Know-How: Amsterdam Anne Frank

Heidi wrote on 27th August 2003:

I recently came across an Anne Frank ceramic in my mother's belongings. Can anyone tell me about it?

Stephen from Hazle Ceramics replied:

The Anne Frank ceramic is a very special piece. When Hazle first started the business over 17 years ago, she visited the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam and was very moved by what she saw there. She took photos of the building and modelled it as the first practice piece for the production of "A Nation of Shopkeepers"  At that time the piece was not released. In 1995, to commemorate the 50th Annversary of the end of the war, Hazle produced a limited number of the Anne Frank piece for the Collectors' Club only.  Each piece sold helped us donate money to the "Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture" in London. The ceramic and its story are featured in Issue 3 of High Street News. (The text is reproduced below.)

Anne Frank's House Amsterdam Anne Frank's House

From Marilyn: A photo of 263 Prinsengracht taken by Martyn visiting with his family in April 2008. Otto Frank ran his fruit pectin business Opekta at the front of this canal house. It opened as a museum in 1960 and the original frontage was restored later. Expanded in 1971 and 1999, steps on the right lead to the museum today. The cafe left helped the campaign to save the sick horse chestnut tree Anne could see. Sadly it fell down in high winds on 23rd August 2010.

Heidi replied:

Thanks so much for the information on the Anne Frank piece. I have fallen in love with my mother's collection of Hazles! They are all so beautiful (and addicting) that I have started my own collection... darn it!

From Marilyn:

Anne Frank's Tree as Formerly Seen from the Annex

Anne Frank Tree

This photo is courtesy of where you can place a virtual leaf to say Anne Frank has inspired you. The tree is mentioned three times in The Diary of a Young Girl. On 23 February 1944 Anne wrote:

"Nearly every morning I go to the attic to blow the stuffy air out of my lungs, from my favorite spot on the floor I look up to the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, and at the seagulls and other birds as they glide on the wind. As long as this exists, I thought, and I may live to see it, this sunshine, the cloudless skies, while this lasts I cannot be unhappy."

Anne Frank and Hollywood
"This is a photo as I would wish myself to look all the time. Then I would maybe have a chance to come to Hollywood."

Anne Frank 10 October 1942

The Museum still has the pictures of people she cut out of magazines, such as movie stars. In the saddest way imaginable Anne did eventually "come to Hollywood". This quote written at 14 years moves me to tears:

"There is a destructive urge in people, the urge to rage, murder and kill. And until all of humanity, without exception, undergoes a metamorphosis, wars will continue to be raged, and everything that has been carefully built up, cultivated and grown will be cut down and destroyed, only to start all over again!"
Anne Frank

From Hazle:

High Street News
Issue No 3 - Spring 1995

I am sure you are very aware that this year is the 50th Anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. VE Day is the 8th May. To commemorate this event and in remembrance of the victims of this tragic time in our history, I have released a special Collectors' Club piece with particular significance for me.

In October 1988 I visited Amsterdam and on this trip went to the Anne Frank Museum. This is the 17th Century building in Prinsengracht, where Otto Frank, a manufacturer and wholesaler of jams, pectins and spices converted the annex of his firm, Travies & Co, into a hiding place where he hid his family for two years from the "razias" (round-ups) of Jewish families, during the Second World War.

The remarkable story of this family's attempt to hide from the Nazis was able to be told because the daughter Anne kept a diary, which was saved when the family was seized and taken to the death camps at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, where all except Mr Frank died. The Anne Frank Diaries have been published in 50 languages and countries, and a play and movie have been made. Millions of people have visited the Museum and, like me, have sat very still on that seat downstairs afterwards, in silent turmoil.

When I returned from my visit, I discovered a book written by Miep Gies, called "Anne Frank Remembered". Miep helped the Franks and their friends to stay hidden, finding them food, bringing them information etc. I often wonder if, under similar circumstances, I would behave as bravely. I also wonder what injustices, on my doorstep, I am managing not to see.

Anyway, inspired by this story and with a deep sense of feeling for the plight of those Jews, on Remembrance Day 1988, I created the Anne Frank Building and entitled it "The Hiding Place". The building was an experimental piece and the first one to be cast by the process I use in the business today. So it is very important to me, for both reasons. It therefore seemed appropriate that, with the 50th Anniversary of VE Day and the celebration of one year of the Collectors Club, I released a piece of historical significance exclusively for club members.

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