The formal kickoff for a comprehensive series of Holocaust-themed programs in the Quad Cities this fall will be on Sept. 1.

The Putnam Museum & Science Center (1717 W. 12th St., Davenport) will display “Anne Frank: A History for Today” at the museum through Oct. 30, 2022, starting with a private opening reception Sept. 1, opening to the public Sept. 2.

The traveling exhibit brings to life the famous story of the young Jewish girl who – in the pages of her world-renowned diary – documented two years of hiding in German-occupied Amsterdam during World War II. By sharing Anne’s legacy with visitors, students, and teachers, this exhibit seeks to “inspire our commitment to never be bystanders but instead to stand up together against antisemitism, bigotry, and inequality wherever they may exist today,” according to the Putnam website.

“The Diary of a Young Girl” — written by Anne Frank (1929-1945) during the two years her family hid from the Nazis — has been translated into over 70 languages and is the basis of many plays and films.

The exhibit developed by the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam has been embellished with artifacts on loan from the Illinois Holocaust Museum. These artifacts include a concentration camp uniform, a flashlight used by guards in Theresienstadt, and a yellow Star of David patch.

An invitation-only ribbon-cutting and reception will take place at the Putnam on Thursday, Sept. 1. The invited speakers are:

  • Harold Kasimow — A Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at Grinnell College, Kasimow and his family survived 19 months living in a pit under the stable of a Christian family in Poland during the Holocaust.
  • Ralph Troll — German child survivor of the Holocaust and professor emeritus at Augustana College.
  • Jeno Berta, Sr. — Davenport resident whose family, at great risk, sheltered a Jewish family in Hungary during the Holocaust.
  • Don Bein — World War II U.S. Army Veteran who was an eyewitness to the horrors of the Holocaust.

The Anne Frank exhibit admission is included in the price of general admission, which is $9 for adults, $8 for youth (ages 3-18), seniors, college students and military. Through the Putnam’s Museums for All program, admission is $1 per person for households with the presentation of an EBT card. Admission is free for members.

Anne in May 1942, two months before her family went into hiding.

This exhibit was made possible with support from the Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities, Scott County Regional Authority, Regional Development Authority, Rauch Family Foundation II, Inc., KWQC, and the Joyce and Tony Singh Family Foundation.

GAHC seeks poems, plans programs

Davenport’s German-American Heritage Center (2nd and Gaines streets) is among many other QC organizations involved in the area-wide “Out of Darkness: Holocaust Messages for Today” series.

Several QC-area organizations are partnering to present Holocaust-themed programs this fall. For a full schedule, visit www.outofdarknessqc.com.

Among the GAHC events will be:

  • Sept. 24, 2022: Book discussion led By Michael Hustedde — “Sophie Scholl” and “The White Rose” by Annette Dunbach and Jud Newborn will be discussed in this 90-minute session. “The White Rose” movement was a powerful example of youthful resistance to the Nazi regime. The group was run by students at the University of Munich who distributed leaflets and used graffiti to decry Nazi crimes and the political system, while calling for resistance to the Nazi state and the war.
  • Oct. 1, 2022-Nov. 13, 2022: Witness To The Holocaust: The Mattes Family Letters — This exhibit shares the story of Markus and Anna Mattes, a Polish Jewish couple who moved to Mainz, Germany, in 1908 to raise their family. Through family pictures, documents, maps, and first-hand accounts in letters written by members of the Mattes family, we learn of the couple’s witness to the beginnings of the Holocaust, and their desperate attempts to escape Nazi Germany and join their children who found a home in the Quad Cities. These attempts, which ultimately failed, are haunting and echo the experience of many Jewish families during this time. The story of the Mattes family, as told through their own words from 1938-1941, honors the memory of those who did not survive.
  • Oct. 2, 2022-Feb. 12, 2023: “The White Rose: Student Resistance” — This exhibit (which was at GAHC in 2012) tells stories of the White Rose student resistance group that was active in Munich in 1942-43.
  • Oct. 21, 2022: Jud Newborn presentation — He will deliver a talk to the public as well as engage in a student discussion. Newborn is a New York-based lecturer, author, historian and cultural anthropologist. He specializes in anti-Semitism, extremist movements and the fight for freedom.
  • Oct. 30, 2022: Musical duet performance — Members of the Mattes family will be performing selections from Jewish composers on piano and cello. This complements the exhibit “Witness to the Holocaust: The Mattes Family Letters,” that tells the story of the Mattes family, through their own words from 1938-1941, in honor of those who did not survive.

The GAHC also is hosting a poetry contest for students ages 13-20. The theme must relate to the idea of “resistance” in some way. Poems must not exceed 5 minutes in length when spoken. The GAHC will choose 10 poems to be included in the poetry slam on Oct. 2. All 10 selections will receive $100 as a reward.

Works may be submitted to poetry@gahc.org by Sept. 10th to be considered. Poets are free to submit multiple works but only one will be chosen per entrant.

The Putnam exhibit Anne Frank: A History for Today is sponsored in North America by the University of South Carolina and the Anne Frank Center; it was developed by the Anne Frank House. It is part of the regional series of events, “Out of Darkness: Holocaust Messages for Today.”

For more information and a complete schedule of events, click HERE.