on April 27, 2009
This is just one of those activities that you should really do while in Amsterdam, yet you just know it’s probably going to bum you out. But inspire you at the same time. An emotional roller coaster made possible by the Nazi invasion of World War II.Are there any American school children who made it past 10th grade without reading Anne Frank’s diary? I was then, and still am today, amazed at how a little girl facing such scary times managed to live in a cramped space and yet still be a "normal" little girl. You’ll be even more amazed once you step into the cramped quarters of the few rooms atop her father’s store when you realize how many people lived in nothing but this small space for two years.Nothing brought tears to my eyes more than seeing the black-out curtains on the windows, remembering that she really wasn’t allowed to see the outside world very often. Yet, she hoped on, dreaming of a time when she wouldn’t be a Jew, but a person.The museum is tastefully done, with several videos to watch along the path through the house. Everything is the same as it was 60 years ago after the rooms had been cleared out once the Nazi soldiers found them. The museum said that the soldiers knew about the bookcase that hid the entrance to their hideaway, so they were surely tipped off, but no one knows by whom. Our Mike’s Bike guide indicated that in the last few years, they found out that it was another Dutch family, with a grudge to bear. Which is true? I don’t know, but either way it sucks.I liked the way that the museum tried to use Anne’s words to instill hope for future generations, and lessons in history at the same time.Allow about an hour to see the museum, but you’ll need to budget your line time. The queue was around the corner and down the street when we went, but it moved quickly - only a half hour of waiting. I understand that as the summer progresses, however, the lines stretch for hours. None of the city passes cover entrance to the Anne Frank House, but you can buy tickets in advance online, if you know when you’ll be going. We looked at that option, but didn’t want to be tied down to a specific location at a specific time, so we chanced it with the line.Entrance into the museum is 8.5 Euro pp. If you buy online, they add 50 cents to that price. No photos allowed inside.By the way, if you are a fan of the Rick Steves Europe guidebooks, his Amsterdam, Bruges and Brussels guide gives a great self-guided tour of the Anne Frank House.Go. You’ll kick yourself if you don’t. Learn. Don’t let it happen again.
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