By Jai Breitnauer…
On May 23rd the Anne Frank exhibition team and the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand were honoured to have Wellington Mayor Justin Lester [pictured above] open the exhibition “Anne Frank, Let Me Be Myself” in Wellington.
Among the 100 guests at the Dominion Museum building were Sir John Clarke, Labour MP Carmel Sepuloni, the Ambassadors of Israel, Germany, Holland and Poland.
There were also several Holocaust survivors, as well as former child refugee and director of HCNZ Inge Woolf who gave a rare public account of her experience of fleeing Vienna as a child.
Tawa College student Rachel Digney read from Anne’s diary before giving her own speech, encouraging people of her generation to stand up to prejudice.
But the spotlight really fell on the Mayor of Wellington and his powerful words.
“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance and prejudice in action,” said Lester, as he officially opened the exhibition.
“No one in 1933 could have predicted the horror their country would experience. No one can predict the impact of fringe voices in society.
“It’s my job and your job – our job – to give nothing to racism. We must stand up to intolerance every time we see it.”
Lester went on to praise the people of Wellington for their incredibly positive and giving attitude.
But he urged the positive reinforcement of this attitude must continued down the generations.
“This exhibition will illuminate, insight, and teach us to never forget and to learn from the horrors we have seen.”
After a successful run at Auckland War Memorial Museum, where over 40,000 people experienced the story of Anne Frank including 10,000 high school children, it is hoped that Wellington will be highly engaged with the exhibition.
The exhibition is now open to the public until July 22nd. Schools should contact Chris Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
This article was originally published on the Anne Frank – Let Me Be Myself website here.