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Friday, April 07, 2006

ANNE FRANK HOUSE: A little museum with a MASSIVE story

The Anne frank museum, towards the right of the picture with queues outside
Our second full day in The ‘Dam was a bit more focused, by lunchtime we were in the Anne Frank Museum.

The exterior of the museum is quite modern, which is a bit odd given it is the actual house that Anne Frank hid from the Nazi’s in. In side it is something of a multi media experience with lots of video clips from the era and interviews with people who knew Anne. Eventually you get up to the floors where the Frank Family hid during the war, going in through the bookcase that hid the secret entrance to attic rooms that were their home. There is no furniture in the rooms now but each of the empty rooms has photographs on the wall showing what it looked like during those dark days. The actual original diary itself is on display is glass cases.

Anne Frank, writng in her attic hideaway

The whole experience is very thought provoking and one cannot help think about the suffering the Nazi’s inflicted upon millions of people purely because of their religion. This museum brings it down to a more personal level though, reflecting the impact it had on one particular family, a family hid for most of the war but were eventually grassed up; Anne Frank eventually dieing in Belsen. Video footage of her father telling of how he first found out that Anne was dead and being handed the diary, which he had previously not known existed, were particularly emotional for me and brought tears to my eye.

As Primo Levy states, there were millions that suffered under the Nazis’ but this one story of one little girl captures it and personalises it all so perfectly it says more that a thousand stories could.

If you are going to visit the museum, go early in the day or late in the evening, as we came out there was a MASSIVE queue to get in, and it really is best viewed with as few people as possible around.


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