Dutch Jewish museum uses Anne Frank theater for education

Cnaan Liphshiz

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (JTA) — Holland’s main Jewish museum launched a children’s educational program centered around a new play about Anne Frank.

The Amsterdam-based Jewish Historical Museum announced late last week the launch of the new program, which emphasizes the Jewish elements of the story of Anne Frank for pupils who watch the play “Anne.”

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Produced in cooperation with the Basel-based Anne Frank Foundation, the play debuted in May and is the first dramatization of Frank’s story that is based on her family’s entire archive.

Anne Frank died at a German concentration camp in 1945 at the age of 15. Prior to her deportation, she wrote a diary documenting her two years in hiding in Amsterdam with her family.

Edited by Anne Frank’s father, Otto, the diary became an international bestseller which was translated into dozens of languages. The late Otto Frank left the copyright on the book and other writings to the Basel-based foundation, which he established in the 1960s.

The museum’s new program offers school pupils two preparatory lessons before they watch the new show at Theater Amsterdam – a building which the entertainment firm Imagine Nation built exclusively for the show, at an investment of several million dollars. Another lesson is given after the show, the news website theaterparadijs.info reported.

The lessons deal with what Anne Frank’s Jewish identity meant to her and also familiarizes pupils with Jewish customs and history.

“The cooperation improves our ability to reach young audiences,” Kees Abrahams, the show’s producer, said. “We hope to interest more schools in sending their pupils to our shows.”