A visit to Fort St Elmo will be even more meaningful than usual in the coming weeks, through an exhibition that provides insight into Anne Frank’s life, aptly named ‘Let Me Be Myself: The Life Story of Anne Frank’.
The exhibition, organised by the Tayar Foundation for Jewish Heritage in Malta in collaboration with the Anne Frank House of Amsterdam, is being held at different venues in Malta and Gozo. Before moving to Fort St Elmo, it was hosted by the University of Malta Valletta Campus and by the MCAST in Paola. Its next and final venue will be the museum ‘Il-Ħaġar’ in Rabat, Gozo. The exhibition will be at Fort St Elmo until 1st June.
It is primarily aimed at children and youths between the ages of 11 and 18, but people of all ages may feel affinity with the events that shaped Anne Frank’s life, as explained through photos, artefacts, videos and a model of the place where the young girl and her family hid from the Nazi. These cover Anne Frank’s short life from her birth in 1929 till her death in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.
Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt, Germany, of Jewish heritage. When she was four, the Nazi Party gained control of Germany and the family decided to move to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. As the Nazi persecution of the Jews increased, in July 1942 the family went into hiding in rooms concealed by a bookcase in the building where Anne’s father worked. The four members of the family stayed there for almost two years, till August 1944, when they were caught and sent to a concentration camp. Once there, the father was separated from his wife and daughters and never saw them again.
During the time spent in hiding, Anne Frank kept a diary in which she regularly expressed her thoughts and feelings through writing. When her father – the only surviving family member – returned to Amsterdam after the war, he found the diary and published it in 1947. It was a resounding success, translated into more than 70 languages and telling Anne Frank’s story to the world.
Fort St Elmo is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 9.00am and 4.30pm. The exhibition is included in the normal admission price.