Anne Frank’s Amsterdam

Former Executive Director Hans Westra of the Anne Frank House and the current Executive Director Ronald Leopold with Guido and Britt, students from Gerrit van der Veen College.
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In October, the Anne Frank House presented a new Dutch website Het Amsterdam van Anne Frank (Anne Frank’s Amsterdam). The aim of this website is to give young people, especially those living in Amsterdam, a good picture of the wartime history of the city based on locations, events and personal stories – all within the framework of a visual timeline. Besides Anne Frank’s story, other personal stories are told. Until now, these accounts by Jewish and non-Jewish eyewitnesses were not available on the Internet. The stories provide a moving portrayal of life during the occupation. The website contains unique footage selected from archives in the Netherlands and abroad.

Toespraak rector Gerrit van der Veen College

De rector van het Gerrit van der Veen College, hield een toespraak ter gelegenheid van de lancering van de website "Het Amsterdam van Anne Frank."

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Anne Frank’s Amsterdam

View the city’s timeline before, during and after the war.

To the website

Students

The launch of this website took place at Gerrit van der Veen College, a secondary school in Amsterdam but also a place connected with the painful history of the Frank family and many other Amsterdam residents. The headquarters of the German SD (Security Service) was located here during the war. A group of students from the school, escorted by two ‘peer educator’ guides, got to experience Het Amsterdam van Anne Frank for the first time. They visited places such as those related to the story of the Jewish Hélène Egger.  They had the opportunity to ask her questions during the presentation and were clearly impressed by speaking to one of the few individuals who survived the war in hiding.  One of the students remarked: ‘I now see things differently when I’m biking through the city.’

The history of our school includes a dark period but the building and therefore all of us have won the battle against evil.

Especially for the website Het Amsterdam van Anne Frank, historical photos were integrated with street scenes of Amsterdam today. These images bring the wartime history of the city to life. Merwedeplein, 1936/2011: Anne (right) with her girlfriends Eva and Sanne.

Amsterdam

Hans Westra, the former executive director of the Anne Frank House, was the initiator of this website.  As he was approaching his retirement on 1 January 2011, it occurred to him: ‘Many residents of Amsterdam are not aware of the Jewish history of the city and the terrible persecution that took place here. The average young person living in Amsterdam knows hardly anything about this period: a difficult realisation to accept. Something should be done about this.’

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