Jewish groups are split in their reactions to the announcement of a video game
that will allow users to relive a day in the life of Holocaust diarist Anne
The focus of the game, simply titled “Anne Frank,” is set on the
day in October 1942 when Anne wrote in her diary about her fears that a worker
was about to discover the family’s hiding place in Amsterdam, it was reported in
German video designer Kira Resari, 25, calls the game an
“interactive experience” that was not meant to be “fun.” It is not yet available
“It’s more like you get carried away, touched and perhaps moved
to tears,” he explained, adding that he “would not give away the
“I want to make a contribution toward ensuring that she is never
forgotten,” he said.
Scott-Hendryk Dillan, a spokesman for the Anne Frank
Center in Berlin, told JTA the center has been aware of the project since March
but has not yet evaluated it.
“We are getting in touch with the creator,”
Dillan noted that the website of the Anne Frank House in
Amsterdam offers a multilingual interactive virtual tour through the house where
the Frank’s were in hiding.
He said it is state of the art, “but not
interactive. This Munich game designer is the first to do this.”
said he wanted to contribute to ensuring that the persecution of Jews and the
Holocaust will never be forgotten.
“Younger generations need access to
history on their own wavelength,” he told the Protestant online news portal,
Responses by Jewish organizations to the game’s
announcement were mixed.
Abe Foxman, the director of the Anti-Defamation
League, said that despite not yet having seen the game, the “notion of an
interactive video game based on the life of Anne Frank is
Such an endeavor, he explained, “could trivialize the Frank
family’s experiences and turn Anne into a caricature.
We believe there
are more effective and sensitive ways to educate young people about the
Holocaust. Young people should be encouraged, first and foremost, to read her
While also explaining that he had not seen the finished product,
Dr. Efraim Zuroff, a Nazi hunter and the director of the Simon Wiesenthal
Center’s Israel office, said that it is a potentially positive
“These days [the] fact that a book, play, or even a video
game deals with the Holocaust, does not necessarily mean that the product is
beneficial to the causes of Holocaust commemoration and education,” he said, but
noted that he does not oppose the use of interactive games to educate youth
about Nazi crimes.
“There is nothing wrong with using the latest
technology to reach young audiences,” he said.
However, “there are so may
ways to distort the history and lessons of the Shoah, that without reviewing the
content of the game carefully, I cannot comment” on it directly, he said.