Writing in February 1944, just a few months before being captured, Anne Frank documents one of the most fascinating yet tragic passages in her diary: "The world will keep turning without me, and I can't do anything to change that. I'll just concentrate on studying and hope it all works out in the end." These sentiments are hugely relevant to young people today, and Anne's hopes and thoughts form the basis of the exhibition "Anne Frank. hier & heute" which is mainly aimed at a younger audience.
An atmospheric exhibition
The entrance to the Anne Frank Zentrum at Hackescher Markt is covered in street art, and a young Anne Frank looks down from the graffiti, smiling. In 1994 the idea of marking the 50th anniversary of the liberation from fascism is first proposed, and the initial exhibition is a small travelling one. Four years later a permanent centre opens in partnership with the famous Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, and in 2002 it moves to its current location just off Hackescher Markt. Start your tour in a type of time tunnel. On the left you are presented with the main events of Anne's life starting with her birth in 1929. On the right the parallel, events of the Nazi period show how one young girl is influenced by the political events of her time. You then reach the multimedia stations giving more detailed information about the Frank family's hiding place in Amsterdam. The original diary belongs to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam but is also loaned to the Berlin centre on occasion. The links to the present day are seen in displays and there are also short films showing young Berliners talking about their personal identity, hopes and dreams as well as discrimination and courage in times of war. There is a wide spectrum of opinions and perspectives and lots of space for visitors to reflect.
Anne Frank Zentrum highlights
- Charts showing different translations of Anne's diary.
- Detailed photographs of the family's hiding place at Prinsengracht 263.
- Showcases about Opekta, Otto Frank's pectin company.
- Anne's baby and school photographs.
- Auditorium for films, talks and lectures.
Jewish history in the area
Directly opposite the Anne Frank Zentrum is Museum Blindenwerkstatt Otto Weidt, a small factory where Weidt employed Jews to protect them from persecution. Also close by is the Alte Jüdische Friedhof (Old Jewish Cemetery), destroyed by the Gestapo in 1943 and finally reopened in 2008 by Berlin's Jewish community. The New Synagogue Foundation hosts an exhibition called "To the Gates" showing the remains of the old synagogue and telling the story of Jewish life in Berlin. The monument to the women's protests of 1943 tells the story of the non-Jewish women's protests over imprisonment of their Jewish husbands. The Mahnmal Neue Wache is a reminder of the tyranny of war. Since 1993, this memorial has hosted the work Mutter mit totem Sohn (Mother with Dead Son) by the renowned artist Kathe Kollwitz.
Tips for your visit
Take the S-Bahn to Hackescher Markt station for the Anne Frank Zentrum. Berlin WelcomeCard holders get 25% off entrance prices. The Museumspass Berlin gives you free entry to both this and 50 other museums for three consecutive days.
Information for families and children
Regular family tours take place at the centre. There is also a children's discovery quiz with a prize at the end.
Information for school groups
Special all-day visits can be arranged for school groups including exhibitions, project and teaching materials. Full details available from the Anne Frank Zentrum.
Find further information here