Anne Frank story to be told in street theater across Amsterdam
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (JTA) — A Dutch Jewish broadcaster is co-organizing the launch of an annual Holocaust commemoration event featuring theater shows about Anne Frank and other victims at their former homes.
A blueprint of the event by the Joodse Omroep Jewish broadcaster, or JO, and its Christian partner, the Evangelische Omroep, or EO, was leaked last week to the Dutch blog GeenStijl.nl.
The initiative, titled “National Remembrance Walk,” is set to debut next year, the 75th anniversary of the murder of the Dutch Jewish diarist Anne Frank at a German concentration camp, with an event called “Anne Frank: One face out of millions.”
According to the blueprint, the event will launch on May 4, the Netherlands’ official day for Remembrance of the Dead, at several locales connected to Anne’s life. The concept has participants walking in a silent procession from one location to another in Amsterdam, the Dutch capital.
But the plan is in an early phase and “may change before the actual date,” said Alfred Edelstein, JO’s director. “We still need to look at the various elements.”
The project aims to produce “an integrated account of a victim and their personal story in a way which places the lessons of the past at the center of the present,” according to the leaked document, which also describes the initiative as a way to combat persistent anti-Semitic attitudes and indifference and ignorance of the Holocaust among young Dutch people.
According to the document, National Remembrance Walks from 2016 onward will focus on other Holocaust victims from elsewhere in the Netherlands, which lost 75 percent of its Jewish population of 140,000 in the Holocaust, the highest death rate in Nazi-occupied Western Europe.
The concept, which was drawn up with assistance from the communications firm Eye2Eye Media, has Dutch actress Carice van Houten of the hit series “Game of Thrones” portraying Miep Gies, a resistance fighter who tried to save Anne Frank and her family during their two years in hiding from the Nazis before their capture in 1944. The cast will include additional Dutch actors and celebrities, and the walks will feature public singing of songs from World War II, the concept said.
But in a statement on Twitter, van Houten wrote that she had been unaware of the plan before it was leaked.