residents the opportunity to view an exhibit that is touring the nation,” said Flanders. “We expect to welcome some 1,000 eighth grade students to campus to visit the exhibit and appreciate the volunteers who have agreed to serve as docents.”

Sponsors for the exhibit include the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Education, the Richards College of Business, the Honors College, the Advanced Academy of Georgia and the Office of Minority Affairs in association with Ingram Library’s Penelope Melson Society.

The exhibit will be on display through Monday, Sept. 29. Library hours are Sunday, 2 – 10 p.m.; Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.  For more information, call 678-839-5337.

Here are a few additional comments from Lorene Flanders:

"Since its publication in 1947, Anne Frank’s diary has served as personal witness to the Holocaust. 'Anne Frank: A History for Today' seeks to continue to teach the history and tragedy of the Holocaust, meanwhile making it clear that prejudice and intolerance are topics as real and relevant today as they were during the Nazi era.

"The Ingram Library extends its thanks to the Penelope Melson Society, the University, the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust, and the Anne Frank Center USA for making it possible for this exhibit to visit our community.

"In addition, we thank the University’s Office of Minority Affairs for making it possible for Dr. Leon Bass to travel from Pennsylvania to relate his story on Tuesday, September 16. Opportunities to interact with those who experienced firsthand the horrors of the Holocaust are ebbing as the years pass. Dr. Bass’ visit to campus to talk about his participation in the liberation of Buchenwald and the pivotal role this experience played in his life will provide an eye-opening personal testimony on the topics “Anne Frank: A History for Today” seeks to teach. As we prepare to elect our next president, it is important to reinforce the need for active citizenship. The exhibit shows what can happen when intolerance is taken to extremes and citizens’ rights are abrogated."