Museum of Jewish Heritage Curriculum Guide: “Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank
If you are teaching Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, we recommend using the following lessons from the Museum’s Holocaust Curriculum:
Lesson One – Introduction to Jewish Life During the Holocaust
Use this lesson before starting the book with your students in order to give them a background on life before, during, and after the Holocaust. We recommend that you omit artifact images as appropriate, depending on the age of your students.
Lesson Six – Experiences of Jewish Children and Teens
Use this lesson to teach about the varied experiences and options available to Jewish children living under the Nazis during the Holocaust. We recommend that you include the standard artifacts in this lesson, as it highlights how unusual the Frank family’s situation was in the larger context of the Holocaust.
Lesson Eight – Jewish Teens in Hiding
Use this lesson to have students further examine the experiences of Jews in hiding, in their own words. For 6th grade and under, we recommend using the excerpt from Hidden: A True Story of the Holocaust by Fanya Gottesfeld Heller. For 7th grade and older, we recommend using the excerpt from Otto Wolf’s diary.
Additional artifacts to include in your teaching:
- Louis Bannet promotional photograph and trumpet
With the German invasion in 1940, Louis Bannet (b. Rotterdam, Netherlands in 1911) went into hiding with the Dutch underground, until he was discovered and deported to Westerbork transit camp, then Auschwitz-Birkenau. Upon arrival in Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bannet learned that he could have a chance to survive, at least for a while, as a member of the Men’s Orchestra. Bannet played with the orchestra for more than two years, entertaining his captors and forced to play music as many of 1.3 million who were murdered in the gas chambers of Birkenau marched to their deaths. Most of Bannet’s own family members were among those killed at Birkenau, including his sisters and their children. Later, Bannet passed through other concentration camps, in Ohrdruf, Sachsenhausen, and Buchenwald.
- Diary of Anita Meyer, 1945
Anita Meyer (b. 1929) recorded in her diary, among other things, going to the dentist, the cold weather of 1945, bombings, and going to the farmer to get potatoes and more. This was not preprinted as calendar; the pages were originally blank. She made slashes in groups of seven on back page, one for each day of hiding. Her entry for May 5, 1945 includes Dutch for “hip, hip, hooray!” This is the day Anita Meyer was liberated.
- Anita Meyer in hiding photograph
This photograph of Anita Meyer (b. 1929) shows her standing outside, in the town where she was hidden. She is wearing a plaid dress, standing near a birdfeeder on the right of the photo. On the left is a row of pine trees. There is a small path running next to the trees. In the background there is a fence with a gate, and behind that are open fields. On the back is her name, birthdate, place of birth, and the name of the city where she was hidden. Her sister used this photo to help locate her.
- Anita Meyer 1944 photograph
In this photograph, Anita Meyer (b. 1929) poses in front of the house where she was hidden from fall 1943 through spring 1945. On back of photograph: Anita in hiding place Eindhoven 1944.
- Certificate for Sally Meyer to leave Westerbork
This documents states that Sally Meyer (b. Delft, October 23, 1898), then living in the Westerbork camp Barrack 38 F, is allowed to leave the camp for good with Reina Meyer-Stibbe. All authorities are requested to lend the necessary assistance to Mr. Meyer to reach his new residence.