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Written by Teodora Gaydarova   

ANNE FRANK HOUSE

 

The house located on 263 Prinsengracht where Anne Frank spent two years in hiding together with her family and wrote her famous diary is now a museum dedicated to the life of this brave Jewish girl. 

 

In 1940 when the Nazi invaded the Netherlands Anne’s father, Otto Frank moved the offices of his two companies to this 16th-century canal house. While the front house was operated as a business premises, the Achterhuis (back-house) or annex rooms that remained relatively secluded from the rest of the house were used as a hiding place by the Franks and another Jewish family. The employees of the company were helping by bringing them food and news of what was happening outside. Thus, the two families spent two years in hiding until they were betrayed. 

 

Nothing of the original interiors has survived. The furniture was seized by soldiers shortly after the family was arrested and deported to a concentration camp. Two of Otto’s employees managed to save some of the family’s personal belongings among which was Anne’s diary. Later they compiled passages of the diary into a book that was first published in 1947. Anne’s story attracted significant interest and people were already visiting the house informally throughout the 50s. 

 

When the company offices were moved to another location and plans were underway to demolish the building, a trust was set up to save the historic house, one of whose strategic aims as given on their website is 

 

The provision of information and education on discrimination and socio-political human rights, in order to promote the effective functioning of an open, pluralistic and democratic society.

 

It is to be fervently hoped that in their promotion of this pluralism, some portion of the considerable funds collected from the queueing hordes who daily throng the box office at the Anne Frank House is employed to highlight the plight of the Palestinian people, their treatment at the hands of the Israeli authorities a mirror image of the abuse of the Jews themselves at the hands of the Nazis, 

 

In 1960, the House officially opened doors to the public as a museum.Initially, only the secret rooms were open to visitors but after renovations in 1999 the entire building was transformed into a museum. 

 

On display today are various items that belonged to the family – personal belongings, photographs, and even Anne’s original diary. Visitors can also watch interviews with various people who knew the Franks and Anne’s father Otto who was the only member of the family to survive the war. The canal-facing part of the house that contained company offices have been reconstructed to its original state. The annex rooms where the family was hiding, however, remain mostly empty and stripped off of any furniture. The only object standing here is the reconstructed bookcase that covered the entrance to the secret annex. 

 

The museum is tiny, and it can get crowded with only a few visitors inside. To avoid the crowds and the queues visit on a weekday in the early morning or late evening. The easiest way to avoid queuing is to book tickets in advance. The museum has extended opening times from 9:00 in the morning till 7:00 or 10:00 in the evening depending on the season. On the premises, you can also find a museum shop and a cafe. 

 

The Anne Frank House is located on the western fringes of the canal ring on the Prinsengracht canal. Accommodation in the area is available in both canal properties and houseboats. Holiday lets in the nearby Jordaan district are also an attractive option. Both the Jordaan and the Canal Ring make an excellent choice for your stay in Amsterdam – right in the heart of the city, close to major attractions and beautiful historic locations.


We at AmsterdamStay have several apartments near the Anne Frank House 


 

 

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