“No one has ever become poor by giving.”
— from “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank (1929-1945)
After his release from the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz, Otto Frank, Anne’s father was presented with his daughter’s diary. He said it revealed a person he did not know; her thoughts and words were not those of the young girl he had known.
For more than two years Anne Frank and her family and friends, the Van Pels family and Fritz Pfeffer, lived in the attic annex of Prinsengracht 263 (see photo #1, a poster for sale in the gift shop, showing a cut-away diagram of the house). Anne’s father, Otto, also conducted his spice business from this building. The doorway to the annex was hidden behind a moveable bookcase, constructed especially for this purpose. The men and women who worked in Otto’s business knew of the hiding place; they supplied the eight people with food and news of the outside world. On 4.August.1944, the hiding place was betrayed. The people in hiding were deported to various concentration camps. Only Otto Frank survived.
Today, the rooms of the Anne Frank House, although vacant, evoke powerful emotions. Quotations from Anne’s diary, historical documents, photo enlargements (see photo #2, Otto Frank after the War in the annex attic), film clips, and original ephemera that belonged to those in hiding and to the those who helped, bring to life the events that took place here. Anne’s original diary and other notebooks can be seen in the museum; copies of the international bestseller, printed in many languages (see photos #3 & #4), are displayed too.
What a surprise to see an Academy Award (see photo #5) at the Anne Frank Museum! It was won by Shelley Winters for her role as Mrs. Petronella van Daan in the 1959 Hollywood interpretation of Anne’s diary. Sixteen years after winning the award, Miss Winters kept her promise to Otto Frank, who would visit the movie set during production, when she donated it to the Anne Frank Museum.
Anne Frankhuis and the museum are open March 15 to September 14: from 09:00 to 21:00 pm (until 22:00 on Saturdays); July and August: from 09:00 to 22:00 pm; and September 15 to March 14: from 09:00 till 19:00. Last admittance is 30 minutes prior to closing.
Sited in a townhouse dating to 1635 the Anne Frank Museum is one of Amsterdam's most visited attractions, a tribute to the diary written by the most widely read author from The Netherlands and a journey into the unspeakable horrors of our past century. The story of her diary is too well known to reiterate but this remarkable and depressing journey through the original site brings new insights and knowledge to the visitor. The long lines to gain entrance are mute tribute to the timelessness of the diary, a United Nation of visitors.
The tour begins with the offices of Otto Frank, a purveyor of spices, with original documents and commentary on the walls. Then, through the narrow steep staircase hidden during the war by a bookcase, to the four rooms occupied by the Frank family, a second family, and a local dentist for over two years. The rooms are largely unfurnished as per the instructions of Anne's father Otto, the only one of the eight inhabitants to survive the war. The stove and the toilet ( not flushed during daylight hours to avoid noise ) may be originals. The visit ends with several rooms with filmed interviews of people who knew Anne Frank and informative printed wall hung material. Some of the interviews are with the workers who continued on Frank's business during the war and secretly provided food and supplies to the hidden Jews ( as well as movie magazines for Anne - on the walls are pictures of movie stars said to have been placed there by Anne herself ). At the very end, a most interesting and worthwhile set of interactive video segments called Free2Choose present modern day dilemmas in which appropriate human rights issues such as free speech, tolerance, and cultural differences diverge - well worth a few minutes, really.
And after what at the least is a two hour visit, the modern airy cafe offers decent pastries, sandwiches, and coffee at surprisingly modest prices for a museum venue.
Previously unknown factoids picked up and remembered
- Anne Frank's Diary, which she titled The Annex, survived only because one of the non-Jewish workers in the spice office found it a few days after the Franks were deported by the Nazis and saved it till after the war.
- Anne Frank was not murdered but like so many concentration camp victims in the later years of the war died of typhus fever.
- Interviews with those who knew Anne Frank describe a smart ( Montessori student ) and somewhat bratty kid, who anticipated that her diary would be published after the war and wrote it with fuiture renown in mind throughout.
- The smiling young girl featured in all the pictures precedes the years of hiding. There are no recorded images dating from after the Franks and their friends went into hiding.
“Sometimes I believe that God wants to try me, both now and later on; I must become good through my own efforts, without examples and without good advice.”
— from “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank (1929-1945)
DOING GOOD Unknown to her, the idealistic Anne did a world of good.
