Annual Report 2018

Museum

Annual report 2018

In the museum, in our publications and in our online and offline publications we present the life story of Anne Frank in the context of the Holocaust and the Second World War.

Museum visits

The Anne Frank House is the place where the life story of Anne Frank is presented in an authentic and reliable way. We receive more than 1.2 million visitors from all over the world every year.

The Anne Frank House welcomed 1,225,976 visitors in 2018; a large number given the renewal work that was being carried out in the museum.

“Interest in a visit to the Anne Frank House is undiminished. We are delighted by this, and it gives us hope. Half of our visitors are under 30 years old. For these young visitors in particular we have chosen for a chronological approach with more historical context in the new museum layout.”

Online tickets

The Anne Frank House has switched to 100% online ticket sales linked to a time slot. The infamous queue is a thing of the past. Visitors can buy tickets on our website, but we do advise people to buy a ticket in good time: 80% of the tickets are made available two months in advance, 20% on the day itself.

Educational programs

Many school groups from the Netherlands and elsewhere visit the Anne Frank House. 1,023 groups from primary schools, secondary schools, teacher training and vocational training institutes followed educational programs in Dutch, English or German in 2018.

Museum visitors can book an introductory program before their museum visit. 3,077 introductory programs were given in 2018.

Three new classrooms were taken into use in 2018.

Museum Night

The annual Amsterdam Museum Night takes place on the first Saturday of November, and the Anne Frank House once again took part. The museum was open until the early hours of the morning, with a special programme. Employees gave presentations on Anne’s wall of photos. Anne collected photos of film stars, royal families and artworks. She cut them out of magazines such as Libelle, and filled her walls with them. In short presentations visitors learned more about Anne’s idols and interests, and her development during the period in hiding in the Secret Annex.

Visit of refugees

In August the Anne Frank House received a group of 16 refugees; trainees of Amsterdam city council. The hiding place and the story of Anne Frank moved them, and reminded them of their own experiences of war. We asked them what equal rights, freedom and democracy mean to them. Two responses: “I’m experiencing these three things now for the first time in my life”. And: “Equal rights, freedom and democracy should be self-evident, but sadly they are not.”

Amsterdammers

In November the citizens of Amsterdam responded to the call to visit the renewed Anne Frank House in large numbers. The 2,000 free tickets, divided over two evenings, were given out in a short time. Two extra evenings were organised for the Amsterdammers who had missed out. We were given appreciation and praise for the special evenings and for the new museum catalogue, which visitors were given at the end of their visits.

“I visited the renewed museum this evening, together with my sister. We both live in Amsterdam. I’d like to express my thanks for the opportunity to visit the renewed museum and for being given the beautiful book. I was impressed by the renewal and by the gesture.”

Collection

Many personal documents and belongings of the Frank family, the other people in hiding and the helpers have been preserved. These objects form a part of the museum collection of the Anne Frank House.

Diaries in new display cases

We think it’s important that our visitors can see Anne Frank’s original diary papers in the place where she wrote them. Part of the renewal of the Anne Frank House is a new diary room and new diary display cases. Together with experts from the Netherlands and abroad we have sought out the best solution to optimally protect the fragile originals against vibrations, climate fluctuations and light. The result is a unique ‘box in box’ display case, with which we can permanently display Anne’s manuscripts in the museum.

Research into emigration attempts

On 6 July the Anne Frank House and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum presented the results of their research into Otto Frank’s attempts to emigrate to the United States.

The research revealed Otto’s emigration attempts step by step in the context of the developments of the war in Europe and the USA. Although the United States had anything but a generous policy in respect of Jewish refugees, it became clear that Otto, Edith, Margot and Anne Frank were not in fact refused entry to the USA. Because of various complications Otto’s application for emigration was never processed by the American consulate in Rotterdam. Bureaucracy, the war and the passage of time thwarted Otto’s attempts to emigrate, just as the attempts of many other Jews.

Following the fruitless attempts to emigrate, going into hiding was the only option remaining in order to escape the grasp of the Nazis. The Frank family went into hiding on 6 July 1942. The Van Pels family and Fritz Pfeffer joined the Frank family in the secret annexe shortly afterwards. Their attempts to emigrate also failed.

Read about the emigration attempts in connection with this research on our website

Auschwitz exhibition loan

Auschwitz, not long ago, not far away is the name of the international exhibition that opened in Madrid and has travelled around for seven years. The exhibition includes some 1,150 artefacts. Besides personal possessions of both prisoners and guards, the exhibition encompasses large objects such as a railway wagon in which Jews were transported. Many of the artefacts come from the Auschwitz museum in Poland and the Yad Vashem remembrance centre in Israel. Some of the objects are personal possessions of survivors and their families.

The exhibition also includes three items from the Anne Frank House collection: a botany textbook of Anne Frank (which she was given by her parents for her 15th and last birthday, and in which she wrote ‘Anne Frank, 12 June 1944, Secret Annexe’), a Spanish study book of her roommate Fritz Pfeffer (in which he wrote ‘Fritz Pfeffer, Amsterdam, 1941’) and the handle with which the people in hiding and the helpers could open and close the bookcase entrance to the Secret Annex.

Opening to the public of Anne’s former home

On 4 May some 80 Amsterdammers could take a look in the Frank family’s former home on the Merwedeplein square. The apartment now offers accommodation to non-Dutch writers who cannot work freely in their own countries. Employees of the Anne Frank House told of Anne’s years on the Merwedeplein, gave information on the restoration and furnishing of the apartment and explained the apartment’s current use a home for refugee writers.

The special opening formed a part of Open Jewish Houses and Houses of Resistance.

Publications

In our publications we present the life story of Anne Frank in the context of the Holocaust and the Second World War.

Anne Frank House VR

On the 89th anniversary of Anne Frank’s birth, on 12 June 2018, together with developer Force Field VR and sponsor Oculus we launched the Anne Frank House VR: a virtual reality tour of Anne Frank’s hiding place. The tour provides an extraordinary glimpse of the hiding place: all the rooms are furnished as they were during the period in hiding.

The virtual reality tour lasts for around 25 minutes and is available in seven languages: Dutch, English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Hebrew. The Anne Frank House VR is free, and is available from the Oculus app store for Samsung Gear VR, the Oculus Go headset and the Oculus Rift.

The Anne Frank House VR is used in the Anne Frank House for visitors with limited mobility: visitors who cannot climb the stairs to see the secret annexe. It is also used in the Anne Frank exhibitions in various countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Germany, the UK and the USA.

“The VR tour gives people all around the world the opportunity to explore Anne Frank’s hiding place as it was in July 1942 to August 1944, the period when Anne Frank was forced into hiding and wrote her diary. The tour offers an immersive experience. Our heartfelt thanks go out to Force Field VR, which developed the tour, and to Oculus, which helped to finance and support the project.”

Online

The Anne Frank House reaches an audience of millions around the world through the annefrank.org portal and our social media channels.

Our new website went online in 2018. The homepage offers three main menus: everything about a visit to the museum (including booking a ticket), the story of Anne Frank and the educational products of the Anne Frank House.

As well as concise summaries, the website also includes in-depth information, such as the background articles Germany 1933, from democracy to dictatorship, The (im)possibilities of escaping. Jewish emigration 1933 – 1942, Reconstruction: the arrest of the people in hiding and Anne Frank, from diarist to icon.

There is a lot of space for photos and videos on the new website. The videos in which young people tell of their experiences of prejudice and discrimination are particularly revealing. The website also includes a completely renewed tour of the Secret Annex, based on the Anne Frank House VR.