The man who brought the Anne Frank travelling exhibition to Napier wants the young people of Hawke's Bay to reflect on the horrors of the Holocaust, as well as the discrimination that exists in New Zealand today.
Boyd Klap, 94, of Wellington has been running the exhibition for the last 10 years, after bringing it to Australia and New Zealand with help from the Anne Frank House in the Netherlands.
Klap is not Jewish himself, but was about the same age as Anne Frank growing up during Nazi Germany's occupation of the Netherlands, before she was killed at 15 years old.
"I saw the killing of my neighbours, the Jews.
"My then girlfriend's de facto Dad, her uncle was tortured and executed," he said.
The exhibition focuses on the history of the Holocaust leading up to Frank's death, as well as young New Zealanders talking about discrimination they have faced here.
"Like a Māori boy saying 'my grandfather wasn't allowed to speak te reo'," Klap said.
"Look at what happened in Christchurch [with the 2019 mosque shooting]... discrimination exists still right round the world."
He said improvements have been made though, and he has experienced a lot of kindness in New Zealand since moving here in 1951.
"But on the other hand, there was discrimination," Klap lamented.
"Like my wife walking down Lambton Quay, sitting in a tram talking to her little baby in Dutch, and a guy turning around and saying, 'go back to your own country if you can't speak our lingo'."
He said New Zealand has evolved for the better as the population has become more diverse.
"We're not there, but we've come a long way I think," Klap said.
Over 100,000 people visited the exhibition between 2018 and 2020, although Klap is only bringing it to Hawke's Bay for the first time this week.
"I believe they've already booked a bus of people coming from Waipawa to the exhibition," he said.
Secondary school peer guides receive training in the meaning behind the exhibition so they can take their fellow students around it.
Klap said the focus is on youth as the Holocaust was so long ago and it is important people don't forget it, and also because societal change will come from them and future generations.
The Anne Frank "Let me be myself" exhibition at St Paul's Presbyterian Church's Asher Hall on Dalton St will be officially opened on Thursday evening.
The exhibit will then be open every Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 2pm until June 12, when it will move on to Nelson.