Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Anne Frank House

On the morning of Monday Oct 13, I walked from my hostel to the Anne Frank House. Having been unable to obtain tickets online when I checked about a week in advance of my trips. I had made a mental note to get the tickets online but forgot until it was too late. I opted to head to the famous house an hour before it opened its doors in an attempt to beat the queue and not have to wait too long. The weather did not look too happy but rain was keeping away for now. I arrived at the house to be the first one in line. As I was taking photos an American couple arrived and stood below the entrance sign and I headed over to queue behind them perfectly happy to be second. Sure enough more people started to arrive and soon after half an hour the queue had rounded the building and was getting longer.

Anne Frank was a German girl living in Amsterdam with her family when the Nazi occupation forced her family and four other people to hide from persecution in hidden rooms at the read of the 17th-century canal house that was her father's factory. While confined in the Secret Annex, Anne wrote in a diary.  After two years of living in the tiny space, the group was betrayed and transported to concentration camps. Anne and her sister Margo ended up in Bergen-Belsen where they died in March 1945. 

Her father Otto, the only member of the Frank family to survive returned to Amsterdam to find that Anne's diary had been saved by a friend. He managed to have it published in 1947.

The museum opened on May 3 1960 and preserves the hiding place and has a permanent exhibition on the life and times of Anne Frank. In 2013, the museum had 1.2 million visitors and was the third most visited museum in the Netherlands after the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum.

One of the things that moved me the most was this quote by Otto Frank, 

"And My Conclusion Is, Since I Had Been in Very Good Terms With Anne, That Most Parents Don't Really Know Their Children." 

He had thought he had known his daughter really well but from reading her diary, her most inner and private thoughts he realised that he did not know his daughter at all.

I suggest queueing early if you do not have a chance to book a ticket online or going when the museum quiets down. Go here to buy tickets on the museums website. Admission is €9 for adults and there is no free entry with the I amsterdam card. Check website for opening hours as they vary throughout the year.

The queue after being inside the museum for an hour.

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