Anne Frankhuis is the second most visited sight in Amsterdam; the Rijksmuseum is the first. There is always a queue to enter the Anne Frank Huis; we waited between 15 and 20 minutes. The self-guided tour through the Secret Annex was a sad journey.
Between Westerkerk and Anne Frankhuis stands a little bronze tribute to Anne Frank (see photo #4). Amsterdam’s city counsel commissioned Dutch sculptor Mari Andriessen to create the city’s tribute to one of its most famous citizens. His work was unveiled in 1977. Westerkerk is mentioned frequently in Anne’s diary. Anne could see the church’s 279-foot tall clock tower from the attic of the Secret Annex; she described the chiming of the clock as a source of comfort.
An aerial view of the house, seen in a poster (see photo #3) for sale in the gift shop, shows its relation to Westerkerk and the surrounding neighborhood.
Ann Frank is a young Jewish girl who went into hiding during the Second World War and the Holocast. During the 2 years of hiding in the attack of an old warehouse Anne wrote a diary detailing her struggles which has become famous all over the world. After 2 years of hiding Ann and her family were seized by the Nazi's and taken to seperate concentration camps. Ann died at the age of 15 at Camp Bergen-Belsen just weeks before liberation.
The Ann Frank Haus offers a tour around the Secret Annex where Ann and her family went into hiding. The house has also been turned into a museum so as you walk round you will be able to look at real artifacts that are kept in clear perspect boxes around the museum. If you have read the diary it is very interesting to see it in real life.
The Ann Frank Haus is extremely popular with tourists and it is best to go first thing in the morning and the queues get very long and they only let a certain amount of people in at once as the museum is so cramped. They also have very strict rules with regards to carrying bags or luggage, as far as I understand you can not take in large bags with you, you may even get turned away at the door. This was the case when I visited so it is best to check the website to make sure.
Tickets can be bought online or at the door, the current prices (September 2012) are:
Adults € 9.50
10-17 years € 5.00
Children up to 10 years € 0.50
When you come to the end of the museum you will be lead to the bus stop where you can buy a new copy of the book in many different languages and there is also a cafeteria.
While planning our trip to Amsterdam, we had decided in advance that this place was a must see. Definetely, it was! If you have ever heard about Anne Frank's story or even better, read about it, you can't miss this place. I got the chills while I walked around the house that hosted this girl and her family along with another family for two years during the war. Every detail, every corner, every door, stairway, make you feel the chills of the war. The museum is the actual house that was used as hiding place for the Frank's family. There is a lot of history there, so it is worth it to go there.
Avoid having to queue in the morning and afternoon and try to be there at night before closing. We passed by and watched all the tourist making and ending line to enter. The place is small, so if you go with when it is packed, it turns uncomfortable and not convenient since you barely can see anything among the crowd. We got there around 7 pm and there was not queue (in April). When we entered we had enough place and calmness to see everything with no rush or many people.
The museum is open from 9am - 9pm and the last admission is 90 minutes prior to closing. So enjoy Amsterdam and stop by this place in the evening.
A visit to the house of Anne Frank is a definite must do when visiting Amsterdam. I have an interest in all things WWII and so visiting here was really thought provoking.
On my last visit in February 2012, I went mid morning, when the queues weren’t so long. However, don’t be put off visiting, if you see along queue, because it is well worth the wait.
The house is very interesting museum about a very dark time in Amsterdam’s history. It is hard to imagine a family living in the rooms they had, with the constant threat of being given away and sent to concentration camps. Unfortunately this did eventually happen and only Anne’s father Otto survived the war. There is a poignant photo of him standing in the loft room after the war. It seems that his thoughts are far away, maybe thinking of the family that he once had ... heartbreaking.
On a more light-hearted note, the cafe is excellent and the bookshop fully stocked with Anne’s diary in many languages. I bought an English edition, and although you may be able to get it cheaper on Amazon etc I was happy to support the museum.
The book is a must read for young and old.
"In 1947, two years after her death in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, Otto Frank published "The Diary of Anne Frank". The book was compiled from a collection of notebooks kept by his daughter between 1942 and 1944 whilst the Franks, Jewish refugees from Frankfurt, and another family hid in a closed-off annexe inside this house.
