The Anne Frank House, in the centre of Amsterdam, is the hiding place where the brave little girl penned her famous diary during the Second World War.
The Anne Frank House, in the centre of Amsterdam, is the hiding place where the brave little girl penned her famous diary during the Second World War. The Diary of Anne Frank was published posthumously by her father in 1947, and the original is on display as part of the permanent exhibition in what is now a museum dedicated to his daughter.
The Frank family went into hiding in 1942, when the first Dutch Jews received notices to report to labour camps. Their hiding place was located in Anne's father Otto Frank's office building, where he had worked since fleeing Germany in 1933. This achterhuis, or annex, they shared with Otto's partner's family, the Van Pels, and Fritz Pfeffer.
For more than two years, these eight people lived in the Secret Annex, cut off from the outside world and known only to a handful of Otto's employees. In August of 1944, however, they were discovered by the Nazis and Anne Frank was taken to Auschwitz and from there to Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, where she died with her sister Margot in the last few weeks before the end of the war, leaving Otto Frank the sole survivor.
The rooms of the Secret Annex have been maintained in their authentic state thanks to conscientious preservation activities, while the house adjacent has been renovated and it is here that information is given about the diary and its significance in exhibitions throughout the year.
The appeal of Anne Frank's diary lies not in the fact that Anne was Jewish, nor even that she was a victim of persecution; it is universally popular because it is ultimately the testament of a normal, albeit thoughtful, girl in exceptional circumstances. Visiting the Anne Frank House has been a moving experience for millions of people from all over the world.