Icons play a key role in our culture of remembrance, but what do we know about the function of icons and the mechanisms underpinning this? With the help of speakers with an academic background, the Anne Frank House wished to deepen and broaden our understanding of the phenomenon of the icon and its manifestations with regard to Anne Frank.
The significance of Anne Frank
The symposium ‘Icons and Anne Frank’ focused on questions such as “What position does Anne Frank occupy in the world of the icon?”, “Can Anne Frank be both a Jewish and a universal icon?”, “Why is Anne Frank’s significance as a worldwide icon so great, and why is this significance simultaneously downplayed?”, “What consequences does iconisation have for the significance of Anne Frank?” and “What can we expect in the coming years, especially the 100th anniversary of Anne Frank’s birth in 2029?”.
- Introduction by Ronald Leopold MA, executive director, Anne Frank House.
- Lecture: ‘Modern Icons, their past and their future’ by Dr Ann Rigney, Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Utrecht.
- Lecture: ‘Anne Frank as a Jewish Icon’ by Dr Jeffrey Shandler, Professor of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University, New Jersey, editor of the book Anne Frank Unbound.
- Panel discussion: ‘Icons and Anne Frank’, with Dr Ann Rigney, Dr Jeffrey Shandler, Dr Yra van Dijk, Dr Ernst Hirsch Ballin and Dr Frank van Vree, chaired by Maria Henneman.
- Discussion with the audience.
The speakers contributed valuable answers and insights on icons in general and the iconisation of Anne Frank in particular. The Anne Frank House is extremely grateful to the speakers for their contributions.