Will go and see this soon. Anne Frank display has special meaning for council leader (From This Is Wiltshire) Anne Frank display has special meaning for council leader FOR Swindon Council leader Rod Bluh, yesterday’s official opening of the Anne Frank + You exhibition at the Central Library had a very special meaning. While Rod’s father was able to escape Vienna by fleeing to London at the start of the Second World War, he left behind his grandmother and uncle who both perished at the hands of the Nazis. Rod believes his grandmother was transported to Minsk, in what is now Belarus, and shot in a forest along with other Jews before being buried in mass graves. His 14-year-old uncle, who was mentally disabled, was used by the Nazis as part of their human experimentation programme, and later died in a gas chamber. Rod, along with South Swindon MP Anne Snelgrove, Swindon mayor Steve Wakefield, and Dr Mike Pringle, director of the Swindon Cultural Partnership, were among the prime movers to bring the Anne Frank exhibition to the town. “I think everyone can learn from the Anne Frank story,” said Rod. “I don’t believe when Anne wrote her diaries that she could have possibly imagined the effect it would have on millions of people.” He added: “With the Holocaust you never forget it, it will always live with me. This was the blackest period in human history and we need to learn from it. We have to make sure that something like this never happen again.” The chilling story of Anne, who together with her family sought sanctuary in the upper floors of an Amsterdam house during the Nazi occupation of Holland, is told through an absorbing exhibition. It not only deals with the diary and Anne’s writings, but looks to wider issues such as racial hatred, war and conflict. Mrs Snelgrove revealed that talks to bring the exhibition to Swindon took place a while ago when she was having dinner with the chairman of the Anne Frank charity in this country. “She started telling me about the profound effect the exhibit was having on the community wherever it went,” she said. “This exhibition brings the Anne Frank story up to date and allows us to think about the terrible things which did happen in the past and asks us what lessons can be learnt, in particular of our society. “We only have to look around the world today. Problems like this start off very small, like in Nazi Germany, and which are then exploited. I can only commend the council for bringing this important exhibition to Swindon.” The Anne Frank exhibition, which is free and is hosted at the Central Library in Regent Circus until April 29, is part of the Think Swindon initiative which features a range of cultural events in the town during the month.