The Anne Frank House Museum launched a graphic novel version of the teenage Jewish diarist’s biography on Friday, hoping to bring her story and death in a Nazi concentration camp to a wider audience.
Spokeswoman Annemarie Bekker said the publication is aimed at teenagers who might not otherwise read Anne Frank’s diary, already the most widely read document to emerge from the Holocaust.
“Not everyone will read the diary,” she said. “The one doesn’t exclude the other.”
Using the style of comic books to illustrate serious historical topics, even genocide, is not new. “Maus,” Art Spiegelman’s graphic biography of his father, a survivor of the Auschwitz death camp, won a special Pulitzer Prize in 1992.
The Anne Frank biography, authorised by the museum, is a collaboration between American author Sid Jacobson and artist Ernest Colon. They also co-produced a best-selling graphic novel, The 9/11 Commission Report.
Publisher Hill & Wang will launch the graphic narrative in the U.S. later this month and MacMillan in Britain in the fall. Translations in German, French and Italian also are planned.
Ms. Bekker said the biography would be included with classroom teaching materials about World War II. The museum decided to commission the work after the success of a similar educational project, The Search, about a fictional family in hiding.
Anne Frank wrote the diary from her 13th birthday shortly before her family went into hiding from the Nazis, and during the two years she and her family remained in a concealed apartment in Amsterdam. It was published after the war by her father Otto Frank, the only survivor. Anne Frank died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.