The Anne Frank House and the Anne Frank Fonds

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The Anne Frank House works to preserve the Anne Frank House and the Anne Frank collection, and is an educational organisation. An important part of the life story of Anne Frank took place in the Anne Frank House, making it the foremost place where the life story of Anne Frank is presented in an authentic and reliable way.

Annual Report 2016

The Anne Frank House is an independent, non-profit organisation. Read our Annual Report with an overview of activities in 2016.

To the Annual Report

The foundation of the Anne Frank House

After the war, Prinsengracht 263 and the adjacent buildings were in poor condition. The Anne Frank House was scheduled for demolition. For this reason the Anne Frank House was set up in 1957, with the aim of restoring the building at Prinsengracht 263 and opening it to the public. The organisation also had an educational mission: to spread the message of Anne Frank’s life and ideals. The Anne Frank House was officially opened as a museum on 3 May 1960.

The Annex in 1954 © Maria Austria

I think it is not only important that people go to the Anne Frank House to see the secret annexe, but also that they are helped to realise that people are also persecuted today because of their race, religion or political convictions.

Otto Frank, 3 August 1970

Otto Frank and the Anne Frank House

Otto Frank was closely involved in setting up the Anne Frank House and in all the plans, events and developments concerning his former business premises, which had also been his hiding place. He was a member of the management board of the Anne Frank House from 1961 to 1976, and subsequently a member of the board of governors until his death in 1980.

Otto Frank 1960

The Anne Frank House now

The Anne Frank House is an independent, non-profit organisation dedicated to the preservation of the place where Anne Frank went into hiding during the Second World War, and to bringing the life story of Anne Frank to the attention of as many people as possible worldwide with the aim of raising awareness of the dangers of anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination and the importance of freedom, equal rights and democracy.

Anne Frank Collection

The Secret Annexe and Anne Frank’s diary papers are the most important components of the Anne Frank Collection. The collection also contains many other unique items, including letters, photos and artefacts of the Frank family, the other people in hiding and their helpers. The Anne Frank House preserves this collection, carries out research and puts items from the collection on public display.

Education

As an educational organisation, the Anne Frank House develops and distributes educational programmes and products that provide inspiration and connect with the experiences of young people all over the world. The life story of Anne Frank always forms the basis for these initiatives. Anti-Semitism, prejudice, unequal treatment and the denial of civil rights played a crucial role in the life story of Anne Frank. The Anne Frank House opens up these themes for discussion, with the aim of raising awareness and changing attitudes among young people.

The Anne Frank Fonds

The Anne Frank House is not the only organisation that is concerned with the legacy of Anne Frank. When Otto Frank moved to Basel to be with his family in 1952, he took his daughter’s diaries with him. He made the Anne Frank Fonds in Basel the holder of the copyright on these manuscripts, having set up the Fonds for this purpose in 1963. The income received by the Fonds from the sale of books and licences was to be used for charitable and educational projects worldwide.

Otto Frank’s will

Otto Frank died on 19 August 1980. The Anne Frank Fonds became his general inheritor, while his working archive went to the Anne Frank House and all of Anne Frank’s manuscripts were bequeathed to the Dutch State, in the keeping of the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation. In 2009 the diaries were given on permanent loan to the Anne Frank House, where they are on permanent display.

Partnership

Otto Frank gave responsibility for the legacy of his daughter Anne to both the Anne Frank Fonds in Basel and the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. For many years the organisations worked together on a basis of trust. No difference of opinion arose over the objectives of the two organisations.

Amalgamation of the Anne Frank Archives

The high point of the partnership between the Anne Frank House and the Anne Frank Fonds came in 2007, with the amalgamation of all the archives connected with the Frank family. On 25 June of that year the Anne Frank Fonds transferred the Swiss family archives to the Anne Frank House on long-term loan.

Hans Westra, former Executive Director, and Buddy Elias at the official transfer of the archives

Change of direction at the Anne Frank Fonds

The Anne Frank Fonds made a change of direction, however, and chose to adopt an independent position. In 2011 the Fonds demanded the immediate return of the Anne Frank Archives. The Anne Frank House found it deeply regrettable that, as a result of this change of course, the two organisations eventually stood in opposition to each other in a court of law.