Anne Frank House, Amsterdam


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Anne Frank House and Museum

It was a must for me to visit the Anne Frank house, while visiting Amsterdam , like many other travellers. It is a deeply emotional place for me as I read the book in the same age as she wrote the diary. At that time, I was not well aware of the history of WWII that time, except for the brief chapter in my school history book, but I started writing my own diary after reading hers! And I know, my lovely readers, you already know so much about her. But still I am going to repeat some events from her life, as  this little post is my tribute to her ..

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From the side ..

Annelies Marie Frank is born  to Otto and Edith Frank on June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. First few years of life were best time for the family according to Edith.The problem started gradually , and grew frightening when in July 1932, the NSDAP becomes the largest party with 37% of the votes. Members of the Storm Troopers march through the streets singing “When Jewish blood splatters from the knife” songs, as recalled Otto frank later.

Otto was a very intelligent man, knowing for sure that they have to leave! He wrote to Cara in a later  after the war: “ I had to face the consequences, and though this did hurt me deeply, I realized that Germany was not the world and I left my country forever.”  (Source: Cara Weiss Wilson, Dear Cara: Letters from Otto Frank.)

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Anne writes about their immigration in her diary that as they are  jewish, the family emigrated to Holland in 1933, where Otto became the Managing Director of Dutch Opekta Company which manufactures products used in making jam.But not whole family together. First her mom and dad emigrated.   Margot and Anne were sent to Aachen, to stay with their  grandmother. Margot went to Holland in December and she followed in February, where she was presented to Margot as birthday present. They started feeling life will be normal again, Otto took care of the business and Edith, of the household. Girls started schooling and making friends.. but bad days were not far !!

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The queue

In May 1940 The Netherlands was invaded. There were many restriction coming for Jewish people. They must were yellow stars, they are not allowed to trams, cinema, ice-cream parlour or many other places. Soon Jewish children were no longer allowed to regular school. Anne started going to  Jewish Lyceum, where her  big sister Margot was also studying. When Margot receives a call-up for a German labour camp, Otto and Edith were extremely afraid.  Anna  was stunned. She was started visualising  the dark damp concentration camps and lonely cells. Scared as hell, they moved to their secret hiding place the very next day.

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The church Anne could see from the back window..

The free days were gone forever! So her diary become her best friend in the secret annex.  They shared the place with  Hermann and Auguste van Pels with their son Peter, and Fritz Pfeffer. The entrance to the Secret Annex is concealed behind a movable bookcase. Father Voskuijl, the warehouse manager, constructs the movable bookcase to conceal the entrance to the Secret Annex. Anne considered the annex as the best place of hiding in Amsterdam, if not in Holland,

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They hid in that place almost 2 years. The war became worse and only source from the outside news were through the helpers or a single radio shared by all 8 people. She writes “Today I have nothing but dismal and depressing news to report. Our many Jewish friends and acquaintances are being taken away in droves… transporting them in cattle cars to Westerbork, the big camp in Drenthe to which they’re sending all the Jews. Miep told us about someone who’d managed to escape from there. It must be terrible in Westerbork.”[Diary of an young girl by Anne Frank]

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While visiting the house, taking photos are not allowed inside. The museum authority writes: we understand it can get very emotional for many of our visitors and we do not allow photography inside. Indeed, it can be. The  movable book case is still there and the wooden stairs. There are video documentaries, and quotes all around. Even the attic she wrote about in her diary remains, except visitors cannot go there. There is a huge glass mirror through which you can see the attic.

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Anne started writing her diary  since her 13th birthday. From that time on Anne wanted to be a writer, and wished her diary would be published as novel once the war is over. She knew she can write, her stories are good, her descriptions of the Secret Annex is vivid and presentation was funny. She wanted to be a writer and thought she can really be a good one. And she was right.. The diary has since been published in more than 60 different languages.

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The people from secret annex were betrayed by somebody, whose identity was never revealed.In a sunny morning , when all the residents of secret annex were unaware and least expect it,  the door opened and a man was standing with a gun in his hand pointing towards them and they were forced to surrender.

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The view from the front of the house

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The manuscript, written on loose sheets of paper, was found strewn on the floor of the hiding place by Miep Gies and Bep Voskuijl after the family’s arrest. They were kept safe and given to Otto Frank after the war, with the original notes, when Anne’s death was confirmed in the autumn of 1945.Later, Otto and his second wife Elfriede Geiringer spent a large part of their time educating people about the importance of Anne Frank’s diary and the horrors that the Jews experienced during the Holocaust. Later,Anne’s stepsister Eva Schloss  wrote her own story as holocaust survivor, she still lives in London.

IMG_0049 DSC07250These photos show the backside of the house.

