June 12, 2019
Classmates share memories of Anne Frank in her former home. On this day, we also reflect on Anne Frank's life and legacy in other places and in other ways.
Today, it is exactly 90 years ago that Anne Frank was born, on 12 June 1929. Albert Gomes de Mesquita (89) and Jacqueline van Maarsen (90), Anne’s classmates at the Jewish Lyceum, will come to her former home at Merwedeplein for the occasion. They were also there on Anne's 13th birthday, three weeks before Anne and her family went into hiding in the Secret Annex. Her classmates will reminisce about those days and talk to young people about Anne's life and legacy.
We look back on Anne's 13th birthday, on 12 June 1942. Anne received her first, red-chequered diary for her birthday. ‘Maybe one of my nicest presents…’ she wrote. A birthday with gifts, treats, and a birthday party, although the anti-Jewish measures left their mark. The classmates Anne invited to her birthday were all Jewish, forced to attend Jewish schools, wear the Star of David on their clothes, and not allowed to visit parks, cinemas, or swimming pools.
What do Albert Gomes de Mesquita and Jacqueline van Maarsen remember about their classmate Anne Frank and her 13th birthday? What was it like to celebrate a birthday in wartime, with all the anti-Jewish measures in place? What was it like to say goodbye to family, classmates, and friends afterwards? And what does the memory of Anne mean to them? The classmates reminisce and talk to young people from the Anne Frank Youth Team about Anne Frank's life and what it meant. They do so in a special place that is familiar to them from all those years ago: Anne Frank's former home at Merwedeplein 37-2.
Anne Frank’s former home
On the occasion of Anne's birthday, the house will be opened to some special guests, with the cooperation of the current occupant. Since 2005 the house has been let to the Dutch Foundation for Literature; it serves as a refuge for foreign writers who are not free to work in their own country. The house is decorated in the style of the 1930s, when the Frank family lived there.
Anne Frank’s legacy
Today, we also reflect on Anne Frank's life and legacy in other places and in other ways. On social media, people use the hashtag #Anne90 to share what Anne means to them. The Anne Frank House offers special educational activities for museum visitors and school classes, and every visitor receives a postcard. Our partners in Berlin, Buenos Aires, and London are also paying attention to Anne Frank's 90th birthday.
Click through the overview of global activities:
As of today, Google Arts & Culture has 360-degree images of all the rooms of Anne's former home at Merwedeplein 37-2.