By Amy Wenk

amywenk@reporternewspapers.net

It is official. Sandy Springs will be the new home of the “Anne Frank in the World: 1929-1945” exhibit, the city’s first tourist attraction.

City Council approved the relocation at their Aug. 18 meeting. The museum is currently housed in downtown Decatur but its lease expires in December.

When it comes to Sandy Springs, the exhibit will occupy Suite A-209 in the Parkside shopping center at 5920 Roswell Road, above Chef Rob’s Caribbean Cuisine. It will open January 2010 and will remain in the city for a minimum of three years.

“We are thrilled to have the exhibit move to the city,” Mayor Eva Galambos said. “This exhibit serves as a powerful reminder to our residents and visitors of the Holocaust’s history and the endurance of Anne Frank’s story. It also shows what we need to do each and every day to triumph over bigotry, hatred and prejudice in today’s society. This is one of only three such displays in the world — we are so proud to showcase it in Sandy Springs.”

The exhibit consists of more than 600 photographs and 8,000 words. It chronicles Frank’s life from her freedom in 1920s Germany, to exile in the Netherlands, to hiding in a secret annex above her father’s business in Amsterdam, to her death in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

The city will not fund the exhibit and so $50,000 must be raised to offset startup and operational expenses.

“I believe this exhibit is will be an endowment for the future,” Galambos said. “But we can’t do it alone; we need the support of our residents and business owners.”

Galambos Aug. 18 appointed Sandy Springs resident Gary Alexander to spearhead the fundraising campaign.

“It’s just getting kicked off the ground,” Alexander said. “There are two things we have to do. We need to raise funds to have enough capital to bring the exhibit to Sandy Springs, and then we want to raise enough funds to endow it to make sure it stays in Sandy Springs.”

He said he is confident the fundraising committee can raise the needed funds to bring the exhibit that “opened the doors to my heart and to my brain that I didn’t know existed.”

If you would like to contribute to the Anne Frank Fund, please make your checks payable to the Friends of Sandy Springs — Anne Frank Park, 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500, Sandy Springs, GA 30350, attn: Gary Alexander, Chair of Fundraising.

If you have questions, e-mail Gary Alexander at garypalexander@bellsouth.net or Dist. 2 Councilmember Dianne Fries at dianne.fries@sandyspringsga.org.