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Image by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič

Anne Frank–A History for Today Project: Phase I | Kolkata, 2023 | Report


Updated: Dec 30, 2023

Phase I

November 20-21, 2023

Goethe Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, Kolkata

The training of the trainers at Max Mueller Bhavan, Calcutta on November 20-21, 2023

Winter in Calcutta was ushered in by a training of the trainers for the traveling exhibition on Anne Frank, an integral part of the Anne Frank—A History for Today project. This project is part of the educational activities run by the Anne Frank House, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, its India partner being PeaceWorks. The two-day training/workshop was held on November 20 and 21, 2023 at the Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, Kolkata. The four volunteers—Somashree Choudhury, Srilagna Majumdar, Roshmi Dey and Urvi Shah of History for Peace were trained by Aaron Peterer to be peer guides to the exhibition, with a larger goal of taking forward the project in future and train more young adults to be peer guides and human rights defenders.

Both days were full of fun-filled, team-building activities, aimed at building communication and stirring up more interactions between unfamiliar people. This, in-turn, aided in the shedding of prejudices and biases, being relaxed and composed in unconventional situations, in addition to the central aim of gaining knowledge about the Second World War, Holocaust and Anne Frank, and addressing similar such situations of human rights violation that we see in our world today.

Some glimpses from the training session:


Day One began with an introductory session through a name game activity where volunteers were randomly paired and each one was required to ask questions to the other, in the process, getting familiarized with one another.

The name game activity at Max Mueller Bhavan

Next, volunteers learnt to set up the exhibition from scratch.

The trainers learnt to physically assemble the panel frames

This was followed by walking through the exhibition and studying the structure, images, text, topics, eventually selecting images that came across as most powerful and thought provoking to the volunteers.

Trainers had to reflect on the content, images and text presented through the panels

For the next activity – the Best Educational Image, volunteers were grouped. Each group was asked to choose and study from a selection of images from the panels and make an exhibition panel of their own, highlighting why they chose that particular image, and what the most striking part of it was.

This activity required the trainers to study individual images in context of the panel of which the image was part of

In one of the activities, volunteers were asked to make a flip-chart presentation after selecting the

best educational image from the existing panels, the intention being creating one's own exhibition panel


On Day Two, trainers continued with making the panel and explaining it to the other groups.

Exhibition Panels being made on a flip-chart sheet

Two documentaries were shown – The Short Life of Anne Frank and Eyewitnesses.

Screening of The Short Life of Anne Frank

Screening of Eyewitnesses

For the rest of the session, trainers were encouraged to guide one another around the exhibition, discuss the background, aims and purpose of the exhibition, followed by reflections of the two days and discussions about logistics of setting up the exhibition at other spaces.

The Perfect Guide activity

The exhibition then traveled to Carmel English Medium School, Khordha.

For event report on Phase II visit here

Compiled by Urvi Shah and Srilagna Majumdar. Pictures by Aaron Peterer and Urvi Shah.

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