The Jewish Museum Frankfurt is undergoing a $58 million expansion that will showcase Anne Frank and her family’s history with the city, scheduled to open on October 21.
The Frank Family Center will be a key part of the museum’s new permanent exhibition, featuring family artefacts and artworks, some of which have never been publicly exhibited.
These include porcelain and silverware, which is “still very clean”, that surviving family members in Basel, Switzerland kept hold of throughout World War II.
“In a way, they kept the family heritage alive,” Mirjam Wenzel, the museum director, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency at a media event on Tuesday (August 25).
“They tried to keep alive certain traditions from when they lived here, and owned a huge house and a private bank.”
The expansion will highlight the Frank family’s connection to Frankfurt, where Anne Frank was born in 1929. Her diary was published in 1947.
Artefacts and artworks at the Frank Family Center
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Opened in 1988, the Jewish Museum Frankfurt’s latest expansion is funded largely by the city and includes a renovation of its original Rothschild Palais building.
It also involves the construction of a new facility featuring asymmetric architecture, more than 21,000 square feet of exhibition space, and an advanced website incorporating virtual viewing technology.
Wenzel said the new building will function as “an educational center for the promotion of democratic ideas and of tolerance”.
Sara Soussan, curator of contemporary Jewish cultures, said the Frank Family Center will be the only place in Germany with its own exhibit on the family.