Otto Frank was the driving force behind the publication of the diary written by his daughter. He was involved with the Anne Frank House until his death. By managing the hiding place and sharing the life story of Anne Frank all around the world, we continue Otto Frank’s mission.
Otto Frank’s message to young people
Otto Frank was convinced that young people needed to be persuaded that contributing to a better world is both necessary and possible. He answered thousands of letters from young people who had read his daughter’s diary and often ended his letters with the words: 'I hope that Anne's book will have an effect on the rest of your life so that insofar as it is possible in your own circumstances, you will work for unity and peace.'
“We cannot change what happened anymore. The only thing we can do is to learn from the past and to realise what discrimination and persecution of innocent people means.”
Otto Frank and the Anne Frank House
By setting up the organisation in 1957 and opening up the hiding place in 1960, Otto Frank realised his educational mission plans.
In an interview with Basler Magazin in 1979, Otto said about the mission of the organisation: ‘[...] the organisation’s work is not limited to managing the House. It was set up to increase awareness of the events of the dark years of the Second World War and the persecution of the Jews and to fight discrimination, prejudice, and oppression in the world today.’
House of Dialogue
Otto Frank knew how important the experience of visiting the Secret Annex was. He wanted the hiding place to become a house for young people, with a view to the future. Otto’s ideal was a house where people could talk to each other. A house especially for young people, carrying a warning from the past, with a view to the future.
In 1976, Otto Frank wrote a letter to the then director of the Anne Frank House. In the letter he emphasised that he did not want the visitors of the Anne Frank House just to think about the sorrow of the Holocaust. He also wanted to inspire them to take action against prejudice and discrimination themselves.