Report of Mr. Stefan Vervaecke*（Anne Frank Foundation）
at Doshisha International Junior/Senior High School
In autumn 2012, we were fortunate to meet Yoko Takagi of jearn, and this encounter led us to have Anne Frank Panel Exhibition in our school. We were planning a similar exhibition this autumn, when we learned that Stefan would be in Kyoto. We asked him to speak in front of the high school students during our morning service and also participate in our 12th grade elective class, International Understanding. Since two thirds of our students have experience living abroad, there are quite a few students very fluent in English. We asked one of them to translate Stefan during this morning service and in class. Though we only had limited time, we were able to learn about the foundation.
“I always have the key to the hiding house of Anne Frank. From today, you all have one too.”
“Let’s celebrate Anne’s birthday together on June 12th. Let’s pray for peace.”With these tranquil and yet firm words of Stefen, we were able to reconfirm our hopes for peace. We are grateful for this encounter and will strive even harder as “peacemakers.”
*Heer Stefan Vervaecke : anne frank stichting
Project Coördinator Oost-Aziĕ Afdeling Buitenland
Chief Chaplain The Rev.Shinji Yamamoto UCCJ
G9 Student Reflection
On September 23rd we had a special guest in school, Mr. Stephen Vervaecke. He came all the way to Japan from Amsterdam, Holland. He is a worker at Amsterdam Anne Frank Museum and he is now on a tour going to many schools in Japan to teach the students about life of Anne Frank in Amsterdam. He came to our class in the 6th period. As the Thousand Crane Club Member, I had a little bit of pressure on myself that I have to try hard to listen very carefully and understand every bit of information. However, Mr. Stephen was extremely gentle man. He taught us a lot of new information that I would never be able to learn if I am living in Japan. Although he had some Holland accents, it was very easy to follow what his saying because he was talking in very kind and slow pace so that we can understand well. He was also very kind when we had a short time to talk together about Crane Club, after school. I felt little bit disappointed in myself because I couldn't talk a lot, I was very nervous. If I have another chance to talk about the Crane Club, I would want to introduce about our club more actively.
On Sept. 24th, students in G6-8 and G9-11 had a special Humanities lesson with Mr. Stefan Vervaecke from Anne Frank House, Amsterdam. Mr. Vervaecke spoke gently yet convincingly about the significance of Anne's life to our world today and tomorrow. He spoke to extend students' imagination on the tragedy of war from a humanistic viewpoint.
Mr. Vervaecke closed the session by asking everyone to participate in the reading of Anne's Diary on June 14th, 2014 commemorating the 85th year from Anne's birth.
Itami Nishi Junior Hihg School Reflection:
First of all I thought that war had nothing good. And I wondered why people discriminated against Jewish people. Those who discriminate and those who are discriminated against are all same human beings. They(Nazis) should have thought of making the world where everyone does not have to hide and can have a free life. War always takes lots of lives and makes many people sad. Only few get benefit. But now almost all people think that the world peace is important. Anne had insisted on the importance of the world peace in her book, though she died. I think she is great because she did not lose her dream and continued to write in such a severe life.
Thank you for today's lecture. It was very easy to understand. I have read the book which summarized Anne's life when I was an elementary school student. But it only said about her terrible life roughly, so I could not find her details from it. Today you told us that Jewish people were discriminated against in many ways, and if they were arrested they had to be in the worst situation, and how the house Anne's family was hiding was. Those were the information I could not get from the book I read in elementary school. Anne died young but I want to visit her house if it remains. I really appreciate that you told me various things.
（Translated by Matt, Kishida）