Date to celebrate - June 12 - Anne Frank's 80th birthday

8th May 2009 at 01:00

What's it all about?

On her 13th birthday in 1942, Anne Frank unwrapped her first diary. Her record of a war spent in hiding from the Nazis' campaign against the Jews has sold more than 20 million copies in 55 languages.

Assembly ideas

Begin by comparing our lives to Anne's claustrophobic years in the Achterhuis (the small network of rooms hidden behind her father's office).

What do we take for granted on a daily basis? Seeing our friends? Going to the park or cinema? Making a lot of noise in the back garden? Anne and her family saw only each other and the Van Pels family, who joined them a week after they moved into their hiding place in July 1942, and Fritz Pfeffer, who arrived that November. They spent their daylight hours creeping round as quietly as they could, not even flushing the toilet for fear they would be heard in the offices below. What's more, they knew that if they were discovered they would be taken to concentration camps, which is what happened when they were betrayed in August 1944.

The lengths the Frank family went to in hiding from the Nazis should show the grave danger they were in. Look at the Nazi ideology and why they thought the Jews were inferior. Show pupils how powerful and destructive prejudice can be and make it clear that hating another group of people is illogical.

Help, I've got no time to prepare

The Anne Frank Trust has a downloadable set of assemblies for ages 11 to 18. www.annefrank.org.uknode96

Where do I get more information?

Following the BBC dramatisation of Anne's diaries, the Anne Frank Trust has provided biographies of those living in the annex, along with lesson plans: www.annefrank.org.ukbbcdrama

The Anne Frank House museum has more information about the conditions in the annex, as well as Anne's life and writing: www.annefrank.orgmuseum.

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