‘Otto Frank aanbad Anne al voor haar dood’

De New York Times bespreekt vandaag de tentoonstelling van foto’s die Otto Frank maakte van zijn dochters Anne en Margot. Die is deze zomer in Foam te zien, maar in juli ook in de New-Yorkse galerie Kraushaar.
Recensente Roberta Smith zoekt naar aanwijzingen in de foto’s die verklaren hoe Anne Frank zo’n goede schrijfster werd. Maar die vindt ze niet:
‘In other words, the images are slippery. You may find yourself alternating between uncomfortable conclusions. For example you can feel one minute that the Franks’ private life is being needlessly exploited and the next that the viewer is being manipulated by glimpses of a fairy-tale life in Frankfurt. They make Anne’s fate seem even more horrible, if that’s possible, by casting her life in the classic Hollywood extremes of safety and violence, luxury and want.

In addition the Finzi-Contini aura of these images cuts both ways. Otto and Edith loved their girls so much that they maintained the courage of their family conventions and the semblance of normalcy practically until the family went into hiding in June 1942.

Anne’s diary was written in a fabric-covered (red and white check) journal that she picked out as a birthday present. (A remarkably convincing facsimile is included in this show.) At the same time there is something almost stifling about the persistent cheer of these images. One can assume that those from 1941 were taken by a man who knew he should have moved his family to Switzerland, where his mother and brothers had fled, when he still had the chance.

After his death Otto was criticized for idealizing Anne’s image, for editing the diary to soften her interest in sex, her perception of her parents’ weak marriage and her hatred of the Germans. This show suggests that Otto’s idealization began long before Anne’s death.’

• Lees in de New York Times: Shadows Cast by a Loving Father and the Holocaust

• Eerder op PhotoQ: Anne Frank en familie in Foam