New York - Anne Frank Center Opens New Downtown Exhibit

The first phase of the Anne Frank Center USA opened to the public Thursday, giving visitors an up-close look at her family's story.

The center, located at 44 Park Place, retells the young girl's story using a number of interactive exhibits with excerpts from her diary and a collection of photographs.

The audio-visual components of the exhibit give visitors a simulated look inside the home where Frank's family went into hiding.

"Our mission which is really about raising the awareness of intolerance, all kinds of intolerance, is something that is very, very palatable in this space," said Anne Frank Center USA Executive Director Yvonne Simons.

"It gives children the feeling of what it means to be taken away from a normal society and try and live and hope for another normal society," said Holocaust survivor Jack Polak.

Anne received the diary for her 13th birthday just weeks before her Jewish family went into hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam in 1942. After two years, they were found and taken away.

Anne later died at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Only her father, Otto Frank, survived.

After the war, he found the diary and had it published, touching generations of readers.

Otto Frank also founded the Anne Frank Center USA 35 years ago, using his daughter as a role model.

"Anne realized she was a victim, but she turned it into her life as a resistor. Going into hiding is an act of resistance, but writing her diary was an act of resistance," said Anne Frank Center USA Director of Education Maureen McNeil.

The second phase of the exhibit is set to open this summer.

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