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University of South Carolina chosen as Anne Frank House partner site

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The University of South Carolina has been selected as the only North American partner site of the Anne Frank House, becoming one of four such sites in the world to offer a permanent exhibition and educational program in partnership with the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. 

The Anne Frank Center, located in the Barringer House, tells the story of the young Jewish girl who documented her family’s two years of hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam during World War II in journals later published as The Diary of a Young Girl. Beginning next month, visitors can take guided tours through the exhibit, which features photos, videos, quotes and original artifacts to illustrate the Frank family’s experience.    
 

“As the fourth partner site of the Anne Frank House, we have a responsibility to share Anne’s life and legacy,” Doyle Stevick, executive director of the center and a College of Education professor, said in a news release from the University of South Carolina. “We hope that visitors to the Anne Frank Center will recognize our common humanity and appreciate our differences. We hope this is a starting place and that it will inspire people to continue to learn about the dangers of prejudice and discrimination and to recognize that we have the ability to stand up and make a difference.”  
 

The Frank family and four other people hid from the Nazis for 761 days, from July 6, 1942 to Aug. 4, 1944, before being discovered and sent to concentration camps, with only Anne’s father, Otto, surviving. Otto Frank later published Anne’s diary, which has been translated into more than 70 languages.  
 

The other official partner sites are in Berlin, London and Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam also cooperates with additional organizations to share its mission globally through traveling exhibits, workshops, educational programs and teaching materials.  
 

“We've been working with an excellent group of people at the University of South Carolina – excellent Holocaust scholars and educators who share our mission – and that's actually the reason why we have chosen South Carolina to become our fourth partner,” said Ronald Leopold, executive director of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. “I want to thank the center’s executive director, Doyle Stevick, and Interim President Harris Pastides, whose commitment helped us to bring to reality our dream of this beautiful center to spread Anne’s message all over North America.”  
 

Stevick has worked extensively with the Anne Frank House since 2013. Through that partnership, the College of Education tours six exhibits about the life and times of Anne Frank in S.C. schools and nationwide. Those traveling exhibits will increase, according to the news release, and will continue to be used for educational programs and peer-guided training.  
 

Pastides, interim university president, also developed a relationship with Leopold, which led to a 2018 visit to the Columbia campus and eventually to the location of the Anne Frank Center at the university.  

 

“When my children were young, my wife and I took them to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, and I can remember the feeling of hallowed ground when we entered,” Pastides said. “We toured the home, learned the story and felt what it must been like for that young girl and her family. Today, you can have that experience at the Anne Frank Center at the University of South Carolina. It’s a gallery, a museum, a learning place and a beautiful garden for contemplation.”  
 

The Anne Frank Center is operated through a combination of funding from the Anne Frank House; the university; fund-raising, donations and grants; and training, rental and visitor fees.  
 

For more information about the Anne Frank Center, visit sc.edu/annefrankcenter. Tours of the center can be scheduled beginning Sept. 15 by contacting AFCUOFSC@sc.edu. 

Reach Melinda Waldrop at 803-726-7542.

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