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The Awe-Inspiring Experience of the Anne Frank House

The Awe-Inspiring Experience of the Anne Frank House

The Anne Frank House is a must-visit destination for anyone. The emotionally powerful museum is in the heart of Amsterdam, the house where Anne Frank and her family hid during World War II.

The Anne Frank House is a historic landmark that offers visitors an immersive, humbling experience, taking them back to a time and place where Anne Frank wrote her thoughts and feelings into what would become The Diary of a Young Girl.

The diary has become a symbol of hope and resilience, inspiring people all over the world. At the Anne Frank House, visitors can see the actual diary that Anne Frank wrote, as well as learn about the history of the Holocaust and the impact it had on the world.

Of all the world’s dedications to one of the darkest chapters in human history, the Anne Frank House might be the most powerful reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust.

Visiting the Anne Frank House is an emotional experience that is both educational and inspiring. Offering a glimpse into the life of Anne Frank, a teen Jewish girl driven into hiding along with her family, the Anne Frank House is a must-visit destination.

History of Anne Frank House

Anne Frank House, Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Having been a couple of times, I highly recommend visiting the Anne Frank House. It is one of the most famous museums in the world, and for a legitimate reason – you’re walking through history. The museum is located in the building where Anne Frank and her family hid during World War II, providing a moving and insightful look into their lives.

The house at Prinsengracht 263 was where the now-celebrated Jewish wartime diarist and her family hid during the Second World War. To escape Nazi crackdowns on Jews in occupied Europe, the Frank family hid in the Achterhuis, or back house (commonly known as the Secret Annex) behind a bookcase in July 1942 and remained there until the occupying Germans discovered them in August 1944.

After the war, Otto Frank, Anne’s father, returned to Amsterdam and found the house empty and in disrepair. He turned it into a museum in honor of his daughter and the other victims of the Holocaust. The Anne Frank House opened in 1960 and has been a popular tourist attraction ever since.

The museum is an important historical site that offers visitors a glimpse into the life of Anne Frank and her family during the war. The museum has preserved the hiding place as it was during the war, with the original furniture and artifacts that belonged to the Frank family. Visitors can walk through the Secret Annex and see the rooms where Anne and her family lived in hiding for two years.

The museum also features exhibits that provide context for the wartime period and the persecution of Jews in Europe. Visitors can learn about the history of the Frank family, the role of their helpers, such as Miep Gies, and the impact of Anne’s diary on the world. The museum also explores the legacy of Anne Frank and the importance of tolerance and respect for diversity in today’s world.

Visiting the Anne Frank House

People waiting in line in front of the Anne Frank House
Ivica Drusany / Shutterstock.com

As someone who lives in Amsterdam, I find the Anne Frank House to be a place that holds a special significance for me. The Anne Frank House receives hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, and it remains an important symbol of the power of the human spirit in the face of adversity and a reminder to be better to each other.

To visit the Anne Frank House, you must purchase tickets in advance. You can do this online, and I highly recommend doing so to avoid long lines. It’s pretty busy, and it is the third most visited museum in the Netherlands, after the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum.

When you book your tickets, you must select a specific time slot for your visit. Don’t forget to arrive on time; they are strict about entry times.

Once inside, you can explore the exhibition center at your own pace. The atmosphere is quiet and reflective, and you can see many photos and artifacts from the Frank family’s time in hiding.

The exhibition center also provides a lot of background information about the war and the persecution of Jewish people during that grim time.

Bookcase to the Anne Frank Secret Annex
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTraveler

If you plan your visit, be aware that the Anne Frank House is closed on certain holidays, so check the opening hours before visiting. Also, remember that the exhibition center can be pretty crowded, especially during peak tourist season, so try to visit during off-peak times if possible.

Visiting the Anne Frank House provides a powerful look into one family’s struggle during a dark time in world history, and it is an experience that will stay with you long after you leave.

See Related: Best Museums in Amsterdam to Visit

Exhibits at the Anne Frank House

As mentioned, I have had the opportunity to visit the Anne Frank House multiple times, and each visit has been a moving experience where I felt like I learned something new. The exhibits at the Anne Frank House are thoughtfully curated, offering visitors a window into the life of Anne Frank and her family during their time in hiding.

