October 29, 2013

Barbara Mooyaart-Doubleday receives the Wallenberg Centennial Medal

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation (IRWF) presented the Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Medal to Barbara Mooyaart-Doubleday, the original translator of Anne Frank’s diary into English.

The ceremony took place on 28 October 2013 at the Anne Frank House, Prinsengracht 265, Amsterdam. The prize was bestowed in recognition of her lifetime dedication to keep alive the memory of the Shoah.

A joint statement issued by Eduardo Eurnekian and Baruch Tenembaum, IRWF Chairman and Founder respectively, states that “Dr. Barbara Mooyaart-Doubleday is a living example of the power of positive education”.

Ronald Leopold, Director General of Anne Frank House, delivered the welcome speech, while Ruben Vis, Secretary General of the NIK, the organization that covers more than thirty Jewish communities in the Netherlands, and Danny Rainer, IRWF Vicepresident, presented the medal to Barbara Moyaart.

Brian Mooyaart, son of Mrs. Mooyaart, delivered the acceptance speech on behalf of his mother and Marie Dupuy, Raoul Wallenberg’s niece and Honorary member of the Wallenberg Foundation delivered the closing words. Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs and diplomatic staff from the embassies of the United States, Sweden and Argentina were among the attendants. One of Mrs. Mooyaart grandchildren, Raoul Mooyaart, named after Raoul Wallenberg, also attended the ceremony.

Dr. Mooyaart-Doubleday was born in the UK in 1919, daughter of Sir Leslie Doubleday and Nora Doubleday. After attending the prestigious Benenden School for girls, she was sent abroad to learn French. She is the mother of three sons.

In 1946, she married a war pilot and moved to the Netherlands after he was discharged. She lived in Amsterdam from 1946 till 1949 before moving to Amersfoort, where she resides until this day.

Barbara Mooyaart-Doubleday gained International acclaim for her remarkable translation of Anne Frank s Diary into English. In 1951 she was approached by a London publisher and was asked to provide a sample translation on a competitive basis for comparison with other four translators who, unlike her, were professionals. Otto Frank (Anne s father) preferred Barbara s sample which he considered an outstanding example of linguistic mastery, inspired both by her education and by her nearness in age to his late daughter Anne.

Anne Frank s diary was originally published in Dutch in 1947, with little success. Only 8,000 copies were sold. Barbara’s English translation published in 1952 in London received a similar lukewarm reaction. It was not until subsequent publication in New York that the book went straight into the best-seller list, a position which it still holds today.

Dr. Mooyaart-Doubleday also translated the biography of the Dutch artist, van Megeren and gave numerous inspirational lectures and interviews. Some of the latter were included in major books, such as Lawrence Graver s “An obsession with Anne Frank” (1997) or Prof. Hyman Enzer s “Anne Frank, images and reality; reflections on social memory” (1997). Prof. Enzer also used his interviews with her in his lectures at the John Hofstra University, where Barbara was awarded an Honorary Doctorate.

From 1998 to 2001, Barbara gave a series of interviews to Carol Anne Lee, which material was used in her book, “Anne Frank s story” (1998). Later interviews appeared in Lee s book “The hidden life of Otto Frank”” (2002). Throughout decades, Dr. Mooyaart-Doubleday has also made a number of radio and TV appearances.

In July 2010, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands awarded her the Knighthood in the Order of Orange Nassau for her life-time services to her adoptive country; specifically in recognition of Dr. Mooyaart-Doubleday s contribution to Netherlands history, its literature and the preservation of the memories of the Shoah.

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation (IRWF) is a global-reach NGO, headquartered in New York, with offices in Jerusalem, Buenos Aires and Berlin. Its mission is to develop educational programs and public awareness campaigns based on the values of solidarity and civic courage, ethical cornerstones of the Saviors of the Holocaust.

Among its members are more than 300 Heads of State (former and incumbent), Nobel Prize Laureates and distinguished personalities from all creeds, nationalities and walks of life. One of its first members was Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, nowadays better known as Pope Francis.