DANVILLE, Iowa (AP) — Eighth-graders in a southeast Iowa school are hoping to be sent 1.5 million postcards from around the world to help them remember Anne Frank and other children who died in the Holocaust.
Danville Junior/Senior High School students have been studying the Holocaust for several months and say they can relate to Anne Frank. In November, a Holocaust survivor spoke to the teenagers.
Frank was a Jewish teenager who kept a diary while hiding in Amsterdam during the Holocaust, during which 1.5 million children were killed. She died in a concentration camp, and her diary was published in 1947.
Frank collected postcards, so the students decided that collecting a card to represent each child who died was an appropriate way to remember the victims.
“We can relate to (Frank) because she is around our age,” said Rylee Molter, a student involved in the project. “She has the same feelings as girls our age, and she was a normal person.”
Organizers will send postcards featuring a picture of about 50 Danville students to Jewish people throughout the world and asking for postcards in return.
Returned postcards will be displayed at an Anne Frank exhibit at the Danville Museum.
Janet Hesler, a historian with the Danville Museum, has been involved in the project.
“I have a lot of addresses to start with,” Hesler said. “I've collected lots of addresses from different Jewish schools and Jewish federations. After we contact those groups, we will go to the regular schools.”
Reading teacher Cassandra Macans said students are eager to begin the project, but it likely won't be completed quickly.
“This is definitely a multiyear project,” she said. “The students can continue to roll this out for years to come.”
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