What if Anne Frank had kept a vlog instead of a diary? In search of a new way to reach Generation Z with Anne Frank’s story, the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam developed a 15-episode online video series based on Anne’s letters to Kitty. The imaginative production was released to YouTube ahead of schedule in light of the global pandemic known as COVID19.
The video diary beings on March 29, 1944. Anne is 14-years-old and has been living in hiding for more than 18 months along with her parents and sister; the van Pels and Fritz Pfeffer. Anne films herself and the events in the Secret Annex. She looks back on the time before they went into hiding, talks about the war and shares her deepest thoughts and feelings. The video diary ends August 4, 1944, when Anne and the seven other people from the Secret Annex, as well as two of their non-Jewish helpers, are arrested.
Officials with the Anne Frank House hope that Gen-Z will be greatly moved by the video diary. They want young people to learn not only about the young Jewish diarist who died in a concentration camp, but also about the tragic consequences of antisemitism, discrimination and scapegoating. Although there are risks in transferring one of the world’s great diaries to modern times, I think it’s a daring and fantastic endeavor. I loved reading the Diary of Anne Frank in 9th grade and look forward to introducing my kids to this contemporary production. Unfortunately, it is not currently available in some countries including the United States because of possible copyright infringement. I’ve sent an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to show my support for public broadcast in the U.S.
Episodes began airing on March 30. New episodes air every Monday and Thursday at 4 p.m. Central European Time. The last episode will air on May 4. CET, the last one on 4 May. The video series is in Dutch, with subtitles in German, English, Portuguese, and Spanish. The episodes are accompanied by seven educational videos.
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