Rare Anne Frank exhibit coming to KSU Center

Teaching visitors‚ particularly school−age children‚ tolerance and promoting diversity are the primary goals of the “Anne Frank in the World” exhibit coming to Kennesaw State University this fall.

Georgia (Oct 20, 2003)“How is it possible in the middle of the 20th century this type of inhumanity can exist?”

That was the question 19−year−old Eugen Schoenfeld asked his father through tears after an SS officer at Auschwitz hit him over the head – twice – for humbly asking for a shoe. The teenager ended up with two right shoes after being stripped of every other worldly possession upon arrival at the notorious concentration camp.

Teaching visitors‚ particularly school−age children‚ tolerance and promoting diversity are the primary goals of the “Anne Frank in the World” exhibit coming to Kennesaw State University this fall. The KSU Foundation‚ with the help of the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust and Cobb Commission Chairman Sam Olens‚ is bringing the 2‚000−square−foot mini−museum to the KSU Center. The exhibit was curated in the Netherlands and is one of only three of its kind in the world; the other two exhibits are in Europe.

“Anne Frank’s name is magic‚” Sylvia Wygoda‚ director of the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust‚ said. “People who don’t know about the Holocaust know Anne Frank’s name‚ and that recognition leads to many‚ many learning opportunities.”

The exhibit uses 14‚000 words and 600 pictures to tell the story of Anne Frank‚ the German−Jewish teenager who spent 25 months in an annex of rooms above her father’s office in Amsterdam during World War II‚ before being betrayed to the Nazis and sent to a concentration camp. Frank died of typhus at the Bergen−Belsen in 1945; she was 15 years old. The exhibit also highlights other genocides that exist today.

“Holocausts by many other names exist around the world‚” Schoenfeld‚ a member of the Holocaust commission‚ said. “The importance of the Anne Frank exhibit is it’s a symbol of a larger experience; the importance of the Holocaust is we have to recognize evil is possible anytime‚ anywhere in the world.”

The exhibit‚ which is scheduled to open Nov. 9‚ will be located in the east hallway of the KSU Center and will be open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday‚ and 1 – 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. There is no charge to view the exhibit‚ however‚ there will be a donation box.

“Children need to be taught the importance of living in a diverse society and the repercussions when people aren’t able to do that‚” Karen Paonessa‚ foundation director‚ said. “We want visitors to understand it’s wrong to discriminate against someone because they’re different.”

Kennesaw State raised $64‚000 to secure the exhibit for three years‚ while development officials are working to raise another $1 million for collateral programming‚ including the creation of “Anne Frank trunks‚” that will be filled with Holocaust educational materials and sent to schools in rural Georgia.

Another aspect of the collateral programming will be lectures given by Holocaust survivors – including Schoenfeld – their children and concentration camp liberators.

“We the survivors are becoming fewer and fewer each year‚” Schoenfeld said. “There is nothing more powerful than for survivors to talk about their experience and their understanding of the human condition.”


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu