Speaking for the whole staff at The Annex, we are shocked and angered at the visible signs of repression and violence shown this weekend in Charlottesville. The USA must always remain true to its course shown since World War II. We ask our community to make its opinions known about the resurrection of hate that was made apparent on 8/12/17, and require the American government to decry violence and murder in the guise of free speech.

Amsterdam, 1943.

Image may contain: 1 person, text
Accidental Talmudist

Willem Arondeus was a Dutch resistance fighter who gave his life trying to protect his Jewish countrymen from the Nazis.

Born in Amsterdam in 1895, Willem was of six children. From a young age, he was a talented artist and his parents encouraged his creativity, until he came out as homosexual at age 17.

In a time when nearly all gay people were in the closet, Willem’s parents could not accept his choice to live openly. Their rejection led Willem to run away from home.

On his own, Willem took odd jobs and eventually became a successful visual artist and writer. He was commissioned to paint a mural for Rotterdam’s town hall, in a style that combined modern abstract painting with a traditional Dutch motif. Willem was a well-respected author who published a popular biography of Dutch painter and political activist Matthijs Maris.

In 1940, Germany invaded the Netherlands. Willem immediately joined the resistance movement, and urged his fellow artists to fight against the Nazi occupation. WIllem published illegal anti-Nazi pamphlets calling for mass resistance against the Germans.

Willem was especially committed to saving Amsterdam’s Jewish community. Bringing in others to the cause, Willem arranged for Dutch Jews to be hidden in people's homes. He used his artistic skills to create false identity papers.

In 1943, Willem hatched a brazen plan. Dressed as a German Army captain, and with 15 men behind him, Willem boldly marched into the Public Record Office, where lists identifying people as Jews were kept. Willem drugged the guards and planted a firebomb. The resulting blaze destroyed tens of thousands of documents, and delayed or prevented many Jews from being identified by the Nazis.

Unfortunately, Willem was captured by the Germans and sentenced to death. Willem's last words before being executed in July, 1943 were, "Let it be known that homosexuals are not cowards.”

In 1986 Yad Vashem recognized Arondeus as Righteous Among the Nations.

Because of his sexual orientation, Willem’s story was omitted from Dutch history books. Only in the last 20 years has his courage become widely known.

For his efforts to save lives at the expense of his own, we honor Willem Arondeus as this week’s Thursday Hero at Accidental Talmudist.
Note: Facebook uses unpredictable algorithms to determine what shows up in our feeds. To be sure you catch important posts from Accidental Talmudist, join our email list at

Image: Wikimedia Commons

With thanks to Mrs. AT, aka Nina!

See More
The Anne Frank Project updated their cover photo.
No automatic alt text available.
On 4 August 1944, Anne Frank is arrested along with all the others in the secret annex. They are deported first to the Westerbork transit camp, and then on to Auschwitz.

It's really heartwarming, almost a year later, to see the new followers of the Anne Frank Project joining our dream. For those who don't know, Whitney, Scoots and Patrick have moved on. Whitney is pursuing an advanced degree in Public History at Kent State. GSC Theatre and Alpha Psi Omega continue to produce new and interesting works and are looking to more fully join the world of theatre in West Virginia over the next year. Freshmen become Sophomores and Juniors become Seniors and even graduate and go on to careers, but the truths we investigated and performed live on.

Thanks again for following!

The exhibit has come down, the production has wrapped, and we have successfully brought Anne's story to Glenville. Over 500 secondary students (as well as their instructors, GSC students and staff, and the Glenville community) took part in the unique learning experience our project had to offer, and we have already started receiving their positive reviews. We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your support of this project over the las...t several months. Because of you, countless students have gained a fuller understanding of why we must never forget the events of the Holocaust, and we simply cannot thank you enough for that.

We will continue using this page to post photos of the production and the exhibit in the coming days, so please feel free to remain on the page so that you may see the fruits of our labor.

See More

Westerbork Transit Camp scene from The Annex.

No automatic alt text available.
Athena Morris to GSC Theatre

Act III had me crying. Thank you for bringing Anne and all the hider's story to life on stage.

The whole project is up and running: 56 students and three teachers from Gilmer County HS this morning at 11.

The exhibit is open, come visit!

The show opens tonight at 7, come see it!

Please don't forget that you can catch the premiere of The Annex this Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 7:00 p.m.! Abbreviated versions are also available on Wednesday and Thursday at 11:00 a.m.

Image may contain: 16 people
Whitney Stalnaker to GSC Theatre

(Almost) full cast shot of The Annex!

We are happy to announce that the West Virginia Humanities Council has provided funding for the "Anne Frank: A History for Today" exhibit, which will open on Monday, 4/28 at 4 PM. The exhibit will be open from 4 PM to 6 PM on 4/29.
On performance days for "The Annex" the exhibit will open at 10 AM and be open until 11 PM after the show.

Performance schedule for The Annex:
Wed., 4/30- 11 AM for school performances, 7 PM for the full evening show
Thursday, 5/1- 11 AM for school performances, 7 PM for the full evening show
Friday, 5/2- 11 AM for school performance (sold out), 7 PM for the full show

The Glenville State College Concert Band will hold its annual concert this Friday, April 25th, at 7:00 p.m. in the Fine Arts Auditorium. Among their illustrious selections will be Fire Dance by David Shaffer, The Light Eternal by James Swearingen, Bohemian Rhapsody as arranged by GSC’s own Dr. David Lewis, Grand Processional by David Haddad, Through Darkened and Sleepy Hollow by Erik Morales, and a medley of favorites from the Eighties. Additionally, the Concert Band will include a performance of Hymn to the Fallen by John Williams in contribution to the Anne Frank Project. Don’t miss this exciting performance! For more information, call Sheri Skidmore at 304-462-6340.

Thanks to all those donating to the Indiegogo campaign. Your contributions will make the dream come true. Update: the cast is doing a great job getting "off-book", sets will be painted tomorrow night, costumes are in the works. The exhibit box is in Glenville, waiting for us to unpack and set it up for its opening in two weeks.

It's getting real now.

Tickets are now on sale for performances of The Annex, the theatrical production of the Anne Frank Project. To reserve yours, please call 304-462-6323.

Image may contain: 1 person

Help us fund the show! Indiegogo!

A new play telling the stories of the families in hiding-the story of Anne Frank, her family, the Van Pels family, and Fritz Pfeffer as never told before.

We will be holding open auditions for The Annex, the theatrical component of the Anne Frank Project, this Tuesday and Wednesday, February 25th and 26th. Auditions will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Presidents Auditorium of the Heflin Administration Building at GSC. We have parts of varying sizes available for actors, plus plenty of opportunities for those who prefer the backstage side of things, so if you are interested, please come see us!

No automatic alt text available.