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Graphic account of Anne Frank story set for debut

By Paul Armstrong, CNN
  • Anne Frank and her family spent two years in hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam
  • They were eventually betrayed and sent to concentration camps
  • Anne Frank House Museum decided on graphic illustration to appeal to wider audience
  • 160-page book the work of American creative team responsible for work on account of 9/11

(CNN) -- A graphic "comic-book" version of a biography documenting the tragic life of Jewish diarist Anne Frank during the Second World War was launched Friday.

Age 13, Anne and her family were forced to go into hiding in Amsterdam to avoid persecution from the occupying Nazi forces. During the Franks' two-year incarceration in a concealed apartment, Anne penned a diary that charted the family's perilous existence right up until the moment they were betrayed and arrested.

According to the Anne Frank House Museum in Amsterdam, "The life of Anne Frank, the graphic biography," uses cartoon drawings as well as text to cover Anne's story, making connections between her life in hiding and important historical events during this period.

Spokesperson Annemarie Bekker told CNN the museum had previously published two fictional comic-style books set during the Holocaust that were particularly successful in schools in the Netherlands.

Official Anne Frank Channel

This prompted them to give Anne Frank's story the same treatment using photographs of the family and the people that aided them from the museum.

This graphic book is a new way of telling the story and attracting new audiences.
--Annemarie Bekker

"Not everyone has read Anne Frank's diary," she said. "The mission of the museum is to make the life story of Anne Frank accessible to as large an audience as possible, especially the younger generations.

"So this graphic book is a new way of telling the story and attracting new audiences."

Following their arrest, the Franks family was sent to concentration camps in the east, with Anne and her sister Margot eventually being transferred to Bergen-Belsen in northern Germany where they died.

Their father, Otto, was the only member of the family to survive the war, and he eventually returned to Amsterdam where he was given Anne's diary by the people who had helped conceal them.

The 160-page illustrated biography is the work of writer Sid Jacobson and artist Ernie Colón, a renowned American creative team who produced a similar graphically-illustrated account of what went wrong before and after the terror attacks of 9/11, titled "The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation."

The Anne Frank House Museum says the new biography, which was created in English, has been translated into Dutch and will eventually be translated into German, Italian, French and Spanish.