Sixty years to the day after the opening of the Anne Frank House Museum in Amsterdam on May 3, 1960, the museum dedicated to the memory of the world-renowned German-born diarist and Holocaust victim of World War II is calling on the public for support to keep their doors open, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to grip nations worldwide.
When the world is not on coronavirus lockdown, the museum and tiny apartment where Anne wrote her diary — which has become the most widely-read document to emerge from the Holocaust — attract 1.3 million visitors annually.
Museums and public attractions in the Netherlands, such as the Anne Frank House have been instructed to be closed until June 1 at the earliest. With 90% of their visitors hailing from abroad, the resumption of international tourism weighs heavily on the museum’s ability to climb out of the hole the coronavirus pandemic put them in.
“The world is going through an unprecedented crisis, which has an enormous impact on people everywhere and on the Anne Frank House as well…We are an independent museum that is not subsidized by the state or the city. If we are to continue to spread the memory of Anne Frank and her father’s mission, we desperately need financial support,” said Ronald Leopold, executive director of the museum, according to DutchNews.nl.
The Anne Frank House, built around the secret apartment where the Jewish teenager and her family hid from the Nazis, has been closed since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak – prompting directors to turn to the public in order to keep its educational programs and museum afloat during these trying economic times.
The educational programs, which have an intended worldwide reach, are funded mainly through the ticket sales stemming from the museum’s 1.3 million yearly visitors.