Arizona Jewish Historical Society offers Anne Frank House VR experience

Mar 1, 2023, 4:25 AM | Updated: 7:31 am

(Arizona Jewish Historical Society Photo) (Arizona Jewish Historical Society Photo) (Arizona Jewish Historical Society Photo) (Arizona Jewish Historical Society Photo) (Arizona Jewish Historical Society Photo)

PHOENIX — A virtual reality experience is launching in Phoenix, allowing visitors to submerge themselves in history while touring the Anne Frank House.

The experience “Anne Frank House VR: The Secret Annex,” created by Vertigo Games, opens to the public Tuesday at the Arizona Jewish Historical Society in Phoenix (122 E. Culver Street).

Visitors will put a headset on to see the house Anne Frank stayed at and where she had to hide, while getting to choose what rooms they want to go into.

What makes the 25-minute experience unique is that it’s interactive, according to Dr. Lawrence Bell, executive director of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society.

“In addition to just wearing the headset and taking a tour through the Anne Frank House through the headset, you’ll be able to actually do things,” Bell told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

He compared it to an Oculus VR headset, adding that visitors will be able to use their hands, influencing their experience.

Bell hopes the use of the virtual reality headsets will provide constructive educational use.

“We are humbled to offer a virtual experience of the Anne Frank House for visitors who are not able to make the long trip to Amsterdam,” Bell said.

“I hope that people build an emotional connection to the Frank family.”

Tickets to the exhibit, which includes access to the Anne Frank House experience, are on sale for $5, and students get admission for free.

Group tours, like school classes, are required to schedule their tour online.

Visitors will also get the chance to hear stories from four Holocaust survivors who ended up in Arizona at the exhibit and be able to see “The Last Goodbye,” Pinchas Gutter’s tour of a death camp in Poland.

“The Holy City,” a virtual tour of religious sites in Jerusalem, is set to be added in May.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Heidi Hommel contributed to this story. 

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Arizona Jewish Historical Society offers Anne Frank House VR experience