1. Anne Frank video diary. What kind of project is this?
The Anne Frank video diary series shows what Anne Frank’s life in the Secret Annex was like. In terms of content, it is a representation of a number of the diary letters that Anne Frank wrote between March and August 1944. It’s just another format: Anne doesn't write, she films.
What if, on 12 June 1942, Anne Frank had got a video camera as a birthday present, instead of a diary? Instead of writing diary letters, she would have made video recordings. The camera would have been her diary. She would have vented in front of the camera, talked about her insecurities, anger, desire, love, fears, and hope. She would have talked about the world she lived in, the Netherlands under German occupation, the anti-Jewish measures, and life in the Secret Annex. She would have filmed the Secret Annex, the people who lived there with her, and the helpers.
2. How did Anne Frank video diary come about?
Frank de Horde and Tim Vloothuis from Every Media came up with the concept of Anne Frank video diary and produced the series. Natascha van Weezel and Wies Fest wrote the scenario, and Hanna van Niekerk directed the videos. The Anne Frank House contributed to the content of Anne Frank video diary. Our staff read the scripts and checked them for accuracy, they participated in the reconstruction of the Secret Annex, and were present at the recordings.
3a. Where and when will Anne Frank video diary be broadcasted?
Anne Frank video diary will be broadcast on the YouTube channel of the Anne Frank House: youtube.com/annefrank. The first two episodes will air on 30 March 2020. Every week, new episodes will be made available at set days and times: Monday and Thursday at 16:00 hours (CET). The series consists of fifteen episodes, the last episode (epilogue) will air on 4 May 2020.
The episodes vary in length from 5 to 10 minutes. Anne Frank’s video diary can be seen in over 60 countries.
3b. Why can’t I watch the Anne Frank video diary? When I try, I get the following message: Video unavailable. The uploader has not made this video available in your country.
You cannot watch the Anne Frank video diary because the copyrights to the diary of Anne Frank have not yet expired in your country. For some countries, such as the US, Spain, or Mexico, the copyrights to Anne Frank's diary are still vested in the Anne Frank Fonds in Basel (Switzerland). If we were to publish the video diary in these countries, we could be violating the copyrights of the Anne Frank Fonds in Basel.
4. Why a video diary on YouTube?
The Anne Frank video diary is a new and appealing way of sharing Anne Frank’s life story with young people.
The Anne Frank House wants to reach as many people as possible, especially young people. Young people spend a lot of time on social media, and that is where they get their information. Social media form an important channel for reaching young people.
5. Why YouTube?
The primary target group for this series is young people and they tend to spend a lot of time on social media. Out of the major social media platforms that young people use (such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat), YouTube is the largest and most suitable platform for video series.
6. Do social media form the right channels for dealing with sensitive subjects such as the life of Anne Frank and the persecution of the Jews?
In 2020, it will be 75 years since the end of the Second World War. The present generation finds itself at a greater distance from the Second World War and the persecution of the Jews - literally and metaphorically. There are few survivors of the camps left to tell their personal stories. So, we face the question of how to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive. Social media, which young people frequently use, can help in this respect. Anne Frank’s video diary will introduce her life story to young people around the world, placing it in the context of the Second World War and the persecution of the Jews, and presenting it in a way that is accessible and appealing to them.
7. What is the concept behind the video diary?
Anne Frank kept a diary and rewrote her diary to be published after the war. After her death, her father fulfilled her wish. In 1947, Anne's diary entitled Het Achterhuis (The Secret Annex) was published. In her diary letters, Anne spoke of her life in hiding in a personal and poignant way.
In 2020, more than 70 years later, Anne addresses the viewer directly in her video diary. Anne's diary becomes her video camera; her diary letters are turned into diary videos; her readers become her viewers. The approach is similar: Anne speaks to you directly and invites you into her world and her thoughts. One on one, personal and poignant. In a format that suits our times, for young people who are less likely to pick up a book, but who do watch videos on social media.
8. Why this concept, with Anne Frank filming instead of writing?
The strength of the diary is that Anne speaks to you directly and gives you a personal and poignant glimpse into her life. You can't get any closer to Anne. However, young people read less these days, and for many of them, reading Anne Frank's diary is a step too far. We want to reach this group in the same personal and poignant way through Anne Frank video diary. The video camera takes the place of the diary, yet the approach stays the same: Anne speaks to you directly and invites you into her world and her thoughts.
9. The Anne Frank House presents the story of Anne Frank in a relevant and historically reliable manner. How do you justify using a video camera, when video cameras had not even been invented at the time?
