The Anne Frank Connection
Our story goes back to the fall of 1939 when a Danville teacher, Miss Birdie Mathews, initiated a pen pal exchange for her class. Ten year old Juanita Wagner picked a name from a list of pen pals. She chose a girl her own age who lived in Amsterdam. The girl’s name was Anne Frank.
Danville, Iowa is one of two places in the world to view the pen pal letters. These letters are on display at the Danville Museum.
Visiting the Anne Frank Connection is a moving experience. The self-guided museum takes guests on a story starting in the 1920s. See what is happening in Danville, Iowa as well as the entire United States in the pre-WWII years. The parallel journey of Anne's family and the events in Europe are also chronicled along this timeline leading to the Holocaust and World War II. View Anne and Margot Frank's pen pal letters to the Wagner girls in Danville, Iowa. Enjoy the exhibit area dedicated to these pen pal letters, the girls who wrote them and Miss Birdie Mathews. Next step through the bookcase into Anne's time in hiding. The exhibit concludes with Postcards: A Memorial for Children.
Visitors are welcome during Library hours. Even if visiting during Library hours, please make advance arrangements for larger groups. Additionally, appointments may be made outside of Library hours for groups. School field trips and bus tours are welcome.
Cost: students $2, adults $4
Average time spent at the Anne Frank Connection: 1-2 hours