One of the most striking exhibits tells the story of Anne Frank herself, explored through a series of photos, original objects, and film images. The exhibit offers a detailed account of Anne’s life, from her childhood in Frankfurt to her years in hiding in Amsterdam.

Another notable exhibit is the collection of original items from the Secret Annex, where Anne and her family lived in hiding for two years. Visitors can see the actual rooms where the Frank family lived, including Anne’s bedroom and the small kitchen where they cooked their meals.

It’s hard to put my experience of the Secret Annex into words, but it was impossible not to feel for these people. I felt this ever-present sense of fear, dread, claustrophobia, comfort, and familiarity. It was truly haunting.

In addition to the physical exhibits, the Anne Frank House also features a number of videos that provide additional context and insight into Anne’s life and the events of the Holocaust. These videos are well-produced and offer a powerful glimpse into the horrors of the time.

Read Also: Places to Visit in the Netherlands

Education at the Anne Frank House

The Anne Frank House is a fantastic learning experience, and I can attest to the massive educational value it provides. The museum offers a variety of educational programs and resources for young people, making it an ideal destination for school groups and families.

One of the most unique educational programs at the Anne Frank House is the “Anne Frank in the World” exhibition. This exhibition provides an in-depth look at the life and times of Anne Frank, as well as the historical context of the Holocaust. Through interactive displays and personal artifacts, visitors can gain a deeper understanding of the impact of World War II on individuals and communities.

In addition to the exhibition, the Anne Frank House offers educational programs for young people of all ages. These programs range from guided tours to workshops that focus on topics such as tolerance and diversity.

The museum also provides educational resources for teachers, including lesson plans and online materials. A powerful aspect of the educational programs at the Anne Frank House is the emphasis on personal reflection and empathy.

Through quotes from Anne Frank’s diary and other personal accounts, visitors are encouraged to think critically about their values and beliefs. This approach helps to create a more meaningful and impactful learning experience for young people.

Preservation of the Anne Frank House

Front of Anne Frank Huis (Anne Frank House)
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The Anne Frank House Museum is a unique historic preservation project, as it is a museum and the actual hiding place where Anne Frank and her family lived during World War II.

The museum is in the Frank family’s original building, and the annex where they hid remains intact. Preserving the Anne Frank House is crucial to ensure that future generations can learn about the Holocaust and the life of Anne Frank.

The museum has undergone several renovations and restorations to preserve the building and its contents for future generations. The Anne Frank House Museum has a team of conservators responsible for preserving the building, the annex, and the objects on display. The team uses a variety of techniques, including conservation treatments, to ensure that the building and its contents are protected from damage and decay.

There have been concerns about the house’s fate in the past, including proposals for the demolition of the building. However, the museum has secured funding for its preservation and has taken steps to protect the building from potential threats. The museum has also implemented measures to ensure that the building is accessible to visitors with disabilities while still preserving the site’s historic character.

The Frank Family and Other Inhabitants

Anne Frank Huis
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

As I stand outside the Anne Frank House, I can’t help but think about the people who lived in this canal house for two years during World War II.

The Frank family, consisting of Otto, Edith, and their daughters Anne and Margot, were joined by four others in their hiding place. These included the van Pels family, consisting of Hermann, Auguste, their son Peter, and Fritz Pfeffer, a dentist.

The Frank family had moved to Amsterdam from Germany in 1933 after Hitler came to power. They had hoped to escape the persecution of Jews in their home country, but unfortunately, the Germans invaded the Netherlands in May 1940.

With Nazi occupation in full swing, the Franks went into hiding in July 1942 after Margot received a summons to report to a work camp. They were joined by the van Pels family a week later, and Pfeffer arrived in November.

Living in such a small space with eight people was not easy. They had to be extremely quiet during the day, as people were working in the warehouse below them. The building was also searched several times by police and soldiers before the Secret Annex was discovered.

They also had to share one bathroom and had limited food supplies. Despite these challenges, the inhabitants of the hiding place tried to make the best of their situation. They celebrated birthdays and holidays, and Anne continued to write in her diary.

