Anne Frank: a unique day in Wellington

June 20, 2022 by David Zwartz
Read on for article

A new memorial to Anne Frank has brought together a unique gathering of committed members of the Wellington community.

Boyd Klap (left) and Wellington Mayor Andy Foster. (Photo: Sarah Williams, Holocaust Centre of NZ)

A unique occasion. Bring together in a long-disused quarry a vigorous 95-year-old immigrant Dutchman who lived in the Netherlands during the Nazi German occupation and came to New Zealand in 1951, and his New Zealand-born Māori-speaking son; a Dutch design lecturer at a Wellington university; a respected leader of the local Māori tribe; the daughter and granddaughters of a Jewish refugee architect and composer who arrived in New Zealand in 1939; a Rabbi; half a dozen diplomats; the Mayor of Wellington, and about 70 hardy citizens; and a cold, driving rain.

A unique event. The memorial, designed by Matthijs Siljee, has been gifted the Māori name Anne Frank Memorial Parikōwhai, combining Pari for the steepness of the quarry’s walls with kōwhai for the 90 trees planted three years ago when the memorial was unveiled, on the day Anne Frank would have been celebrating her 90th birthday.

A unique person. Boyd Klap CNZM, was asked to strategise for the Anne Frank Exhibition’s tour of New Zealand, initially for three months. Thirteen years later he continues working on the tour of the second, updated, exhibition, with the first one still touring in Australia. It has been seen by 200,000 New Zealanders in 17 venues. He was also instrumental in getting Anne Frank’s Diary translated into Māori, published by the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand: Anne Frank Te Rātaka a Tētahi Kōhine.

A unique cross-cultural happening. After the unveiling of the sign, Mark Te One blessed the new name, followed by a Māori song from his two daughters, Annie and Miriama. Their mother, Mark’s wife Sarah, is the Jewish granddaughter of architect and composer Richard Fuchs who escaped Nazi Germany after incarceration in Dachau following Kristallnacht.Boyd’s son Arthur gave the customary response and song in Māori, and Israeli Rabbi Ariel Tal sang in Hebrew.

Uniquely Wellington. Mayor Andy Foster, standing in lashing rain, gave a heartfelt and moving address on the tragedy of the Holocaust for the Jewish people, the lessons it bears for today’s and future New Zealanders, his pride in the diversity and cultural cohesion of the country’s capital, and ended with praise and warm thanks to Boyd Klap, the instigator of all these uniquenesses.

After a successful career in insurance Boyd Klap

Arthur Boyd responding; Boyd Klap; Memorial designer Matthijs Siljee; Sarah, Mark, Miriama and Annie Te One. (Photo: Tom Rockman Arielly, Holocaust Centre of NZ)

helped develop a strategy for the Anne Frank exhibition, initially for three months, but 13 years later he is still working on it.

“I was asked if I could help and my heart was in it,” he said.

His work has included securing funding for the exhibition, organising tours and transport, contracts and venues. The exhibition has now toured to 17 venues in New Zealand and been seen by 200,000 people.


One Response to “Anne Frank: a unique day in Wellington”
  1. Zee Abrams says:

    So easy to love Anne Frank – People love dead Jews! Had Anne survived, she would have been in Israel fighting for independence and a Jewish home. New Zealand always votes against Israel at the U.N. and the prime minister falsely accused it of Apartheid. N.Z. is no friend of the Jewish people- don’t pretend it is!

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

Got something to say about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.