Peers Share Anne Frank
Source: Humanities Nebraska Rapport (winter 2023) and the Institute for Holocaust Education.
Humanities Nebraska recently awarded a grant to the Institute for Holocaust Education (IHE) for ‘Anne Frank- a History for Today,’ a traveling exhibit. The IHE presented the exhibit in Nebraska schools in partnership with the Anne Frank House and the University of South Carolina’s College of Education.
The 30-panel exhibit, which tells the story of Anne Frank’s family and the impact of Nazi persecution and war, traveled to three middle and high schools in Lexington and Omaha during the 2022-23 school year.
At each school, a group of students was trained to help their fellow students think critically about the exhibit and relate lessons of the past to present-day circumstances. The exhibit stayed at each school for two weeks and was opened to the community for one evening at each school.
Some 2,500 students and community members viewed the exhibit, which had a measurable impact. In a survey, 88.9% of participating students reflected that the experience helped them understand the dangers of discrimination and prejudice, and 80.4% of participating students said they would be more likely to speak up in a situation where they saw prejudice or discrimination. One participant at Omaha’s Westside Community Schools said:
“I think the exhibit brought a lot of awareness, not just to antisemitism, but to the ways prejudice and discrimination can present themselves in every-day communities. I really appreciate all of the hard work and effort necessary to bring this exhibit to Westside Community Schools!”
“I really enjoyed getting to see many different groups of people coming into the exhibit,” another student said, “and it was really surprising seeing so many ‘light bulbs’ on people’s expression as they walked through the exhibit. The attentiveness and willingness that people had to learn more about the Holocaust and the Anne Frank story was very moving.”