In collaboration with Ana Frank’s house in Amsterdam, the District of Belgrano shelters Centro Ana Frank Argentina, a space devoted to the memory of what happened during the Holocaust...
We reached Centro Ana Frank in the porteño District of Belgrano, on a sunny afternoon. Nothing looked farther than The Netherlands and the Second World War. We had read that Ana Frank Foundation, in collaboration with a group of Argentinian volunteers, had established this center in a donated house in order to continue the Foundation’s work in Argentina. We went in to learn some more.
We were welcomed at the door by one of the volunteers, an eighteen-year-old boy that very kindly showed us around. The tour started on the first floor, where an educational show goes through the history of Nazi Germany and the Second World War, in parallel with the history of the Frank family and Ana’s diary.
Superí 2647, , Ciudad de Buenos Aires
To keep the past alive
A reconstruction of some parts of the house
The secret annexe
Ana Frank’s name, out of millions of victims of the Final Solution applied by the Nazis during World War II, has become imprinted on collective memory because this teenager succeeded in writing, during the almost two years she was hiding in a factory, a diary in which she gave account of her life. Once the war was over, Otto Frank, Ana’s father, published that diary in the shape of a book, which came to be known as Ana Frank’s Diary.
Ana’s history is interesting not only because of what she had to tell us but also as a reflection of many other stories, other lives that ended just like hers. Centro Ana Frank Argentina attempts to preserve the memory of that past and keep the debate about discrimination and persecution.
After this tour, we visited the second floor of the house, where some spaces where Ana hid were reconstructed. We could enter two of the rooms that looked very much like the ones we had seen in the photographs on the first floor.
Centro Ana Frank also wishes to encourage the reflection on discrimination and persecution. Therefore, didactic activities are carried out and the house also presents a room that commemorates the history of Argentina during the 1970s.
Though the history of World War II and what happened with Ana Frank may be familiar to many of us, the center shows a past that is closer to us than we might think.
During his presentation, the guide mentioned more than one example of visitors that shared their own family history while touring around the house: anecdotes their parents told them about their own escape from Germany, memories from the time when they were released from the concentration camps. Though the same story may have been heard more than once, the moment in which we stood in that room that recreates the same space where Ana wrote her diary continues to impress us.
A sprout of the chestnut tree that Ana used to watch from the window of her hideout, which she mentioned in her written accounts as a symbol of hope, is planted in the garden located at the back of the house.
Marcos Rodríguez Marcos Rodríguez
Contact of the excursion or tour
Centro Ana Frank Argentina
Superí 2647 () Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Ciudad de Buenos AiresTel: +54 11-35338505
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