Anne Frank died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945. She was 15 years old. She may have been a young soul, but she left a powerful literary testament to survival, perseverance, and hope.
What to See in Amsterdam: The Anne Frank Museum
Anne Frank’s diary is read the world over by high school and college students for its deep insights on the impact of war, dislocation, and prejudice on humanity. Given the huge literary and historical importance of Anne Frank’s book, it is not surprising that many visitors to Amsterdam would make time to visit the Anne Frank museum in the Prinsengracht district of Amsterdam. In fact, around one million people visit the Anne Frank Museum annually.
There is a certain awe that overcomes a visitor as one steps inside the converted office building which became Anne Frank’s hiding place for a few years before occupation forces arrested and deported her family. Anne and her family lived in a hidden section of the building that is now the Anne Frank museum.
There is a sense of gravity but also hopefulness when looking at the wall that Anne stared at all her years in hiding. Despite the threats and the ever-present ease of descending into depression, there is a sense of calm hopefulness in the décor of the room.
The entrance to the secret annex that housed Anne Frank, her family, and the van Pels family was covered by a bookcase. The bookcase at the Anne Frank Museum is a reconstruction of the original bookcase that deflected attention to the hiding place’s entrance.
Once you step through the entrance, you are taken to cramped quarters. Considering the constant threat of arrest, deportation, and certain death the Van Pels and Frank family felt, the hidden annex’ quarters can definitely feel claustrophobic. This section had some rooms, one of which is Anne Frank’s room. Anne writes that the wall of her room was quite bare when her family went into hiding. She took the photos of film stars her father brought with him, and she transformed the room into what Anne describes in her diary as a ‘gigantic picture.’
The Anne Frank Museum is a great testament to human hope and perseverance. One can’t help but feel awakened after visiting such a landmark. This museum is definitely a ‘must see’ spot in Amsterdam.