2021 Annual Report


2021 Annual Report

The consequences of the corona pandemic continued to make their influence felt in 2021. Vaccinations were starting to take effect, but the virus still had us in its grasp. Because of the pandemic the Anne Frank House had to close its doors to the public for months: 168 days in all. The financial consequences were great: as a museum and an educational organisation we are dependent on the museum entry fees, which we mainly lost. Despite government support, which we greatly valued, we had to let go colleagues who had devoted themselves to the Anne Frank House with heart and soul.

The museum was closed for a large part of the year, but partly thanks to subsidies we could continue many of our projects. There was certainly a lot happening in the digital field: we developed online museum tours and launched the sequel to the Anne Frank video diary on our YouTube channel: After the Arrest. With this sequel we responded to many young people's questions about what happened to Anne after her arrest: the period she couldn’t describe in her diary. What’s more, all the manuscripts of Anne Frank were collected for the first time in a new scholarly online edition in countries where the copyright on the writings of Anne Frank has expired.

Since 2015, in partnership with national and international football clubs, the Dutch national football federation and the government, we have been providing educational programmes to combat racist hate speech and antisemitic chants in and around football stadiums. We have launched a new online game: Kick-off: The ball’s at your feet. The game takes place around a school football tournament in which everyday examples of discrimination are addressed.

In 2019 the Anne Frank House commissioned the Verwey-Jonker Institute to carry out research into susceptibility to illiberal and antidemocratic ideologies, and resilience against them, in the Netherlands. The first report was published in February 2021. The research showed that there is broad social support for our democratic state and the rule of law, but this support is not always unconditional. This underlines how important it is to make people, and especially young people, aware of the crucial importance of the democratic state under the rule of law and its significance for a peaceful, equal society. We will be reflecting this even more in our educational projects.

You can read more about our projects and activities in this annual report. We would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported us, financially and otherwise, and is involved with our organisation.

‘What's the point of the war? Why, oh, why can't people live together peacefully? Why all this destruction?’

Brutal power politics and merciless violence once more have Europe in their grip. The consequences of this in the short and long term are uncertain. Let us hope that what we have learned from history has not been in vain, and that the international legal order will ultimately prevail.

Ronald Leopold, executive director
Amsterdam, May 2022