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The Anne Frank House in Buenos Aires

November 21, 2009

Yesterday was a beautifully sunny day in BsAs. I had completed Lesson #40 in homeschooling and administered the requisite 2-day exam for “my students” and decided we needed a change of pace.

I had heard about a fairly new museum which had opened this summer, The Anne Frank House.  This museum, located in a house in the residential neighborhood of Belgrano,  includes an exact reproduction of the rooms in which Anne, her family and the Van Pels family hid for more than 2 years during the German occupation in Amsterdam.  It even included the movable bookcase which hid the entrance to the annex of the house.  To experience this museum was moving.  I believe the children will remember this experience for the rest of their lives.

While the museum is new and still working on its displays, we thoroughly enjoyed our visit.  The guide gave us the tour in Spanish and we understood almost 50% of what he was saying…hey, we are making progress!

There was a separate room which focused on teaching young people the importance of tolerance, mutual respect, human rights and democracy.

One may ask, as I did, why is this museum in Argentina?  In an effort to build confidence in security forces, the Argentinean National Interior Security  Council has initiated this program.  During the last military dictatorship from March 1976 to December 1983 (the Dirty War), Argentina was plagued with violence and anti-Semitism throughout the security forces.  These “security forces” abducted and tortured thousands of people.  Some 30,000 people “disappeared” and while some did manage to return, many were never heard from again and some only returned as corpses.  Jews were kidnapped and subjected to even greater torture  than other Argentines…because of their religion.  Argentina never wants a black mark like this to appear in their history books again.   They are  hoping that through education and these type of awareness programs, they can train their police cadets to be aware and sensitive to human-rights issues which will help to eliminate prejudices.

While our children knew the story of Anne Frank and the Holocaust, they had no idea what had occurred in Argentina so recently.  It was an educational day for all of us.  I am so very impressed with Argentina’s effort to prevent anything like recent dictatorship from happening again and shedding light on some difficult topics in their history.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Bea permalink
    November 21, 2009 23:14

    What an informative and interesting “field trip” for your family. Thanks for sharing your experience with us…your reporting was superb!!!!

  2. Debbie B. permalink
    November 22, 2009 08:46

    What an unusual and novel way to teach tolerance! I especially like when you can connect a book with a real life experience/example! (This might count as text-to-world in the reading lingo of today!!!!)

    Love the picture of Anne, where was that in the museum…and interesting that they let you take a photo.

    Miss you as you know!

  3. anna noone permalink
    January 11, 2010 19:37

    Thats soooooo cool

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