Anna Frank’s influence on Nelson Mandela portrayed by 97-year-old artist
Mandela read Anne Frank’s Diary during his long imprisonment in Robben Island and he said that the book gave him strength.
By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
Michael Italiaander has been a unique witness to the events of the past century. Born in 1923 in London from Dutch parents, Italiaander started to paint as a toddler and never stopped. When the Anne Frank Trust UK decided to commission the creation of a piece of artwork depicting the influence that the young Jewish girl’s diary had on legendary South-African leader Nelson Mandela, the organization chose him.The result is an explosion of colors where an anguished Mandela sitting in prison thinks of Anne writing her diary, while in the background a multitude of prisoners march by a barbed fence.“Whatever the level of Racism, whether turning people into murderers or just, a lesser ‘mild’ racism, it is all unacceptable,” Italiaander said in a statement.“Hatred of the way that God made us, is totally wicked. God produced a variety of people, of animals, of plant life, of weather. After all, if there was no wind, seeds would just drop instead of being scattered in all directions. That is just one of the incredible gifts given to us but, like all gifts, it’s how we use them. Being descent to one another is not difficult. In fact, there is nothing like it to make us feel good!” he added.According to the statement, during the Second World War, the artist was employed to create paintings that recorded wartime missions for the Ministry of Information, before serving in the 8th army in the Middle East. Over the course of his career, he worked as an illustrator and creative director for several advertising agencies.Mandela read Anne Frank’s Diary during his long imprisonment in Robben Island and he said that the book gave him strength.