Special Anne Frank exhibits top Jewish Book Fair


If young Anne Frank had survived the Holocaust, she would have celebrated her 80th birthday on June 12, 2009. In honor of Anne’s life, her literary work and her contributions to the world, the 15th Annual San Diego Jewish Book Fair will remember her through three exhibitions at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, 4126 Executive Drive, La Jolla, through Nov. 12.

The centerpiece of the commemoration will be “Prose and Smith in Conversation,” with authors Francine Prose and Dr. Stephen D. Smith discussing their works on Frank and the Holocaust in general, at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11.

Prose explores Anne’s diary as a deliberate work of art, as well as a historical record, in “Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife.” In June 1942, Anne’s now world-renowned 13th birthday present was a red-and-white-checked diary. A few weeks later, Anne and her family went into hiding from the Nazis in an Amsterdam attic above her father’s former business. For the next two years, she crafted a memoir accounting the unfolding events of World War II, until the Gestapo raided her family’s hiding place in August 1944.

Prose appears with Smith, the recently appointed director of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, created by Steven Spielberg to record the stories of Holocaust survivors for future generations. Smith’s book “Making Memory: Creating Britain’s First Holocaust Centre” recounts his family’s personal story vis-à-vis the Holocaust.

There will also be three exhibits for book fair guests to explore:

  • “Inside Anne Frank’s House,” an interactive model of the Frank hideaway.
  • “As Seen Through the Dream of a San Diego Teenager,” Holocaust artifacts collected by Zachary Kucinski, 13, of Del Mar. Zachary’s collection includes the uniform of a prisoner at Auschwitz, a woman’s prison dress, yellow stars and other Jewish identification markers, a Nazi camera and some of the photos it took, a book of regulations from Bulgaria during its Nazification, and an original canister that held the Zyklon B used to gas Jews and other prisoners to death.
  • “The Family I Never Knew,” art of Ardyn Halter addressing the Shoah from the point of view of the second generation. His paintings and illuminated Judaica have become collectors’ items.

There is an admission fee for some presentations, but the Jewish Book Fair, Family Day and most guest lectures are free and open to the public. For more details, call the JCC Box Office at (858) 362-1348 or visit