Unfortunately, working from a tip given by a Dutch traitor, the hiding place was finally discovered by the Nazi secret police in August 1944. The inhabitants were arrested and sent to concentration camps to be worked to death or exterminated.

Only Otto Frank survived the war, and he returned to Amsterdam to find that his entire family had been killed. He would go on to publish Anne’s Secret Diary, which has become one of the most widely read books in the world and one of humanity’s most important literary works.

Visiting the Anne Frank House is a powerful experience that allows you to learn more about the lives of these poor people hiding during the war. It’s a reminder of the importance of tolerance and acceptance and a tribute to the strength of the human spirit.

See Related: Famous Buildings in Amsterdam to Visit

Anne Frank’s Diary

As I’m sure you know, Anne Frank’s diary is one of the most well-known and important pieces of literature from World War II. Anne received the diary as a gift on her thirteenth birthday, just a few weeks before she and her family went into hiding.

The diary is actually a composition notebook that Anne had covered in brown paper and decorated with pictures and quotes from her favorite movie stars. Anne wrote in her diary almost daily while hiding from June 1942 until August 1944.

Her diary entries cover a wide range of topics, from the mundane details of daily life in the Secret Annex to her deepest thoughts and feelings about the war, her family, and the world around her.

Her most famous quotes include, “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart” and “How wonderful it is that nobody need to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” These are just incredible thoughts from a child knowing that they face death on a daily basis.

After the war, Anne’s father, Otto Frank, found Anne’s diary among the belongings left behind in the Secret Annex and published it as “The Diary of a Young Girl,” often called “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

The diary’s first edition was published in Dutch in 1947, with several omissions, and has since been translated into more than 70 languages. Subsequent editions have since been published, including materials that Otto had deemed inappropriate for publication.

The Diary of Anne Frank is a powerful and moving account of a young girl’s experience during one of the darkest periods in human history. It is an incredibly important piece of literature that has helped millions of people understand the horrors of the Holocaust and the importance of tolerance, empathy, and understanding.

If you can visit the Anne Frank House, I highly recommend reading Anne’s diary and learning more about her life and enduring legacy.

Anne Frank’s Life and Legacy

the last known photograph of anne frank at the anne frank house
The Last Known Photograph of Anne Frank

Anne was born in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1929. Her family moved to Amsterdam in 1933 to escape Nazi persecution. In July 1942, the family hid in the Secret Annex above her father’s business, along with four other people.

It was here that Anne wrote her diary, chronicling her life in hiding, her thoughts and feelings, and her hopes for the future. Her writing is honest, reflective, and often poignant. It is a deeply human text that I consider mandatory reading for everyone.

They remained in hiding for two years until the Gestapo discovered and arrested them in August 1944. Anne and her sister Margot were sent to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany, where they died of suspected typhus in early 1945, just weeks before the British 11th Armored Division liberated the camp.

As a Jewish wartime diarist, Anne Frank is one of the most well-known victims of the Holocaust. Her story has become a symbol of resilience and hope in the face of literal extinction.

This is a museum that shouldn’t exist, but for human intolerance and cruelty, and it is because of that intolerance and cruelty that this museum is one of the most important in the world.

Today, the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam is one of the city’s most popular attractions. The nearby Westerkerk church, which Anne could see from her window, also serves as a poignant reminder of her life and legacy.

FAQs

Where did Anne Frank hide during the war?

Anne Frank and her family hid in a Secret Annex in the back of a house at Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam. The annex was concealed behind a bookcase and was only accessible through a hidden door.

Where is Anne Frank’s actual house located?

Anne Frank’s actual house is located at Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam. See above.

Is the original Anne Frank House still standing?

Yes, the original Anne Frank House is still standing. The house has been converted into a museum and is open for tours.

Do you need to book a visit to the Anne Frank House in advance?

Yes, booking your tickets in advance to visit the Anne Frank House is highly recommended. The museum is very popular and can get very busy, especially during peak tourist season. Booking in advance will ensure you can secure a spot for your preferred date and time.

Can you take a virtual tour of the Anne Frank House?

Yes, you can take a virtual tour of the Anne Frank House. The Anne Frank House management team has created a virtual reality tour allowing visitors to explore the Secret Annex and other parts of the museum from their homes.

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