“The time will come when we’ll be people again and not just Jews! Who has inflicted this on us? Who has set us apart from all the rest?” Anne Frank, April 11, 1944
With a commitment to advance human rights in Idaho, as one Idahoan did at great personal risk, we recognize the impact that each of us has when we choose to stand up and step in to make a difference. Bill Wassmuth, a former Catholic priest, became one of the Northwest’s most visible leaders against hate when he confronted the Aryan Nations in Idaho. He is the epitome of a human rights hero in our state, region and nation. Wassmuth often stated “Saying Yes to Human Rights is the best way to say No to prejudice and bigotry.” When Wassmuth died in 2002, Governor Kempthorne called him “an early voice for human rights and human dignity in our state.”
It is our vision that the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial and the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights are the vehicles that encourage us to share a commitment to human rights, to learn from the horrors of the past to guide our behavior and shape our attitudes in the future, and to inspire classrooms and communities throughout the state to promote respect for human dignity and diversity.
What one did in word and the other did in deed, our goal is to live and steward the legacy of Anne Frank and Bill Wassmuth.
Investing in the Wassmuth Center’s Future
Supporters of the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights feel passionately that its work must continue well into the future. Guided by our mission to promote respect for human dignity and diversity through education and to foster individual responsibility to work for justice and peace, the Center must be able to develop and deliver the resources and programs that bring human rights education into classrooms and communities throughout the state.
Commitments to the endowment are accepted as outright gifts in the form of cash or securities, as pledges payable over a five-year period, and as planned gifts, which include will commitments, trusts, annuities, and other planned and life-income instruments.
Etched into the stone at the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, Haim Ginott is quoted from his book Teacher and Child: A Book for Parents and Teachers, “Dear Teacher: I am a survivor of a concentration camp. My eyes saw what no person should witness: Gas chambers built by learned engineers. Children poisoned by educated physicians. Infants killed by trained nurses. Women and babies shot and killed by high school and college graduates. So, I am suspicious of education. My request is: Help your students become human. Your efforts must never produce learned monsters, skilled psychopaths, or educated Eichmanns. Reading, writing and arithmetic are only important if they serve to make our children more humane.”
Whether in the physical bricks and mortar of the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial or the programming of the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, fostering value and respect for human dignity and diversity through education and community outreach is what we do. The mark that the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights is making throughout the state is motivated by the conviction that every member of the human family is worthy of fundamental human rights. “Respect for human dignity and diversity” is more than a value proposition. It is the mark we make that presents our community and state as a welcoming place to live; it is the mark of how and where to conduct business; it is the mark we secure for the next generation.
That is the legacy handed to us by Anne Frank and Bill Wassmuth.
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