Foreword

Pictured (L to R) Hans Westra and Ronald Leopold. (Photo: Cris Toala Olivares)
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I would like to begin by expressing my thanks and appreciation to my predecessor, Hans Westra, who served as the Anne Frank House’s Executive Director for over a quarter of a century. In that period, the Anne Frank House developed into the professional organisation it is today: fully committed with its museum and via educational activities to conveying Anne Frank’s story and its significance in today’s world. It is an honour to follow in his footsteps as Executive Director and to lead the way in carrying out this organisation’s unique mission.

The year 2010 was marked by many highpoints: a record number of visitors, the museum’s 50th anniversary, Anne Frank’s diaries and other writings being reunited under one roof and the launch of the Secret Annex Online. All these events illustrate the unique nature of this past year. While we can look back with great satisfaction, we also look to the future with new goals in mind. Serious social upheavals, both at home and abroad, and a rapidly changing communications landscape will set the tone for our work in the coming years.

Our mission, which requires a deep understanding of history along with a keen awareness of current affairs, is as important as ever. Being aware of the story of World War II, and especially of the persecution of Jews, is no longer the only moral compass. Nonetheless, it remains essential for those who wish to stay on course during their moral journey. In 2011, we will investigate how we can give shape to these ideas against the backdrop of a rapidly changing world. 

The work of the Anne Frank House is only possible thanks to the many individuals and organisations that support our efforts, whether in tangible form or otherwise. Expressing our gratitude here is certainly in order. It is my sincere hope that the Anne Frank House can depend on them in the coming year as well.

Ronald Leopold, Executive Director 
March 2011, Amsterdam 

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