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January 2013 / Bronx/​Riverdale Family / Brooklyn Family / Long Island Family / Manhattan Family / Queens Family / Staten Island Family

The story of Anne’s diary

The story behind Anne Frank’s diary rising from reject pile to best seller — with more than 30 million copies sold worldwide — is a fascinating one, filled with serendipitous events.

More than 60 years after Frank’s father published, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” in Amsterdam in the summer of 1947, it has become the world’s best-known memoir of the Holocaust.

“The founder of the Anne Frank House, Otto Frank, the only person of the group in hiding at Prinsengracht 263 which survived the Holocaust, lived in Manhattan as a young man. His friend, Nathan Strauss, invited him to work in his family’s department store company, Macy’s,” says Simons.

The ties between Otto Frank and New York were strengthened in 1959 when he founded the American Friends of the Anne Frank House, based in Manhattan. He lived in Switzerland at the time. This organization was incorporated in 1977 as the Anne Frank Center U.S.A. and has been a 501(c) three nonprofit since that time.

“Anne delivered a strong, core message: justice comes from personal commitment. Strong communities are built from strong individuals. Anne Frank encourages individual consciousness and action,” says Levin.

Simons feels that Frank’s writing was wise beyond her years, and her words and thinking can be applied to questions all of us have, making the application of her words ageless.

“One message rings clearly in ‘The Diary if a Young Girl’ — individual character and consciousness are keys to halting intolerance and hatred,” she says.

Additional programs at the center will focus on women journalists covering war and recovery from war correspondents, scholars, and diplomats engaged in peacemaking initiatives, and young people making a difference in the world.

“I still believe, in spite of everything that people are truly good at heart,” Frank wrote.

All programs are open to the public, with a modest admission charge that includes touring the museum.

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