2020 Annual Report


2020 Annual Report

Our educational programmes and products are designed to encourage young people to reflect on social developments, then and now, with a focus on prejudice, discrimination, racism, and antisemitism. These programmes and products are always based on Anne Frank’s life story.

Tackling racism in football

In early February 2020, the Royal Dutch Football Association KNVB, together with Minister Bruno Bruins (Sports) and Minister Wouter Koolmees (Social Affairs), presented a plan to combat racism on the field. The racist remarks directed at Excelsior player Ahmad Mendes Moreira by Den Bosch supporters from the previous November were the last straw. The cabinet allocated 14 million euros for a period of three years for tackling racism in football.

The plan consisted of several measures: punitive, criminal, and educational. The number of smart cameras in and around stadiums will be increased, and football clubs that do not take sufficient action against racism may lose points and face fines. In addition, a special prosecutor will be appointed to fight racism in football, and offenders will be prosecuted more readily. In addition, the campaign Ons voetbal is van iedereen ('Our football belongs to everyone') will be launched with the participation of influencers.

Last but not least, two of the Anne Frank House’s educational projects are part of the plan:

Fair Play workshops

Anne Frank Magazine

‘Luna plays Anne’ read the headline of the 2020 Anne Frank Magazine. Through the Anne Frank Magazine, students in grades 7 and 8 of elementary school learn about the story of Anne Frank in the context of freedom and liberty. This edition was dedicated to 75 years of freedom and offered a glimpse behind the scenes of the Anne Frank video diary.

The article 'Van democratie naar dictatuur' ('From democracy to dictatorship') by Menno Metselaar, with illustrations by Karst-Janneke Rogaar, described how un-freedom begins. A large illustration by Merel Corduwer depicted the mixed feelings of 5 May 1945: it wasn’t a celebration for everyone. The last contribution was Abdelkader Benali’s beautiful story 'Oorlog op bezoek' ('The war comes to visit'), which is also available as an audio story. This year, a Freedom Garland and a poster with Corduwener’s large illustration came with the magazine. The magazine was also available online.


Campaign for teachers: dealing with differences

Discrimination, diversity, and democracy have frequently made the headlines this year. These themes have a bearing on the lives of young people, and teachers play an important role in the way they deal with them. The Anne Frank House concerns itself with these themes and has developed a wide range of educational materials.

In early October 2020, we launched a campaign called 'Omgaan met verschillen. Hoe doe je dat?' ('Dealing with Differences: How to go about it?') and provided teachers in primary, secondary, and vocational schools with new online lesson material, training courses, and webinars. Teachers can use the material within the context of their history, social studies, or citizenship classes.

Anne Frank Stichting - also for citizenship


Norbert Hinterleitner, Head of Educational Projects of the Anne Frank House: 'We created a campaign clip to make teachers aware of the educational materials they can use in their citizenship classes. Our materials encourage students to reflect on and discuss ways of dealing with differences. This is a first step towards our goal of getting pupils and students to make a positive contribution to a diverse society in which everyone can be themselves. In addition to our lesson materials, we offer teacher workshops and webinars with in-depth information and tools.'

Online workshops

The pandemic also offers opportunities, as demonstrated by the fact that we continued to reach teachers through online meetings. Existing workshops were adapted and presented online. The 'Responding to Discriminatory Comments' workshop, for instance, was broadcast online as a pilot for future online training. Stories that Move. Toolbox against discrimination was promoted through webinars, since the tool consists largely of online components anyway. Sixteen sessions were held in total, including ten webinars. During the webinars, teachers learned how to use the toolbox in remote teaching. The workshop on 'Teaching about the Holocaust' was set up for future teachers in primary and secondary schools. We presented seven training sessions for PABO students (two of which were taught online) and organised an online seminar for future history teachers.

Youth Team

The Anne Frank House Youth Team 2020 consisted of sixteen young people. The training programme consisted of ten meetings: a two-day introductory weekend, two physical meetings in Amsterdam, six online meetings, and an online certificate ceremony. The participants learned about the Second World War and the persecution of the Jews, about prejudice and discrimination, and were trained in the art of dialogue, in responding to discriminatory remarks, and organising events. They worked in small teams on project plans: two social media campaigns, lesson materials, a YouTube series, a song, and a photo campaign. Due to the pandemic, five of the six projects went online, reaching approximately 2,000 young people.

Several educational meetings were held for alumni, usually online. In addition, these former participants of the Youth Team organised their own activities. They guided tours around the Anne Frank House, organised a four-day online summer school for young people, designed educational materials for teachers, and were guest speakers in workshops.

We conducted an evaluation among former participants of the Anne Frank House Youth Team. They reported having grown in knowledge, behaviour, and skills as a result of their participation. They also reported being more aware of their prejudices, open to other opinions, helpful and action-oriented, and (more) confident about giving presentations to other students. 71% of the alumni indicated that they want to continue to be involved in the activities of the Anne Frank House.

Police force

During the Police & WWII City Tours, police officers paused at Amsterdam monuments and historic sites related to the Second World War. The city tour contained personal stories from police officers who had served during the German occupation. Participants were asked to reflect on the dilemmas and choices their colleagues from the Second World War had faced. After the tour, the participants discussed discrimination and polarisation in our times and the role of the police force in today’s society.

