The Anne Frank + You multimedia exhibition at Louth County Libraries Roden Place Dundalk is something everyone should visit, if only to remind us of the precious gift of life and of freedom.
As Cllr Declan Breathnach, cathaoirleach Louth County Council, said at the opening of the exhibition, the Diary of Anne Frank has had a huge impact on school curriculums in the UK and he looks forward to seeing it make the same impact here.
This remarkable exhibition recreates the life of Anne Frank and her family, Jews who hid from Nazis for over two years - 1942 to 1944 - in a secret part of a house on the Prinsengracht canal in Amsterdam, a place now known as Anne Frank House which is visited by about a million people every year.
Anne Frank died a day before her sixteenth birthday. The family had been betrayed and taken to Auschwitz on the last train to transport Jewish people out of Holland to the concentration camps.
She and her sister Margot were transported from Auschwitz at the end of October 1944 and taken to Bergen-Belsen, a concentration camp near Hanover.
That winter a typhus epidemic broke out at the camp killing thousands of prisoners. Margot died of typhoid in late February 1945 and Anne a few days later. The camp was liberated in April.
It was an agonising, horrific death. The girls were starving. Their clothes crawling with lice. And they were virtually insane.
Just one thing was left behind when the family was taken from the house on the Prinsengracht canal. A small book full of Anne’s neat, minute handwriting.
A facsimile of the diary can be seen at the Dundalk exhibition, in the recreated room were Anne slept, the teenager’s room where she had ordinary teenager’s hopes and dreams, as is shown by the pin-up photos of film stars. It was here she dreamed of the outside. This is an exhibition well worth a visit.