Officials in Edmonton unveil the first sculpture of Anne Frank in Canada. (photo by John Stobbe/Dutch Canadian Centre)
On Aug. 8, 2021, officials in Edmonton unveiled the first sculpture of Anne Frank anywhere in Canada. The world’s newest memorial to her – a life-sized bronze sculpture gifted by the Dutch Canadian Club, based in Alberta – now sits in a park in Edmonton. It is a replica of one that stands in Utrecht, Netherlands.
The unveiling marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Holland in the Second World War, and gives thanks to the Canadian soldiers who freed their country from Nazi Germany in 1945. But there’s a second meaning behind the timing – and it’s a strange coincidence. On this August weekend, 77 years ago, Nazis raided the secret annex in Amsterdam, where Frank and her family had been hiding for nearly two years, and arrested them. A few days later, they were sent to the Westerbork transit camp and, later, they would be shipped to Auschwitz.
On the Aug. 9 CJN Daily Podcast (ellinbessner.com/the-cjn-daily-podcast), readers can hear from the people who pushed for the statue and raised $75,000 to create and erect it, as well as from Gillian Horwitz, who runs Holocaust programming for the Jewish Federation of Edmonton, and Steve Shafir, the federation’s president, who were at the unveiling ceremony in person.
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