• Creation of the exhibition
  • Organisators and partners
  • Didactical assumptions of the exhibition
  • Gathered experiences
  • Aims of the exhibition
  • Supportive events


    The exhibition "Anne Frank- the history for today" shows the history of the Frank family together with the historical background, during and after the Nazi regime. One can notice here the repercussions of the barbaric politics and its influence on the interpersonal and inter-human relations, especially as the families like the Franks are concerned - systematically discriminated and persecuted. The exhibition shows different stages in Anne Frank's life. They were chosen in the way so that one could find the references to the present days. The additional pieces of information are to be found in the relations of the eyewitnesses of those days.

    Creation of the exhibition

    The exhibition is the part of the international activities of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. It has been created between 1995-1996. For the first time the exhibition has been presented in Vienna in 1996. Since that time, the exhibition travels around the world, also in Poland. The Polish partner of the Anne Frank House is the Polish-German Centre in Cracow (Krak�) that coordinates its presentations. 

    The previous version of the exhibition "Anne Frank in the world, 1929-1945" was presented between 1985-1995 in 550 cities and towns in 23 countries and visited by more then 5,8 million people. The experiences that the Anne Frank House has gathered in these years resulted in creating of the new exhibition, in which not only the content but also the form and didactical concept have been newly created.

    Organisators and partners:

    Anne Frank House in Amsterdam
    P.O. Box 730
    1000 AS the Netherlands
    Telephone: +31/20/5 56 71 00
    Fax: +31/20/6 20 79 99

    The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam was established in 1957 by Anne Frank's father, Otto Frank. Today it functions as both a museum and an international educational non-profit organization. The museum is located on the premises where Anne Frank and seven others were hiding from the Nazis from 1942 to 1944. The House is responsible for developing international educational programs and materials focusing on the diary of Anne Frank. The House also creates educational materials that focus on Human Rights, anti-racist and diversity issues. The projects of presentation of the exhibition "Anne Frank- the history for today" is one of the main international activities of the organisation.

    Centrum Polsko-Niemieckie w Krakowie
    (Polish-German Centre in Cracow)
    Rajska 10/5, 31-124 Kraków
    Telephone/Fax: 0 12/6 34 07 57

    Didactical assumptions of the exhibition

    Together with the growing popularity of "The Dairy of Anne Frank", more and more people all over the world were interested in more information on herself and her family. More visitors came to see the museum in Amsterdam. In the growing interests we saw the possibility to encourage people to face the history and to make conclusions for oneself and the community, in which one lives. We want to show using the Anne Frank's example that everyone should want equal rights for all the people living on one area. Anne Frank shouldn't be seen as a heroine in this respect because one can find many of peoples' histories similar to Annes' that still are not known or we are not able to tell them for different reasons.
    The first exhibition called "The world of Anne Frank, 1929-1945" the Anne Frank House started in 1985 its activities in many European countries.

    Using this form we wanted to get to many people in their own cities and towns. We didn't want to connect the story of Anne only with one place in Amsterdam. Many worldwide presentations of the exhibition one could start other activities dealing with various issues. Although the input of the exhibition into local community was rather short lasted, we also organised some supportive activities connected more to the local history and needs. In every place, where the exhibition is presented we encourage and initiate projects, encourage the local organisations to support and participate in them, motivate the community to long-term actions in cooperation with our organisation.

    Since 1985 we gathered a lot of experience, which ensured us about great influence of the travelling exhibition and that one can reach unexpectedly a great group of people (around 6,3 million by 1987). One can also give the opportunity to face not only the history of Anne Frank but also the history of Shoah and show the versatility/generality of human rights.

    Gathered experiences

    The experience we gathered showed us that:  


    • Anne Frank is a person that "opens every door": her history is (well-) known and motivates people  not only to think about Anne but also of the result, consequences of certain decisions and deeds today.  
    • The people automatically connect the past and the present day. They are happy to see such links, "bridges" that connect yesterday and today in the exhibition.  
    • The personal history of Anne makes people more interested in historical events also later in time.

    After 10 years of the international work came time to make some up-to-date changes and use the information gathered while feedback of exhibition presentation in different countries. We also wanted to connect the changes in exhibition content with technical improvements. The exhibition's concept sees it as the part of the greatest/biggest pedagogical project.

    Aims of the exhibition:

    The main aim of the international travelling exhibition 'Anne Frank - a history for today' is to encourage visitors to think about the value of concepts such as tolerance, respect for diversity, human rights, and democracy in today's world. This is done by telling Anne Frank's life story from the perspective of the Frank family and by relating this to the history of the Holocaust as told by other survivors. The exhibition contains several elements that challenge the visitor to think about similarities and differences between these past events and incidents in our world today.

    Other aims of the exhibition are:

    • to inform the visitor about the history of the Holocaust from the perspective of the Frank family;
    • to show the visitor that differences between people exist in all societies (cultural, ethnic, religious, political or otherwise). In many countries, however, there are people who consider themselves superior to others, and deny them the right to equal treatment;
    • to show also that these ideas might lead to discrimination, exclusion, persecution, and even murder;
    • to challenge the visitor to think about such social basic values as tolerance, mutual respect, human rights, and democracy;
    • to convince the visitor that a society in which differences between human beings are respected does not come about automatically. Legislation must be passed and enforced, and each person must be engaged in the effort according to his or her abilities.


    Supportive events:

            The exhibition itself is an important educational tool, but to gain the maximum benefit from the opportunities it offers it is important that other activities take place in schools and classrooms to support the aims of the exhibition. Students will normally spend 30 to 90 minutes in the exhibition at a time. But teachers can increase the contact time with the exhibition and its themes considerably through school projects, both during and after school hours. This is also an issue to be discussed with other steering committee members.

    For the most part, each school (and perhaps each teacher) will want to develop its own educational activities, depending on what they perceive to be important. Also, teachers will want to place the exhibition into different contexts. These include:

    • The History of World War II
    • The History of the Holocaust
    • Anti-Racist Education
    • 20th Century Literature
    • Multicultural and Diversity Education
    • Social Studies
    • Civics Education
    • Jewish Culture
    • Modern European History

    The most effective way for a school to organize activities around the exhibition is to encourage cross-curricular work, which involves teachers from different subject areas. This also allows for activities to take place that go beyond the scope of a 50-minute school period.
    In general, the Anne Frank House has discovered that schools like to organize a variety of extra-curricular activities, which can include:
    Drama and Theater. This has been used very often to enrich the exhibition. The most popular choice, of course, has been the Diary of Anne Frank, which is performed thousands of times every year.
    Film Festivals. Many teachers will have their students watch films and documentaries in class. Sometimes, teachers and students will organize a small film festival in the school. The films are sometimes followed by discussions.
    Lectures and Discussions. This is generally quite easy to arrange and can add to the overall program. It is always good to have a few lectures to spice up the program. Many local Jewish Communities will have a Holocaust survivor who can come to the school to speak in classrooms. Human Rights, Cultural, Diversity etc. organizations can also often suggest speakers.
    Music. Many schools have organized opening ceremonies that include music (often classical). Klezmer music and other Jewish music have been favorites at such ceremonies.


    A & K Woźniak