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The other side of the canal

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“Statue of Anne Frank, by Mari Andriessen, outside the Westerkerk”IMG_0084

The inhabitant of secret annex were arrested and transports to Westerbork, the men and women were separated.Anne with her mother and sister were deported  to the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp and arrived after a three-day journey.On 28 October, selections began for women to be relocated to Bergen-Belsen. More than 8,000 women, including Anne and Margot Frank, and Auguste van Pels, were transported, while her mother died in  Auschwitz-Birkenau. Irony is they survived the selection , they were not sent to gas chamber. still Anne while aged 15 years and Margot, 19 yrs died  in Bergen-Belsen contracted by typhus ,only a few weeks before British soldiers liberated the camp on 15 April 1945…

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From the other side ..

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36 thoughts on “Anne Frank House, Amsterdam

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  1. I am so glad you wrote this post. I also read the diary of Anne Frank. I did not know that you could see the sliding bookcase and the attic. I know I would cry if I were to see this place. This is such an important reminder that we must not hate people. We are all human beings.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hmm, I agree Laura. But surprisingly, I still see people hate each other, sometimes due to skin colour, sometimes if anyone is poor, sometimes anyone from another country less known to them or because of religion! I feel it is a difficult time we live in, an unhealthy conspiracy and hate simmering all the time.. Which is sad

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  2. I read Anne Frank’s diary as a young girl and it influenced my life very much. I kept a diary and wanted to be a writer. I became a writer, in advertising, and continued to journal the rest of my life. More so, I learned from her a sense of stoicism and joy for life.

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  3. Anne Frank’s house is on my list too, and the Holocaust museum of course. Hearing about her story in grade school and high school was incredible. I started reading a lot of similar non-fiction books after hearing about her story and book. One question though, I noticed that there aren’t any photos of her house from the insider. Is it prohibited to take photos insider her house?

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    1. Thank you too for reading. But she was not able to see very much the beautiful surroundings as all the windows were covered by dark curtains and black covers so that noone can see them.

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  4. Enjoyed this post very much! I also read her diary and started my own at eleven and now that journal keeping blossomed into blogging. She impacted my life so much. I’m emotional just reading this! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Card, it is amazing to see that many of us, who lives thousands of miles apart, we’re influenced in the same way. I think it again proves the point that wherever we live, whatever we do and whatever our skin colour, food habit, religion and lifestyle are, basically we are all same. I do think this feeling is important to combat the hatred spread around the world today, hugs 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post and very evocative pictures. I’m glad visitors aren’t allowed to take photographs inside Anne’s secret hideout – you can just imagine all those idiots happy-snapping selfies, can’t you? If ever there was a reason to continue writing as one of the most important art forms, it is the diary of this young victim. It should be compulsory reading for every person in former East-Germany – a place where sadly one comes across far too many people spouting out rubbish about foreigners, WWII’s holocaust victims and anyone who is of different race/colour/belief. East Germans exchanged one totalitarian regime for another, never dealing with the guilt and shame they should have felt for their part in WWII. I reserve my hate for those who insist on perpetuating ignorance and arrogance to their own advantage. Ihr wisst, wer Ihr seit…und solltet Euch was schaemen! Thanks for this great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your reading. That kind of discrimination faced by Anne and many other victims are really thought provoking and certainly should be a lesson to us. Though not to such extent, but I sometimes did face discrimination in Europe due to my brown skin. I am extremely proud that I don’t judge people on their skin colour or socioeconomic background or religion, and I am also proud of my brown skin. It may appear irrelevant, but its not, as the discrimination against a group of people can be in any form and you need to know they exists to fight them. I think Anne has taught us that, with all these war crimes, she thought still there are good people around.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post! I too read the book in High School, which made me want to visit the site.

    So, I visited Anne Frank’s house in 1985 and back then, it was a very different place as it wasn’t on the “tourist list” and not popular. I’m pretty sure it was free (or minimal entry, like a Euro) and I could wander throughout at my leisure, up to the Attic, and without crowds or barely anyone for that matter.

    In 2009, I very much wanted to re-visit the site as my first visit had such an impact on me. However, from across the street, I could see the large neon sign, which reminded me of a movie theatre entrance, a massive line-up to get in, and there was an expensive entry fee. Very disappointed, I decided not to go in as I preferred to remember the site as when I first visited.

    It’s such a shame that for me, this site has become a money-churning machine and too commercial.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree with you. They are charging 9 €, and whole time they are advertising. I am glad I have already visited because maybe in future it is going to be even more commercialised. What a irony, while Anne wanted everyone to read her stories, some people are doing business out of our emotions.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a sad story… 😦 I had no idea about this place. Thank you! If you are ever around Amsterdam area again, please do let me know. Maybe we can meet and explore together some places 🙂 I live close by.

    Liked by 1 person

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