The University of South Carolina (USC) announced on Tuesday the opening of the Anne Frank Center, the only North American exhibit where visitors can physically walk through the history of Anne Frank.
The Columbia, South Carolina center becomes only the fourth of its kind in the world, reported The State.
USC stated that its aim was to use the story of Anne Frank, the well known diarist who died in the Holocaust at the age of 15 to combat anti-Semitism, racist and hate.
The Anne Frank Center encompasses a life-sized model of the room where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis for two years, along with original documents, annual photographs of Anne Frank – missing the two years she was in hiding – and a history of events that led up to her diarized experience in the Holocaust.
The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and USC each contributed portions of $100,000 to renovate an existing building and install the new center which will be open to the public on September 15.
The impetus for the project came when Anne Frank’s stepsister visited in USC in 2017 and then the university’s president paid a visit to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.
The center’s executive director Doyle Stevick was a visiting scholar in 2012 at the Anne Frank House and continued working with the organization afterwards.
In 2018, it was agreed upon between the Anne Frank House and USC that the school would be the site for the only Anne Frank Center in North America.
Rabbi Meir Muller, who is also a USC professor, said at the opening announcement that the story of Anne Frank is a way to teach children who are too young to learn the details of the horrors of the Holocaust about what occurred.
South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said at the announcement that the center would serve to educate middle school tours.
“It will be our job to make sure we have yellow buses pulling in with loads of South Carolina students,” Spearman said.