Ongoing research with an eye for detail
The long-term nature of our historical research is due to the fact that we go into great detail, which requires extensive study of the original sources.
Research into the Frank family’s attempt to emigrate
Together with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Anne Frank House studied the attempts made by the Frank family and the Van Pels family to emigrate to the United States (1938-1941). By combining our research of Dutch and American records, we gained a better understanding of the background of these failed attempts.
The research highlighted the tension between the immigration policy of the United States and the humanitarian aspects of the refugee crisis at the time.
The importance of archives to our research
Our research is based on factual historical sources, which we retrieve from the Amsterdam City Archives and the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies, among others. We may, for instance, look for data from the municipal registers or deportation lists.
Local historical institutions often have valuable detailed knowledge. The Cultural-Historical Association of the municipality of Zevenaar, for instance, helped us to properly date the escape of Victor Kugler.
Private individuals form another important source for our research. They are often relatives of the people who played a role in Anne’s story. They know a lot and often have important documents and photos.
Research findings in practice
Our findings are frequently used in the media and in education. At the College of Arts & Sciences at Pace University in New York, for instance, students use a reader with background information about the helpers in the Secret Annex. The reader was compiled in close collaboration with the Knowledge Centre of the Anne Frank House.
The Knowledge Centre is increasingly perceived as the helpdesk for all those who want to learn more about the history of Anne Frank. Master students, journalists, or PhD students turn to us with questions about Anne Frank, her diary, or the Secret Annex.