Anne Frank commemorated on her 90th birthday
Wednesday would have been Anne Frank's 90th birthday. The Jewish Dutch girl, whose name and diary have become a symbol for the atrocities committed in the Second World War and the call for an end to anti-Semitism and prejudice, was commemorated in various ways throughout the world.
Two of Anne's classmates, 89-year-old Albert Gomes de Mesquita and 90-year-old Jacqueline van Maarsen, spent the day at Anne's former home on Merwedeplein 37-2 in Amsterdam. There they spoke to school children of various ages, RTL Nieuws reports.
The two classmates also visited the home on Anne's 13th birthday in 1942, three weeks before the Frank family was forced to go into hiding in the Achterhuis. On that birthday Anne received her first diary, in which she wrote letters to an imaginary friend Kitty. Anne's father Otto, the only one of the Frank family to survive the war, later published her diary under the title De Achterhuis. Anne's writings have since been translated into over 70 languages, with millions of copies published all over the world, according to the United Nations.
The United Nations commemorated Anne Frank on what would have been her 90th birthday, by planting a tree at the UN headquarters in New York. The tree is a sapling that descended from the horse chestnut tree that grew outside the Amsterdam attic in which the Frank family hid for two years before they were betrayed, the UN said in a statement. The sapling was donated to the United Nations by the Anne Frank Center for Mutual respect.
The Anne Frank Foundation and Google also teamed up to pay tribute to the Dutch girl. The house on Merwedeplein can now be explored online, through Google Street View.
Housing corporation Ymere bought the home on Merwedeplein in 2004 and restored it in cooperation with the Anne Frank Foundation, according to RTL. The Dutch Foundation for Literature started renting the house in 2005. Since then it's served as accommodations for foreign writers who can not work freely in their own country. The Anne Frank Foundation took over ownership of the house in 2016.