In 1957 the house was donated to the Anne Frank Foundation who have restored it to give some idea of the conditions in which the refugees existed. The front of the house, where Otto Frank ran his business, now contains exhibition space whilst the inner part (which was reached via a revolving bookcase) has been left as it was; empty of furniture, which was confiscated by the Nazis. Anne's original notebooks are on permanent display, along with films showing how the rooms looked during the war and documents recording the history of National Socialism and anti-Semitism."
I enjoyed seeing the house and I felt sick to my stomach walking inside and thinking of the day when she and her family were taken away. The only one that survived the war was her father, Otto. It was sad to see and learn more about their family history and their last days in the house.
I bought a copy of her diary and a book about her 7 months of life.
We found the Anne Frank house to be quite a moving experience if you know the story of this poor girl and her family. The place does have a rather somber atmosphere as one should probably expect considring the subject matter, so perhaps more people should consider this when bringing children here if they can't keep them under control.
The entrance isn't included in the "I amsterdam" card and so it was one of only two entrance fees we had to pay during our visit to the city but it is something you must see if visiting Amsterdam.
We had been tipped off that we needed to go either very early to be there ready for opening at 9am or late after 7pm (it's open until 9pm) to avoid long queues. We went early and got in fairly quick but the place then started to fill up quickly and as it is, by it's very nature, a small space it soon got quite crowded in parts. The queue when we came out at about 10.30 was shocking! Down the road, round the corner, down that road and round the next corner!
You've been living under a rock if you don't know the story but it takes on completely different perspective to experience where it all took place. This most-visited of Amsterdam's tourist attractions does a remarkable job - both through their extensive website and on-site displays - of dispelling any romantic notions of juvenile diary scribbling one may had gotten from book, play or movie and presenting the facts in stark reality.
Casual readers of the diary may not know that the Frank family were not Dutch but German Jews who had fled Frankfurt to Amsterdam to escape the ominous beginnings of Hitler's regime when Annelies Marie Frank was little more than a toddler. The small plaid volume presented as a birthday gift shortly before the family went into hiding was really an autograph book that, because it had a lock, made a perfect vehicle for keeping a teenager girl's thoughts away from prying parental eyes. But the pages were quickly filled and she continued her writing on loose-leaf paper and notebooks, rewriting the original in hopes of having it published as a novel after the war. "The Diary Of a Young Girl" as it stands is Otto Frank's compilation of both original and revised material with passages edited out and selected use of Anne's pseudonyms for household members.
The living quarters comprised 3 upper floors of a rear annex to Mr. Frank's larger office building that are reached via steep, narrow flights of stairs. The rooms are small, dark and unfurnished; the Nazi captors having emptied them of furniture and most possessions as was customary. The website has representations of how they would have looked when occupied so you can get the feel of how claustrophobic that 2-year confinement must have been for eight people.
Exhibits in Otto Frank's former office and and newer wings of the building provide displays of some of the few relics that weren't appropriated after arrest, family photos, general overviews of the Holocaust and, of course, the diary and other of Anne's original documents. Online guides are available in 21 languages and the website is packed with great background information you should explore before your visit: VERY highly recommended if taking children.
Know before you go:
• Time-specific tickets can be ordered through the website: recommended as this is a heavily visited attraction
• Because of the steep stairs it's not accessible to wheelchairs or other mobile disabilities and could be uncomfortable for persons who dislike small, crowded spaces. See the accessibility section of the website for visiting the cafe, book shop and new wing exhibits.
• The I Amsterdam Pass is not valid here
• They do not have a coat/bag check. Large backpacks or luggage must be left in lockers at the train station or at your hotel. Prams/strollers can be parked near the information desk.
• No photos or filming of any kind is allowed, and please turn off your phone
• The bookshop is a great place to buy a copy of the diary in any of 24 languages for daughters, granddaughters, nieces, etc.
• Open every day of the year but hours vary so see this page for hours, ticket prices, etc.
Just like any other touristy activity there's a line..... :o)
I would have liked to have gone in and viewed the place where Anne Frank lived during the WW. Her story is amazing and one of great courage.
Anyway, I was quite content with having our picture taken with her around the corner at her statue. Someone had already kindly put a posy of roses there for us too :o)
In photo 2 you can see the line at the Anne Frank House. I wasn't waiting in that line!! :o)
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