SUNDERLAND shoppers can learn about the life of World War II diarist, Anne Frank this week at a two-day exhibition ahead of international Holocaust Memorial Day on Sunday (27 January).

The Bridges shopping centre will host Anne Frank: A History for Today, on 25 and 26 January, brought by the Anne Frank Trust and organised by Sunderland’s Inter Faith Forum.

Made up of a selection of panels featuring historical sources, photographs and extracts from Anne’s famous diary, the display will tell the story of Anne’s life alongside the Nazi’s rise to power and the Holocaust, as well as the enduring message of optimism that can be found in her writing.

The two-day event will be located at the Bridges’ Central Square and will be opened at 10am on Friday (25 January) by the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Lynda Scanlan.

Andy Bradley, centre director at the Bridges, is delighted that the centre is involved.

“We are very grateful to have been asked to take part in this exhibition and I hope people will take the time to visit and reflect on Anne’s life and the experiences of many during that time,” said Andy.

“The Holocaust is an integral part of our history and it is vital that we educate ourselves, and future generations, on the events of the past.”

Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Lynda Scanlan, said: “This exhibition tells the story of Anne Frank and her famous diary which documented her life in hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands and is one of the most widely read books in the world.

“The exhibition is set against the background of the Holocaust and the Second World War, challenging visitors to think about the concepts of tolerance, mutual respect, human rights and democracy.”

Grace Dunne, North East regional manager of the Anne Frank Trust, is delighted to have the opportunity to bring the exhibition to Sunderland.

“Anne was an extraordinarily talented young woman, but she was also an ordinary teenager, with many of the same experiences and dreams as young people today.

“Visitors to the Bridges shopping centre will have the opportunity to learn about the Holocaust from the perspective of Anne and her family, and really grasp the human consequences of war and persecution.”