The Anne Frank House believes that it is important to keep the memory of Anne Frank and the persecution of the Jews alive to the present generation. The decision to publish Anne Frank video diary, in which her diary has been replaced by a video camera, is a deliberate one.
In 2020, it will be 75 years since the end of the Second World War. The world has changed in these 75 years, and so have the lives of young people. Young people today read less than they did in the past; they all watch videos on YouTube instead. Anne Frank video diary is a new and appealing way of sharing Anne Frank’s life story with young people.
The series is embedded in an educational framework. On our social media channels and through our educational programmes, we provide clarification and information about the diary of Anne Frank and the hiding place.
10. What is the educational framework of the series?
We made educational episodes to accompany seven of the fifteen episodes of Anne Frank video diary. The educational episodes explain and elaborate on what can be seen in the video diaries. The presenter of the educational episode goes in search of answers to the key questions of the video diary, such as: ‘Why did Anne Frank’s diary in particular become so very famous?’ or ‘Where does exclusion start?’ The background information is based on historical sources, such as Anne’s diary. Every educational episode concludes with a critical thinking question. This question links the episode to the present: the world of today’s students.
11. Why were the educational episodes added?
To show students that Anne Frank video diary is based on Anne Frank’s real diary entries and to add clarification and historical context. We have included many historical sources. After watching the series and the seven educational episodes, a teacher in secondary education can take the questions and use them for classroom discussions. Additional teaching materials and evaluative assignments can be found at annefrank.org/videodagboek. For primary school classes, we have compiled a workbook in which pupils get to answer questions about the video diary series and the educational episodes.
12. What is the goal of the Anne Frank House in publishing this video diary?
By publishing the video diary, the Anne Frank House wants to draw attention to the life story and relevance of Anne Frank in a way that is accessible and appealing to young people. This includes helping them place Anne in the context of the Second World War and the history of the persecution of the Jews. And to let them know that Anne wrote and rewrote a diary. We will embed Anne Frank video diary in an educational context, both on YouTube and through our other online and offline channels. We hope that the video diary will encourage young people to read Anne's diary for themselves.
13. There are so many films about Anne Frank as it is. In what way is this series innovative or complementary?
Unlike other films about Anne Frank, in which Anne is often played by an older actress and which take an outside perspective, Luna, a young actress, invites viewers to connect with Anne, the girl, through her camera. The strength of the video diary lies in the personal, one-on-one approach, just like in Anne’s paper diary.
14. Will the target group even remember that Anne Frank actually wrote a diary?
The video diary does not replace Anne Frank's diary. Communication around the video diary will be handled via the social media channels of the Anne Frank House. This allows us to provide context and link the videos to a girl who really existed, who had to go into hiding because she was Jewish and who wrote a diary that she wanted to see published. We hope that the video diary will encourage young people to read Anne's diary for themselves.
The Anne Frank House presents Anne Frank's diary, her literary talent, and her ambitions to become a writer in a variety of ways:
- in the museum, where Anne Frank's original diaries are on permanent display;
- on the website and in social media;
- through publications, such as the recent publication of ‘Liebe Kitty’;
- by means of travelling exhibitions, such as 'Reading and Writing with Anne Frank';
- in educational products and programmes.
15. How truthful is Anne Frank video diary?
Anne Frank video diary is based on Anne’s diaries. The basis for each episode are diary letters that Anne wrote between March and August 1944. All events in the series correspond to events Anne described in her diary. Since the series uses the format of flashbacks, the episodes are not one-to-one renditions of particular diary letters.
16. What is the added value of this video diary?
Young people read less these days, and for many of them, reading Anne Frank's diary is a step too far. However, they do watch videos on channels like YouTube. We hope that many young people will be moved by the video diary and that they will learn about Anne Frank's life story and start to think about antisemitism and discrimination today. Furthermore, we hope that the video diary will encourage them to read Anne’s diary for themselves.
17. Some people compare Anne Frank's life in hiding to the present situation, with its fear and isolation because of the coronavirus. Is such a comparison acceptable?
Our own experiences are often the starting point for understanding others. If you are severely restricted in your freedom of movement, as you may currently be, this will make you think about people who were forced to live under similar circumstances. Of course, this does not mean that the background and context from those days can be compared to our present situation. Anne Frank had to go into hiding for the sole reason that she was Jewish; her persecution, life in hiding, and eventual death were the result of deliberate human actions. Still, you will read Anne Frank's diary with different eyes, and the current situation will give you a better understanding of certain extracts from her diary.