Unions remember Anne Frank at Caterpillar plant

Anne Frank. Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images
Anne Frank. Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images
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AN exhibition which offers an insight into the life of Anne Frank is making a return.

Last year, Caterpillar, in Peterlee, hosted the Anne Frank: A History for Today in its staff canteen.

Now the display, created by the Anne Frank Trust and trade unions including the Northern TUC, has been put up again in the plant’s learning centre, with the firm inviting schools, community groups and residents to visit.

The pictures, document and video offer people an insight into what life was like for the girl and her family, who hid as Fascism swept through Europe during the Second World War.

They chart the rise of the Nazis and the persecution of Jewish people, which forced the Frank family to flee their home in Germany before the start of the war and take refuge in Holland, chronicled in Anne’s diaries.

All but Anne’s father Otto died in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945, only weeks before it was liberated by British troops.

Beth Farhat, Northern TUC regional secretary, said: “This moving exhibition covers a wide range of issues and challenges that are still relevant in today’s society – nearly 70 years after the end of the Second World War.

“Staff and visitors can gain a greater understanding of what we can all do to prevent the rise of prejudice and discrimination in our own communities and workplaces.”

Phil Handley, managing director at Caterpillar, in Peterlee, said: “We must learn from history and not allow humanity to repeat these horrors. I hope visitors to this exhibition are moved to reflect on their own biases.”

Grahame Morris, MP for Easington, added: “The Anne Frank exhibition will be an invaluable insight into what life was like when racism, hatred, and discrimination took over the political discourse. It is easy to dismiss these issues as problems of the past, but there are those who continue to seek to stir up racial hatred and discrimination within our own communities.”

The exhibition is available to view by appointment. Contact Greg Robson via email, robson_gregory_j@cat.com, or by calling 569 2470.