Catherine Hornby’s Profile
Anne Frank’s story told in pictures and words
Hoping to reach a wider audience, the Anne Frank House museum has launched a graphic novel to tell the story of the teenage Jewish diarist who hid from the Nazis in Amsterdam during World War Two.
In a format similar to a comic strip, the book begins when Anne Frank’s parents meet, and covers the family’s experience in hiding based on the contents of her diary, as well as events that took place during the war, when six million Jews were killed by Nazi Germany.
By using a combination of images and text, the museum hopes the story will reach people who might not find it so easy or accessible to read the original diaries.
“Children sometimes have difficulties reading books and learning the story by images with text is much easier for them,” said Hans Westra, director of the Anne Frank House.
Art Spiegelman’s award-winning 1986 narrative ‘Maus’, also tells in pictures the generational conflict between Holocaust survivors and their children, depicting the Jews as mice and the Nazis as cats.
For two years, Anne Frank, her family and other Jews hid in a cramped clutch of rooms tucked into the back of a canal house in Amsterdam, before they were betrayed and arrested in August 1944.
‘Anne Frank, the graphic biography’, by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon, also recounts how Anne’s father, the only member of the family to survive the Holocaust, returns to Amsterdam and publishes his daughter’s diary, and also includes the opening of the Anne Frank House as a museum.