Arizona Jewish Historical Society offers Anne Frank house virtual reality experience

By Christina Estes
Published: Friday, March 3, 2023 - 5:15am
Updated: Friday, March 3, 2023 - 7:46am

Vertigo Games
Anne Frank's family and four other people hid in an annex of a building in Amsterdam for more than two years before they were captured by Nazis.

The Arizona Jewish Historical Society is offering people a unique virtual reality experience. 

For more than two years, Anne Frank and her family hid in an Amsterdam attic during the Nazi occupation. Her diary became the most famous first-hand account of Jewish life during World War II. 

Arizona Jewish Historical Society executive director Lawrence Bell said visitors can experience Anne’s housing through virtual reality.

“You’re able to turn like a 360 any direction you want so you can sort of make a full circle and turn all the way around and you’ll see all sorts of the viewpoint changes,” he said. “It gives you a sense of what it would have been like to have to live there and not be able to go outside.”

Vertigo Games
Anne Frank's diary became the most famous first-hand account of Jewish life during World War II.

Vertigo Games created “Anne Frank House VR: The Secret Annex” and actor Liev Schreiber provides narration to the experience. It is the latest addition to the Phoenix heritage center’s exhibit, “Stories of Survival: An Immersive Journey Through the Holocaust”.

“We need to be vigilant that we don’t become so hateful and divided as a society that we’re willing to permit this kind of thing to happen again,” Bell said.

On Monday, March 6, the Arizona Jewish Historical Society will provide the Anne Frank VR experience and museum admission at no cost. Two local Holocaust survivors, Dirk Van Leenen and Philip Speyer, will also speak about their experience in Amsterdam. 

The center is located next to Burton Barr Central Library near Central Avenue and McDowell Road in Phoenix. The address is 122 E. Culver St., Phoenix. Visiting hours are Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for walk-ins and other times by appointment.

Arizona Jewish Historical Society
Using headsets, visitors participate in a virtual reality experience.

Vertigo Games
The virtual reality experience shows the living quarters decorated as they were when Anne Frank hid during World War II.