The title of the project Prof. Hearst and I are working on is, “More Than a Footnote- Kuno van der Horst’s Anne Frank Connection.” This project aims to shed light on Kuno van der Horst and his wife Hendrika and what they went through during this time, but also their unknown connection to the helpers and Anne Frank. Through this information, we want to shed light on the different experiences that happened during World War II and simple unknown ways these people helped others during the war. To spread the story of Kuno and what he went through and the things that happened in Holland during the war will hopefully shed more light on the struggles of the everyday people.
Kuno’s family contacted Prof. Hearst and have given us more information on Kuno and Hendrika to share with our research. This is a continuation of our research from last summer and with that, we have past research, but also the ability to contact the family and gain more information. This will help expand the information since there is very little information online. We have this special source to spur us on with our research and any questions we have. This also gives us a more personal look into their lives and the lives of people who lived through that time.
We have come to the final tweaks of the project and I believe we did an amazing job. It is something that will be useful to so many different teachers and students for years to come. Throughout the project, I have learned so many different things that I can carry with me through life. The process was difficult at times with sometimes very little information to go off of, but the more I learned the better I felt about the outcome of the project.
Since our project was not a data based project we did not have any results to experiments or any studies to have findings for. We did our research based on what these four helpers experienced back in the 1940s and how their actions helped stretch the Frank’s lives for just a few years longer. With this project, we had our main subjects to find information on, but the deeper we searched we found different people that were involved that hardly anyone knew about. It was great to be able to not only bring awareness to the amazing people who helped the Frank’s and the others in the Secret Annex but to also shine a light on others who survived and rebelled against the Nazi regime.
With this project, I have learned what bravery can do to help save lives. The bravery to stand up for what you know is right and to not let fear deter you. This project has helped me in numerous academic ways such as with research, but the more important lesson is one I can carry with me for the rest of my life. These four helpers risked their lives to help those innocent families and others and stood up for what they knew was right. They knew the risks of what they were doing, but they did not back down. Even when they were caught they did not let fear overtake them. With what is happening now in this country and around the world this lesson is one that is necessary for everyone to know. This study guide is not only a way for students to learn about what these helpers did, but to help them take the courage the helpers used and use it in their day-to-day lives.
The title of the project Prof. Hearst and I are working on is, “The Helpers of the Secret Annex: A Guide for Students.” The project aims to help students and teachers have a guide to the four people who helped Anne Frank as she hid from the Nazis during the Holocaust. Our goal is to give students more insight to the helpers and what they did to help those hidden in the Secret Annex. There isn’t much information taught about them while students read Anne’s diary. We want to highlight the sacrifices they made to selflessly help those who were in imminent danger.
As we have been working on this project, I have learned more about the helpers and how to give people more understanding of them. This has also provided more insight into what it was like for people who weren’t being persecuted by Hitler and what it was like to have to choose between being a bystander or stepping in to help those suffering. It has also has given me more experience into in depth research and how to properly go about finding information I need. I wish to be an investigative journalist in the future and this gives me a basis for what I need to learn more about and what to expect as I continue on this path to my career goals.
As we accumulate our research, we are looking into scholarly databases, old interviews, information dedicated to Anne Frank and communicating with workers at the Anne Frank museum. It is an interesting topic to research due to the fact of how little people truly know about the helpers. The helpers never wanted to have the fame and praise for doing what they did, they did it because they knew it was right. Our research shows us those characteristics and that also helps form an idea on who they were as people, giving us more information to help students understand why they did what they did.