The pandemic is now thankfully behind us. After two years of the corona pandemic, during which the Anne Frank House was largely forced to be closed, we could open its doors to our visitors again in early 2022. Once the staffing of the museum was at full strength we were also able to keep the museum open for longer. From the summer we were open seven days a week, from 9am to 10pm. As ever, we welcomed visitors from all around the world.
On 25 June 2022 it was 75 years since, thanks to Otto Frank’s efforts, Anne’s diary Het Achterhuis (The Secret Annex) was published in the Netherlands. We marked this anniversary in various ways, both inside and outside the museum. Author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, winner of the prestigious 2020 International Booker Prize, created a beautiful poem at our request: Swimming Freely.
Countering antisemitism, racism and discrimination is an essential part of our mission. Through our global educational activities we encourage young people to stand up for freedom, equal rights and democracy. The second report on Democratic Awareness in the Netherlands, which was published in April 2022, commissioned by the Anne Frank House, shows that part of the Dutch population is willing to temporarily set aside parliamentary democracy in order to deal with urgent and complex problems. Worryingly, 18 to 24-year-olds in particular had a greater receptivity to anti-democratic thinking in 2021 than in 2019. The importance and promotion of our democratic rule of law will therefore be an important theme in our educational programmes in the coming years, alongside countering antisemitism.
We were proud to receive the Prins Bernhard Cultuur Fonds Prijs 2022 (Prince Bernhard Culture Fund Prize) from Queen Máxima on 28 November. The Foundation received this significant award because ‘for decades it has been bringing the life story and legacy of Anne Frank to the world’s attention in a creative and inspiring way’. We are delighted with this award. It honours the memory of Anne Frank, whose life story and words still inspire people worldwide.
You can read about our projects and activities in this annual report. Our heartfelt thanks go out to all those who support us, financially and otherwise, and are involved in our organisation.
In doing so, we would like to mention one person in particular: Hannah Pick-Goslar, also known as Hanneli in Anne’s diary. To our great sorrow, Hannah Pick-Goslar died on 28 October at the age of 93 in Jerusalem. Like Otto Frank, she was a Holocaust survivor. After the war, she would tell him and later others about her last meeting with Anne, in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The memories were painful, but she felt obliged to speak about Anne and the Holocaust: ‘because I survived and Anne did not’. She did so for many years, until shortly before her death, when she also spoke out against the war in Ukraine. We could always call on Hannah Pick-Goslar, and we remember her with great warmth and respect. May her memory be a blessing.
Ronald Leopold, executive director
Amsterdam, May 2023