Fresh interest in Anne Frank story

By Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore, January 8, 2009

The executive director of the Anne Frank Trust UK believes that the prime-time BBC One dramatisation of The Diary of Anne Frank will “bring a new wave of interest in the Holocaust and Anne Frank’s story”.

As the trust unveiled new learning aids for schools on Monday to coincide with the first episode of the drama, Ms Walnes reflected that “if I was a teenager I would want to know more. It will bring Anne Frank to a new generation and help them to understand what it feels like to be persecuted. We can translate this into the community, into the school, into the family and into the street.”

She felt that the story of Anne Frank was an “incredible tool” for tackling issues such as gang culture and knife crime.

The educational material, promoting responsible citizenship, was launched on Monday at Clapton Girls’ Technology College in Hackney. Pupils were shown a video, viewed an exhibition about the Holocaust and discussed the BBC drama.

Three teenagers were appointed Anne Frank ambassadors, among them 13-year-old Alexandra Joseph, who said the session had been an eye-opener.
She added that the BBC series was “a great way for people who hadn’t read the book to understand Anne’s story. It’s a story where no matter what age you are, or what background you are from, you can relate to.”
Another ambassador, Evie Paffard, 14, said the lesson from Anne Frank’s short life was “how stupid racism is. For me and other teenagers she’s a teenage heroine.”

Established in 1990, the Anne Frank Trust works in schools, communities and prisons to challenge prejudice, bullying, racism and hatred. The learning aids are available for schools to download from its website (

Last updated: 6:48pm, January 8 2009