Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali has said Bangladeshi children went through too much pain and suffering during the Liberation War in 1971 like the Holocaust victim Anne Frank.
He was addressing as the chief guest the inaugural ceremony of ‘Anne Frank, A History for Today’, an international travelling exhibition, at the Liberation War Museum in the capital on Saturday.He said the struggling story of Anne, a Jewish girl who went into hiding during the Holocaust to escape the persecution by the Nazis during the Second World War, is still followable for peace-loving people across the world.
Like her, Bangladeshi children and teenagers also suffered appalling pains during the country’s Liberation War, he continued.
The foreign minister said the exhibition on the diary of Anne Frank will inspire and unite the people of Bangladesh and that such exhibitions should be held outside the capital too.
Citing even after 70 years of her death, Anne is still very much relevant; he said the girl has been well-known in Bangladesh for her suffering, sacrifice and diary.
“Even our school-goers also know her story,” he added.
The exhibition is jointly supported by the Netherlands embassy in Dhaka along with the Bangladesh embassy in the Netherlands, the Liberation War Museum (Dhaka), Counter Foto (Dhaka) and Anne Frank, the Netherlands.Ambassador of the Netherlands to Bangladesh Leoni Margaretha Cuelenaere, Bangladesh ambassador to Netherlands Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Ziauddin Tariq Ali and Dr Sarwar Ali, trustees of the Liberation War Museum, and Priya Masudo, Amsterdam Anne Frank House representative, also spoke at the inaugural ceremony, among others.
In his speech, Belal said Anne described humanity and peace in his diary and thanked organisers for holding the show.
Leoni Cuelenaere said the present world has been witnessing terrorism and hatred which are tolerable in no way.
“Anne Frank can provide us with inspiration to follow the path of peace,” Leoni continued. Tariq Ali said the Liberation War Museum has been established to spread peace, not to promote war.
Sarwar Ali said Rohingya children have also been suffering persecution in Rakhine state for their religious identity like Anne Frank.
Bangladesh has set up extraordinary example of humanity by hosting them, he maintained.
Priya Masudo said Hitler conducted unspeakable persecutions on Anne and her family in 1944.
The Nazis killed around six million Jews in Germany and today’s Rohingyas are not different from then Jews, she added. Sima Akter, a student of Mirpur Pathshala, read out the diary of Anne on the occasion.
The week-long exhibition, a project of the Anne Frank House, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, will remain open until January 27.
The exhibition places the story of the life of Anne Frank against the background of the Holocaust, with extracts from the diary of Anne Frank and photos of the Frank family forming a unifying theme.