In the children’s section of the Stoughton library, just above the “D” section, a tribute to Anne Frank adorns the walls.
The exhibit, meant to run later in the year was bumped up as a dedication to former Courier Hub reporter Amber Levenhagen, who died in a car accident Aug. 9.
Residents at the memory care Magnolia Gardens facility helped make that tribute, titled, “To our children’s children,” which is made with newspaper clippings, family pictures and Hollywood stars to tell the story of the 15 year old Holocaust victim.
Although both Frank and Levenhagen died too young, they live on with their writing, Michael Hecht, assistant director of leisure services at Skaalen Nursing and Rehabilitation Center said.
“(Amber) spoke to the people,” he said. “She was just a natural with what journalism can do and the power of words and pictures.”
Hecht talked about the importance of memoirs, biographies even the stories from a local reporter can have widespread impact.
In the exhibit, you’ll notice there are no pictures of concentration camps, or malnourished survivors. The photos focus on Frank’s early life when she loved Hollywood movie stars and enjoyed family life with her sister, mother and father.
Anne Frank died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945. Her father, Otto Frank, the only known survivor of the family, published her diary after World War II ended.
Like many other of Hecht’s projects, he said he wanted the people at Magnolia Gardens who are living with dementia, Alzheimer’s and memory loss to participate in the exhibit. People at Magnolia Gardens and other residents at the Skaalen home were touched by Levenhagen, Hecht said.
“(Levenhagen’s) legacy is still here, like Anne Franks,” Hecht said. “They both left a powerful legacy in so short of a time. That is overall the grace that you take away, they left their mark – and not many people get to do that.”