Amsterdam is a quirky city filled with a series of things to see. Beyond the wonky houses and endless canals, the city of Amsterdam has a rich history that is displayed through various national treasures namely, the Anne Frank House.
One of the most visited sites in Amsterdam is the former residence of Anne Frank. Anne Frank is an internationally recognised author whose diary, published posthumously by her father Otto Frank, captured what life was like for a young Jewish girl living in hiding during World War Two in Amsterdam.
The secret annex where the Frank and Van Pels family hid and lived in for two years is located above what used to be the storage and work spaces for Otto Frank’s business. Now the building houses the museum of Anne Frank and offers visitors the chance to undertake a tour of the secret annex.
Note: It is relatively easy to find the Anne Frank house however the front view of the building is not the actual entrance – it is around the corner. There are distinct times in which visitors can enter according to their tickets and no tickets can be purchased at the site, only online prior to arrival. Tickets go on sale two months before the date.
When inside the museum an audio tour can be used to develop a more in depth knowledge of the history of the building and the families who were in hiding. No photos are allowed inside and the spaces are quite small in some areas so all bags are left at the entry point. As you follow the tour you can see the effort the museum has undertaken to preserve the site, including the bookcase that was used to hide the entrance to the annex. The walk-through tour also offers the opportunity to see how the families lived for those two years, with some artefacts belonging to the family still on the walls of the annex rooms.
Note: To get to the higher level you have to use a ladder and there is usually a crowd so take your time and wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
The former storage and work spaces have been converted for the museum and house a series of artefacts and video footage from and about how Amsterdam was affected during the war. It is also here that Anne Frank’s diary is available for purchase.
The Anne Frank house museum and tour offers great insight into the affect the war had on Jewish families and how the Dutch resistance operated during German occupation. The Anne Frank House organisation has worked hard to preserve and protect the history of the family and the building that hid them. It is a deeply moving experience to be in the building and I highly recommend buying and reading Anne’s diary account to help build the image. It was a highly emotional experience to visit this incredible museum and I appreciated the passion and respect the city has for keeping Anne Frank’s story alive.