9-year-old's letters to the city prompts Anne Frank Day in Los Angeles

Anabel Munoz Image
Friday, June 2, 2023
Young student's campaign prompted Los Angeles to honor Anne Frank
Olivia Prince was nine years old when she started a campaign for the city of Los Angeles to honor Anne Frank.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The writings and story of Anne Frank have moved people around the world into action - including a young Southern California student who successfully advocated for Anne Frank Day in the city of Los Angeles.

Olivia Prince was nine years old when she embarked on a journey to campaign for Anne Frank Day. She spent months writing a letter to federal and local lawmakers.

At the time, in 2020, she was witnessing a global pandemic and an uprising against racial injustice.

"Olivia has blown us away from when she was a little, little child. She's always been so empathetic," said Laura Salvato, her mother.

In the letter, Prince quoted Frank: "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."

Prince also wrote: "I believe that Anne Frank's diary will inspire kids all over L.A. to make our community better."

Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz partnered with Prince, and in 2022 the city declared May 12 Anne Frank Day.

Anne Frank's birthday was in June but since school is out then, Prince suggested May 12 - which was her father Otto Frank's birthday. It also happens to be Prince's.

"On this day schools will be able to teach about Anne Frank and her extraordinary diary, which has been translated into 70 different languages, and is one of the most-read books ever," said Prince.

Anne Frank was a Jewish girl whose family had to hide from the Nazis in Amsterdam during World War II. They were eventually found and Anne died in a concentration camp. But her diary about their life in hiding was published after the war by her father, Otto Frank, as "The Diary of a Young Girl."

Prince recalls her parents would read to her about Anne Frank. Then she began reading and rereading her story and was stunned by the reality of the Holocaust and what the young teen endured. She was also inspired by Frank's impact.

Prince was asked to write the resolution. After researching, Prince used the Rosa Parks Day resolution as a template. It honors Frank, her father, and the nearly 1.5 million children who were murdered in the Holocaust.

Prince and her family share a mission to teach this history across generations.

Salvato is a founding board member of the nonprofit Anne Frank L.A. which was established in 2019.

"Part of the work that we do at Anne Frank L.A. is we take this wonderful, incredible writer's words, and it becomes a portal to discuss hatred of all kinds," said Salvato.

If you know of a person or organization making a positive difference in Southern California, let us know at ABC7's SoCal Strong page.