Anne Frank collection on the road


May 16, 2019 — In this blog post, Teresien da Silva, Head of Collections at the Anne Frank House, talks about travelling from Amsterdam to New York with ten objects from our collection.

On the road

On Monday morning, 29 April 2019, a Crown Fine Art transport company car pulled up in front the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam to carry a box containing ten original items that once belonged to Anne and Margot Frank, among others, to Schiphol Airport.

Together with senior collection manager Caecilia Thoen, I accompanied the box to the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York. The ten original items are temporarily included in the exhibition Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away.

Auschwitz exhibition

The exhibition tells the history of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. On 1 August 1944, Anne wrote her last diary entry. A few days later, she and the other people who had been living in hiding in the Secret Annex were arrested and eventually deported to Auschwitz. The exhibition focuses on the horrors [HS1] that awaited Anne and over one million other persecuted Jews at the camp.

Across the ocean

The Foundation has little experience with international collection transports, so this promised to be a special day. Never before had original Anne Frank objects been on display in the United States. On the other side of the ocean, people were anxiously awaiting our arrival.

Both at the airport of Amsterdam and in New York, our box was handled with the greatest care. The official customs documents were examined and approved. After a journey of fourteen hours, we finally arrived at the museum in New York with our collection. We received an enthusiastic welcome. We immediately put the bot in the depot to allow the collection to get acclimatised for a night.

Glass cases

The next day, we started off with a thorough check of the condition of the items we had brought. Fortunately, they had weathered the journey well. We organised the three glass cases and were happy with the results. We were proud that the Anne Frank collection was to be part of this penetrating exhibition on the history of Auschwitz and the Holocaust.

Breaking news

More than one hundred journalists attended the press conference on 2 May. A few camera crews interviewed me as well. That day, the exhibition was breaking news in the U.S., and the press reviews were very positive.

We returned to Amsterdam with a sense of great satisfaction. In a year, we'll be going back to retrieve the collection.

For more information about the exhibition, please visit the website of the Museum of Jewish Heritage

The picture shows one of the objects: a children's wind-up gramophone. More

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