The Anne Frank House Police Team consists of team leaders who aim to discuss dilemmas related to equal treatment and diversity in police work. In 2020, the new members underwent a training course that equipped them with the knowledge and skills to engage in conversations about diversity and equal treatment. The 37 team leaders from the Anne Frank House Police Team each launched initiatives for their colleagues. These ranged from informal meetings, regular briefings, working visits to conferences about specific themes. In the summer of 2020, for instance, following developments in the United States after the death of George Floyd, a conference was held on racism and policing.

Police professionals were invited to call on the Anne Frank House for advice on bringing diversity, prejudice, and discrimination up for discussion. In 2020, discussions ranged from educational approaches to a meeting about anti-discrimination legislation, the commemoration of the Second World War, the Black Lives Matter movement, and dealing with diversity within the police department.

Virtual visits

In early November 2020, the Anne Frank House opened its online doors and offered special educational workshops for schools. These provided a suitable alternative for schools unable to visit the Anne Frank House due to the coronavirus measures.

Teachers and pupils were guided through The Secret Annex Online by a member of the Anne Frank House educational staff. They passed the bookcase and walked, as it were, through the rooms of the hiding place. They were able to make 360 degrees turns, listen to detailed information (for instance about the pictures in Anne’s room) and ask questions. In addition to a good internet connection, schools needed a Digiboard and access to Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Google Meet. Students were also able to participate individually on their tablets or laptops. The tours lasted one hour, were tailored to the different school types, and could be booked online.


'Now that schools are unable to visit the Anne Frank House, we are happy to offer an alternative,'Norbert Hinterleitner, Head of Educational Projects of the Anne Frank House said. 'We believe that it’s important for young people to learn about Anne Frank’s life story and to visit the place where she lived in hiding and wrote her diary. Nothing beats the authentic experience, but a virtual visit is a good alternative. Moreover, the Secret Annex Online shows the hiding place with its furniture and gives an impression of what the rooms looked like during the hiding period. Of course, we look forward to welcoming back the schools before long.'

The programme was set up to meet the teachers’ need for a ‘cultural outing’ during the coronavirus crisis or to bring a guest speaker on the topic of the Second World War into the classroom. Schools and organisations outside the Netherlands were also invited to visit the Anne Frank House online, guided by a member of the educational staff of the Anne Frank House and its partner organisations.

In the autumn of 2020, 27 national and 28 international ‘tours’ were held. These activities were successful and will continue - in larger numbers - in 2021.

Crowdfunding for Stories that Move

In order to get one million young people to interact with Stories that Move, the Anne Frank House launched a crowdfunding campaign in early November 2020.

In the online toolbox Stories that Move, young people talk about their experiences with discrimination. The strength of the project lies in the recognisable, sometimes harrowing, personal stories that form the starting point for examining discrimination more closely and for exchanging experiences and points of view. The toolbox provides in-depth information about discrimination and other topics, such as diversity and media use, and contains educational handouts for teachers, such as ways to provide a safe group atmosphere and to guide group discussions.

Erasmus+ grant

Since the launch of Stories that Move in 2018, the Anne Frank House and its seven European partners have reached 5,000 teachers and 250,000 young people across Europe. Thanks to a grant application to the European Union, the Anne Frank House had the opportunity to reach another 20,000 teachers and, through them, another one million students.

The Erasmus+ grant of the European Union awarded the sum of €500,000 for Stories that Move: for conducting workshops, creating a Spanish-language version, and for developing modules for international youth exchanges. An important condition for obtaining the Erasmus+ grant was 30% co-financing. Because of the corona crisis, the Anne Frank House lacked the museum revenues needed to co-finance € 150,000 and started a crowdfunding campaign to raise the money. Donations could be made through Gofundme. Although generous donations were made, the crowdfunding campaign failed to raise the required amount. Fortunately, the German Foundation Erinnerung, Verantworting, Zukunft (EVZ) came to the rescue.

Katarzyna Strycharska teaches Polish and Social Studies at the District Technical and Sports College No. 1 in Auschwitz, Poland: 'By going through the online “discrimination machine,” students learn to take an empathetic view of intolerance and social inequality. I love the idea of using the individual stories of the students’ peers from different European countries. Personal experiences of discrimination have more impact than talking about the problem of intolerance in general terms.'

Travelling exhibitions

Since 1996, the international travelling exhibition Anne Frank - a history for today has been on display in at least 4,557 places in 80 countries. The exhibition Let Me Be Myself - The life story of Anne Frank has been shown at 251 venues in 21 countries since 2015.

The Anne Frank House trains young people to show their peers around the exhibition. The new guides learn about the content and background of the exhibition, how best to transfer the information, and how to address current social developments. This format, known as peer education, is highly successful in involving the young people visiting the exhibition. In 2020, 91 guide training sessions were held.

As of March 2020, due to the corona pandemic, several hundred planned presentations of Anne Frank exhibitions in more than 30 countries had to be cancelled. Schools and universities around the world closed their doors that month. Some presentations were easily replaced by webinars, but the online programmes with larger numbers of participants only really got off the ground after the summer, especially in the United States. Our partner organisation in Brazil was particularly active and conducted over 160 sessions. After the schools in France closed, our partner organisation in Paris moved some of its activities to Switzerland, where the exhibition toured the French-speaking part of the country. After the lockdown measures had been lifted, New Zealand, Australia, and the Far East were the first to resume the previously planned educational projects.

In 2020 the Anne Frank House organized - with the help of partners worldwide - 145 traveling exhibitions, spread over 33 countries. 91 guide training courses were given. In addition, 533 other educational activities took place in 25 countries. Due to the corona pandemic, 308 of these were online.