Thursday, 7 June 2012

The Anne Frank House

Anne Frank museum

The 9.00 a.m. queue - goes round the corner a few blocks!

Anne Frank house queue from the cafe

The great thing about Royal Caribbean is that they don't just dump you at the harbour on the last day of your cruise, there are various shuttles to help people to get home. If your flight only leaves at an ungodly hour that evening, they helpfully arrange a couple of local tours - in this case, around the sights of Amsterdam - and then leave you (with your suitcases) at the airport.  We chose to go on the tour which included a visit to the annexe where the Frank family hid, mainly because it is one very good way to avoid long queues.  Sure enough, on our tour arrival at 9.00 am. the queue was already at least half a mile long. Bypassing this is essential if you only have a couple of days in a city. We were at first disappointed that the annexe itself is empty of furniture, apparently as specified by Otto Frank. He wanted it as it was after being ransacked by the Nazis. Visitors move around the house in an awed silence, listening and looking at the audio-visual presentations and the photographs. However, the bookcase, built to hide the door to the annexe is still there as so is Anne's diary. This little book struck a chord with me as it's pink and white padded cover is so like one's young girls favour today and then the number of pages of exercise books also filled with Anne's writing on display, spoke eloquently of the time she devoted to her one possible pastime. So ironic, that her father, who served Germany as a loyal soldier in the First World War, made the wrong choice to stay in Amsterdam. He had relatives in both London and England who would have taken them in. When he tried to get visas it was too late as he and his wife wanted the family to stay together.  He must have had terrible survivor’s guilt.

2 comments:

  1. It's such a tragic family story -- multiplied millions of times through the Holocaust. I was fascinating by Anne Frank as a child and to this day. I would love to visit the Annex some day. I so glad your were able to -- despite the daunting crowds. What an impact that young girl has had through the years and several generations -- with the treasure of her thought and insights surviving her.

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  2. We were amazed that the annexe was so many rooms - I had always imagined just an attic. I had The Diary as a set book at school as a teenager and as far as I know, it is still on many English syllabi in many countries today. What an amazing consequence to her tragic death.

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