On Thursday 23 January, the moving and thought-provoking Anne Frank + You exhibition exploring the life and legacy of the teenage diarist opens at St Albans Cathedral. Presented by the Anne Frank Trust UK, the exhibition, which features a life-size replica of Anne’s bedroom in the Frank family’s secret annexe in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, will be on display until Thursday 20 February.

The exhibition coincides with the start of a year of commemorations including the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz II - Birkenau concentration camp, the death of

Anne Frank and the end of World War Two. This captivating and inspirational travelling exhibition explores Anne Frank, her diary and the Holocaust and how they highlight contemporary injustices. Far from being just about historical facts, the exhibition also explores issues such as racial hatred, the value of freedom and education, and how they play out in the modern world.

Alongside the exhibition, the Cathedral has a number of talks planned exploring the life and legacy of Anne Frank and the Holocaust. Amongst these events is an evening of conversation between by Eva Clarke – a Holocaust Survivor born in the Mauthausen death camp – and Sunday Times bestselling author Wendy Holden. The Born Survivors talk takes place on Wednesday 12 February and tells the story of three newly pregnant young women, separated from their husbands. With so many loved ones lost already to the Nazis, the evening tells the stories of extraordinary courage which allowed these three young women to preserve not only their own lives, but those of their unborn children. Other events include a talk on the impact of the Holocaust on Judaism and an interactive café event with Gillian Walnes Perry, co-founder of the Anne Frank Trust UK, about how the 15-year-old diarist has influenced people as diverse as Nelson Mandela and Audrey Hepburn.

The Very Reverend Dr Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans, said ‘How would you react if you had to live hidden in an attic, knowing that at any moment you could be arrested simply for existing as the person you are? We need to remember and imagine Anne Frank’s experience, because it opens our eyes to the way prejudice still infects communities and destroys lives today’.

At its heart, the exhibition is about education and Steve Clarke, Education Officer at St Albans Cathedral comments “the cathedral is delighted to welcome back the Anne Frank + You exhibition. This is a wonderful opportunity for pupils to learn about Anne, and to be inspired by her both her words and her story. The exhibition also challenges pupils to consider the themes of racism and prejudice in society today.”

Tim Robertson, Chief Executive of The Anne Frank Trust UK, adds “I am thrilled that we are bringing this truly important exhibition to the historic St Albans Cathedral. The 75th anniversary of Anne Frank's death is fast approaching - she was murdered in the Holocaust simply because she was Jewish - but her story lives on in her astonishing Diary, a work that has sold over 36 million copies, and inspired exhibitions and education programmes around the world, including ours here in the UK. The [Anne Frank + You] exhibition offers a fascinating and moving insight into Anne’s life and legacy. I know it will make people reflect, and I hope it will make every visitor commit to opposing all forms of hate."

The Anne Frank and You exhibition is the first of a number of exhibitions the Cathedral will be hosting throughout 2020, including a textile exhibition in May and a medieval season of events taking place throughout the summer. Amongst the medieval themed events taking place over the course of the summer is an exhibition focused on St Albans and its medieval manuscripts held with the St Albans Museum + Gallery. Full details of all of the events taking place at St Albans Cathedral throughout the year will be available on the cathedral’s website www.stalbanscathedral.org

Notes to Editors

The Anne Frank + You Exhibition

  • The Anne Frank + You Exhibition is a hugely popular touring exhibition presented by the Anne Frank Trust UK which explores the life and modern legacy of Anne Frank.
  • The exhibition presents facsimile artefacts that include a life-sized replica of Anne’s bedroom in the ‘secret annexe’ of Prinsengracht 263 it gives visitors a glimpse of her life in hiding.
  • The exhibition’s historical content is juxtaposed with a powerfully illustrated contemporary section that highlights themes from Anne’s diary such as racial hatred and the value of freedom and education and how they play out in the modern world.
  • It was been visited by over 10,000 visitors at locations across the UK since the start of the year.
  • The Anne Frank + You exhibition will be used by school children on a daily basis during term time. All school groups must be booked in through the St Albans Cathedral Learning Department.
  • During term time, the exhibition is open to the public Monday to Friday 2pm - 4pm, Saturday 10am - 3pm and Sunday 1pm - 5.30pm.
  • During the February half term (Monday 17 - Thursday 20 February), the exhibition will be open 10am - 4pm.
  • Due to the nature of the subject matter, the exhibition is suitable for children aged 10+.

St Albans Cathedral

  • St Albans Cathedral is the number one tourist destination in St Albans and attracts approximately 200,000 visitors per year from the UK and abroad. It hosts hundreds of events and services throughout the year.
  • The Cathedral is built on the site of the martyrdom of Alban, Britain’s first saint.
  • St Alban was an Anglo-Romano citizen who was executed around 300 AD.
  • It is the oldest site of continuous Christian worship in Britain.
  • It houses the Shrines of St Alban and St Amphibalus, and is a major site of Christian worship to this day.
  • The Cathedral architecture is a blend of many different periods, with Anglo-Saxon features dating back to King Offa’s church, founded on the site in 793.
  • Work started on the current church building in 1077; it was the largest building in the country at the time. Its great Norman tower and nave were built using Roman bricks salvaged from the ruins of Verulamium.
  • The Benedictine monastery was dissolved in 1539 and the Abbey church was bought by the townspeople to become the parish church, which it remains today. The Victorians undertook a major restoration and it became a cathedral in 1877.
  • St Albans Cathedral is the mother church of the Diocese of St Albans which serves the people of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, the Borough of Luton and parts of the London Borough of Barnet, Cambridgeshire and Buckinghamshire.

Alban, Britain’s First Saint – National Lottery Heritage Fund Funded Project

  • This significant development project is funded by The National Lottery Heritage
  • Fund with match funding from over a thousand individuals and organisations.
  • In June 2019, the Cathedral opened a new Welcome Centre, new learning spaces for children and adults, and new exhibition areas.
  • The visitor experience at the Cathedral has been transformed bringing the story of
  • Britain’s first saint, Alban, to life through new displays, trails, stunning audiovisuals and artefacts. Children can also enjoy a host of new activities, including brass rubbing, dressing up and explorer backpacks.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund

  • The National Lottery Heritage Fund is the largest dedicated funder of heritage in the UK.

Born Survivors Talk

  • Led by Sunday Times Bestselling Author Wendy Holden and Eva Clarke, born in the Mauthausen death camp.
  • Signed copies of Born Survivors will be available on the night.

The Global Legacy of Anne Frank Cafe event

  • Cafe events are held in the Abbot’s Kitchen café and are designed to be interactive, allowing the audience to ask questions and debate amongst themselves and the speaker.
  • This event is led by Gillian Walnes Perry, co-founder (along with family and friends of Mr Otto Frank) of the Anne Frank Trust UK, and will consider the legacy of Anne Frank today.
  • Having seen the power of Anne’s diary, Gillian narrates how people as diverse as Nelson Mandela and Audrey Hepburn have drawn inspiration from Anne Frank

 

The Anne Frank Trust UK

  • The Anne Frank Trust UK is an education charity that uses Anne Frank’s life and diary to empower young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to challenge all forms of prejudice and discrimination.
  • The Trust partners with schools, local authorities, criminal justice education services and others, to deliver education to young people in a variety of settings, predominantly in schools. Our interactive and impactful programme includes an exhibition of Anne Frank’s life and diary combined with workshops, peer education and an ambassador programme.
  • The Anne Frank Trust UK was established in 1991 by family and friends of Otto Frank, following his wish for an educational organisation to be set up in memory of his daughter Anne. www.annefrank.org.uk