Saturday, April 1, 2017

Anne Frank Museum Amsterdam - #AtoZChallenge

The first time I read the Anne Frank's diary, I was overwhelmed. Slightly elder than her age, I couldn't imagine the fear, agony and horror she must have faced during those trying times. So when we decided to visit Amsterdam, it was obvious that Anne Frank museum was on top of my list.




P.C. Anne Frank Museum website
For those who don't know her, Anne Frank was a Jewish girl who had to go into hiding, just as she was entering her teenage during World War 2. Her family had moved from Germany to Netherland to escape Nazis, only to be forced to go into hiding in few year's time as Germany invaded Netherland. Few months before going into hiding, Anne's father had gifted her a diary on her birthday, and she maintained a detailed account of their life in the crunched hideout place. As the hiding place was in the premises of her father's office in Amsterdam, they had to be careful not to make any sound or to be seen by outsiders. With windows blacked out with thick covers and same food week after week, barring rare special occasions, life must have been really difficult for her and all those hiding there. Unfortunately, they were all caught on one fateful night and sent to concentration camps. Out of the eight members caught, only Anne's father survived. Anne had dreamed of becoming an author. When her father found her diary after Germany was defeated and all the remaining Jews were freed by the allied forces, he decided to publish it as a tribute to the dream of his daughter. If you haven't read it already, I will strongly recommend it to you, without reading it visiting this museum will not mean as much to you.


P.C. Anne Frank Museum website
The place was ingeniously hidden behind a bookcase, not giving the slightest hint that there may be more rooms behind it. As we entered from the door hidden behind the bookcase, it brought me goosebumps as I knew we were retracing the footsteps of Anne Frank. Although I had read about it, I couldn't imagine being confined to the narrow room she lived in and the limited space of the Annexe (as the hideout place was called) for about 1.5 years without stepping out even once. The only connection with the outside world was the radio which delivered the updates from the war. Every step you take hits you with the kind of challenges all of them must have lived with, such as a bathroom with only a toilet and wash basin, shared amongst eight residents of the Annexe with pre-allocated time slots for each person or not being able to flush the toilet too often during daytime, as it may be heard by the people in the warehouse downstairs.

Little do we all realise about the life we have briefly read in history books or watched in movies, as they seem distant, but it all becomes very much real when you visit a place like this. No matter how much has been written about the World War 2, I am sure there are many untold stories, lost in time. All the sufferings and pain one person and his army can cause to tens of thousands of innocents.

I was having difficulty controlling my emotions, as we walked through the house. As if imagining it all was not enough, there were many videos and detailed accounts of the various concentration camps. You can skip those videos if you are with children so don't let it stop you from visiting this amazing place as it carries you to a different world, where you see what happens when one human being hates another on the basis of something the other person has no control over, the religion they are born in. The story of Anne Frank cuts across all the boundaries of country, language, faith and any other dividing aspect and makes you wonder why should a girl be denied a right to enjoy this beautiful world as a result of hatred towards her race, with no fault of her own.



Located in the centre of Amsterdam, this place is a must-visit on your itinerary the next time you visit this bustling multi-cultured city. You can buy tickets online in advance if you know the date and time of your visit. Otherwise, the tickets are also available at the entrance.

You can find out more about the museum, it's opening times and admission cost at http://www.annefrank.org.



Download this and other posts published as part of the #AtoZChallenge  - https://www.theblogchatter.com/download/off-beats-by-gayatri/


28 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Siddhartha, glad you liked it

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  2. nice experience . felt i was there

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  3. I haven't visited the place, but my husband did, and he was impressed. I like her book, even if it is one of the saddest I have read.

    -----
    Name: Eva
    Blog: Mail Adventures
    #AtoZ Challenge Theme: Postcards
    Letter A: Adventurers. Because any postcard is a little adventure, isn't it?

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  4. Well composed. .. keep writing ☺

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  5. A place I shall never forget visiting. The house in my post at http://bit.ly/2olC3Hx cannot compare.

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  6. Gave us the goosebumps, even though we were just reading it!! Very well written!!

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    1. Thank you Mocktail mommies team, glad you liked it

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  7. Good start, wishing you luck👍

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  8. Thank you for showing her story with such sensitivity and empathy. I was worried when I saw the title that it will be another non-personal description but it turned out to be so much more. It was a pleasure to read, thank you!

    On my Journey To Courageous Living A is for Achievements and Aspirations featuring the famous 'I'm a bitch, I'm a lover' - come, check out!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Miss Andi, glad I could do justice to the subject and her story

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  9. As Miss Andi said, you treated this amazing young lady and her legacy with great honour. I have been there and was simply overwhelmed. Great writing.

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    1. Thank you Geraint, good to know that I was able to do justice

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  10. I read Anne's diary many years ago, when I was just older than her, just like you. What I remember most clearly is the shifting from the normal life in the first few pages of the diary to life in the hideout. It's kind of shocking.

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I think it is very important to remember, because by remembering we can be better people. I truly believe it.

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter - 1940s Film Noir

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  11. That is one place I have to visit one day. Like you, the first time I read her book I was young, her age and incredibly saddened at her fate. Still am. Every few years, I will read her book, or watch a Ann Frank Movie.

    I'm blogging about the babyboom years and Baby boomers.
    Atomic Bombs

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  12. Have been known about the diaries. Good to know about the museum. 26 places will be fun to know. I will follow up! :-)

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  13. I read the diary when I was more or less her age too. There was a maturity in it that I couldn't even comprehend. Loved to read about your experience in the museum. Hope to go someday.

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  14. Nicely written and sensibly handled

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  15. I'd love to visit the Anne Frank house at some point in the future. I enjoyed reading her diary as a child and it prompted an interest in learning more about WW2 and the holocaust. Like you, I have a hard time imagining the size of the location she lived at, so it will be interesting to see just how small it really is when I eventually get there. It's wonderful that you got to visit and see history for yourself! :)

    With Love,
    Mandy

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  16. Very well written. It really is hard to imagine the circumstances under which the family had to live, not to mention how sad it is. The hopes and dreams of a teenager lost because of wars and religion, which sounds like a foreign concept today! The museum is definitely going on my to-visit place. Thanks for sharing!

    Aspirations: Book Review by Readers of the Night.

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