Anne Frank in 1940.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Had the Holocaust never happened, Anne Frank could have turned 90 on June 12. To honor the occasion, a marathon reading of her well-known diary will take place in Campo di Ghetto Novo, the main square of Venice’s Ghetto.
Ninety people, as many as the years she would have celebrated, will take turns reading the whole volume in the Italian translation over several hours.
All participants, including religious and political leaders, prominent scholars, athletes and artists, will each read five to six pages of the book.
Born in Frankfurt in 1929, Anne Frank grew up in Amsterdam, to where her family moved when Hitler took power in Germany. After the Nazis occupied the Netherlands, the Franks went into hiding. They were discovered and arrested in 1944. Anne, her sister Margot and their mother did not survive the death camps.
The diary that she had kept from her 13th birthday to the day of her arrest was first published in 1947 and is considered one of the most powerful pieces of literature about the Holocaust.
The event, “90 voices for Anne Frank,” has been promoted by the Italian writer Matteo Corradini.
The local office of the Council of Europe, the city’s Jewish Community and Museum, the University of Venice “Ca’ Foscari” and the Associazione Figli della Shoah (Holocaust Children Association) are among the organizers.
The reading will be broadcast live by the Italian national public radio, Radio Rai.
“It will be as if each reader represents a candle of a birthday that we will never be able to celebrate,” Corradini told the local Catholic online magazine Gente Veneta. “Each reader will embody a wish, a dream and the aspiration for a happy future.”
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