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With advice and action against hatred

FR donates The Anne Frank educational institution is a learning laboratory for everyone and fights more than anti-Semitism

In January, the Anne Frank educational institution will take over the sponsorship of the “Smart” project. This is the abbreviation for “gay and lesbian education”. Then young lesbians and gays will go to schools and talk about sexual orientation there. But what does that have to do with Anne Frank?

That is exactly the question that the educational institution asks itself in all of its projects. “One thing is always the focus for us,” says the director of the facility, Meron Mendel. “Would it fit into Anne Frank’s worldview? That provides a compass and direction. ”A worldview in which humanism and tolerance were important and an equal society without hatred.

How much fits into this worldview is shown by the educational institution’s large program of workshops, seminars, exhibitions, lectures and advice. When it was founded in 1994, the association “Jugendbegegnungsstätte Anne Frank” was mainly concerned with the fight against anti-Semitism and with the memory of the Jewish girl from Frankfurt who was killed by the Nazis in 1945. The spectrum later expanded, especially since Meron Mendel took over the management ten years ago.


The Anne Frank Educational Center , Founded in 1994 as a meeting place for young people, offers a broad educational program for all of Hesse from its two locations in Frankfurt and Kassel. He is active in youth and adult education, provides advice and publishes publications. The focus is on offers against racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination. The team includes more than 50 permanent employees and around 35 freelancers. ill Donation account : Anne Frank e. V., Frankfurter Sparkasse, IBAN: DE17 5005 0201 0000 9047 48, BIC HELADEF1822 Internet : www.bs-anne-frank.de

“It is important to me that we don’t commit to just one aspect,” he says. “Otherwise we always rightly hear the question from young people: And what about my experiences of racism?” It is about not excluding anyone. That is why there were and are exhibitions in the educational establishment about human rights violations in Iran (as early as 2012) or about superheroes in comics who would be able to save the world today – viewed with enough irony.

Is it particularly necessary today to work for political and social education? “What has to do with education is important at all times, it doesn’t work according to the political situation,” says Mendel. “But there are situations in which political education has a special meaning: What can we, for example, oppose conspiracy ideologies and right-wing ideologies?”

Anyone who has to defend themselves against discrimination or who has been a victim of racist violence will find advice on offer at the educational institution. In 2016 she received the Walter Dirks Prize for Human Rights for her “excellent historical-political educational work” and in 2013 the “Acts” seal of the Phineo analysis institute; she is evaluated by the German Youth Institute and the Federal Agency for Civic Education. “But for me as an educator, that’s secondary,” says Mendel.

He is happy when the institution offers 30 places for young people in training as a democracy trainer – and ten times as many apply. Another proof of success: “We don’t rely too heavily on social media, but we have an incredible reach on Instagram, for example – and we don’t share photos of dishes there, but serious content.”

Reaching young people on an equal footing is what the Anne Frank educational institution is all about, even if this is currently not always literally feasible due to Corona. “That’s not why we’re desperate,” says Mendel. A digital program was created within two weeks in March, and small face-to-face events were added. There are already many plans for spring: “We remain optimistic.”

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