Anne Frank House museum unveils virtual reality tour
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Anne Frank House museum unveils virtual reality tour

25-minute 'immersive experience' lets people anywhere see the annex where the Franks and 4 other Jews hid for nearly two years before they were deported to concentration camps

Ronald Leopold, executive director of the Anne Frank House, views a new virtual reality presentation of the secret rooms where teenage Jewish diarist Anne Frank hid from the Nazis during World War II, in Amsterdam on June 12, 2018. (Aleksandar Furtula/AP Photo)
Ronald Leopold, executive director of the Anne Frank House, views a new virtual reality presentation of the secret rooms where teenage Jewish diarist Anne Frank hid from the Nazis during World War II, in Amsterdam on June 12, 2018. (Aleksandar Furtula/AP Photo)

The Amsterdam museum dedicated to Anne Frank’s life launched a virtual reality tour of the cramped quarters where the Jewish diarist and her family hid from Nazis during World War II, marking what would have been her 89th birthday Tuesday.

The Anne Frank House said the 25-minute tour means people will not have to visit the museum to see the annex where the Franks and four other Jews hid, from July 1942 until they were discovered in August 1944 and deported to concentration camps.

People with restricted mobility who visit the Amsterdam museum but cannot tour the small rooms will now be able to experience them in virtual reality.

Anne Frank House Executive Director Ronald Leopold said the tour “offers an immersive experience” of the rooms hidden behind an Amsterdam canal-side house where Anne wrote her diary.

Anne Frank (Flickr Commons via JTA)

Only Anne’s father, Otto Frank, survived the war. Anne and her sister died in the Bergen-Belsen camp. Anne was 15.

After the war, Otto Frank had his daughter’s diary published, and it went on to become a symbol of hope and resilience that has been translated into dozens of languages.

The new virtual tour is free and can be downloaded in seven languages from the Oculus Store for Samsung Gear and Oculus Go headsets.

The VR experience will be rolled out to Anne Frank centers in Berlin and New York later this year, the museum said.

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