Anne Frank House, Other Holocaust-Focused Museums Look to Combat Ignorance

March 22, 2017 3:01 pm
What Museums Are Doing to Combat Ignorance of the Holocaust
Anne Frank, German Jew who emigrated with her family to the Netherlands during the Nazi era. Separated from the rest of her family, she and her sister died of typhoid fever in the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen - As a 12-year-old doing her homework - 1941 (ADN-Bildarchiv/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
What Museums Are Doing to Combat Ignorance of the Holocaust
Tourists line up outside the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam, on June 15, 2015. (Lex Van Lieshout/AFP/Getty Images)


Somehow, we’ve arrived at this point in history: There are people out there that don’t even know who Anne Frank is.

Or worse, think she’s part of a hoax.

According to The New York Times, the Amsterdam-based Anne Frank House and a number of other Holocaust-focused museums, are doing something to combat the rising tide of both Holocaust deniers and plain ignorance.

“We find that, with the war being further removed from all of us, but especially for young people and people from outside of Europe, our visitors don’t always have sufficient prior knowledge of the Second World War to really grasp the meaning of Anne Frank and the people in hiding here,” the Anne Frank House’s managing director, Garance Reus-Deelder, told the Times.

This work is being done through the use of technology, and by making the overall stories being told more relatable. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, for example, is putting an “emphasis on personal stories and ideas—in addition to facts and events—in hopes of drawing in young people,” notes the Times.

Besides simple lack of knowledge, these museums are also facing a world where anti-semitism is on the rise, and the internet has become a cesspool of Holocaust deniers, revisionist history, and fake news. Trying to educate future generations can seem like an uphill battle—but one that these museums are willing to bet their existence on.

Below, watch the only time Anne Frank was captured on film. The film was taken on July 22, 1941; and she’s the one leaning out of the window.



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