Madame Tussauds in Berlin unveiled a wax figure of Anne Frank depicted sitting at her desk, pen in hand, smiling dreamily.
The unveiling took place last week amid some criticism about including a Holocaust victim at such an unserious location, according to the Bild Zeitung, Germany’s most popular daily. Others say that as long as there is information about the life and death of Anne Frank it is appropriate.
Anne died at age 15 at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp about a month before the camp’s liberation in April 1945. The best-known photographs snapped of the young diarist by her camera-happy father, Otto—the only immediate family member to survive the Holocaust—show young Anne smiling.
A museum spokeswoman, Nina Zerbe, told Bild Zeitung that the display includes information about Anne in German and English, and she is presented in the context of the room in which she hid.
“This is a three-dimensional history lesson for visitors,” Zerbe said.
The director of the Anne Frank Center in Berlin, Thomas Heppner, who attended the unveiling, praised the idea of bringing visitors closer to history through such displays.
The Berlin branch of Madame Tussauds has been criticized over the inclusion of other historical figures related to the Nazi period. In July 2008, one of the first visitors to the new museum, a 41-year-old Berlin man, lunged past guards and lopped off the head of the Hitler figure. The figure, which depicts a defeated Hitler, was repaired and is now behind glass.