Anne Frank – a history for today tells the story of Anne Frank against the background of the Holocaust and the Second World War. It’s speciality is that pupils and students, aged roughly the same as Anne was during the War, take the role of the exhibition guides.
Anne Frank – a history for today tells the story of Anne Frank against the background of the Holocaust and the Second World War. It is primarily aimed at young people from 11 to 18 years old, and what is particular about this exhibition is the fact that elementary and high school pupils (aged roughly the same as Anne Frank while she was experiencing the horrors of the war) are the exhibition guides.
The exhibition is hosted by elementary and secondary schools all over Slovenia.
The basic aim of the project is also to present an alternative perspective on how the knowledge can be given because of the main guidance: pupils for pupils. They are prepared for this task with special training, where they learn about the background to the exhibition, but also how they can communicate its content to people of their own age and how they can introduce more general themes such as tolerance and discrimination.
Pupils, interested in guiding the exhibition, are given a two day educational training, conducted by the National Museum of Contemporary History of Slovenia. The training includes discussion groups and workshops where pupils learn about World War II and the context of the story of Anne Frank. Furthermore, they also set up the exhibition by themselves. That insures that the participants stay active and can express their feelings, creativity and accumulated knowledge and give the exhibition a more personal note, by comparing the life of Anne Frank to the “modern teenager”. The story of Anne Frank is an introduction to a wider scope of historical and social events during the war.
A part of the exhibition is also presenting contemporary social problems, such as discrimination, empathy, human rights… and in this context we also include the Declaration of human rights. Young people are motivated to think about and discuss these topics.
Participants become familiar with the various cases of violation of fundamental human rights: the restriction of movement, forced deprivation of liberty or life, freedom of speech and the like. They get acquainted with the type of discrimination in access to information, material or space. The exhibition in the 2nd floor of the building without an elevator, for example. is inaccessible to the physically disabled, and the text on the billboard is unreadable and inaccessible for the blind, visually impaired and others with visual impairment or reading disabilities. Therefore, the text has been translated to braille. The exhibition also includes a model of secret annex. With this students sensitize on the issues of blindness, visual impairment and other disabled people with different needs and learn some effective ways of passing on information.
With this exhibition the Anne Frank House aims to:
- Inform visitors about the history of the Holocaust from the perspective of Anne Frank and her family;
- Show visitors that cultural, ethnic, religious and political differences between people exist in every society. In many countries there are groups who consider themselves superior and deny others the right to equal treatment. Such views can lead to discrimination, exclusion, persecution and even murder;
- Challenge visitors to think about concepts such as tolerance, mutual respect, human rights and democracy;
- Help visitors to understand that a society where differences between people are respected does not come about by itself. Legislation is of course necessary, but people also have to make a personal commitment.