One of the most famous sights in Amsterdam is the Anne Frank House (in Dutch, “Anne Frank Huis”).
It is a museum dedicated mainly to Anne Frank, a 16-year-old German girl of Jewish origin who was a victim of the Holocaust. She is the author of the “Diary of Anne Frank”, which describes her life during the German occupation, as well as her attitude towards the war and others and her surprising optimism. Here you can see the girl’s belongings, including, of course, her diary. The museum also presents the story of the eight Jews who hid from the Germans with Anne during World War II.
During the two years that Anne and her family lived in hiding, the girl wrote a diary, which was published after her death and translated into more than 70 languages, becoming one of the best known books about the World War II period.
The house that served as a refuge for Anne Frank’s family and four others is now a museum, with original objects, documents and photographs from that time. Because of the limited number of seats, the number of tickets sold per day is restricted.
Anne Frank was born on June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt am Main. In 1933, when the persecution of Jews began in Germany, Anne and her family moved to Amsterdam. They lived in the building that now houses the museum. This is also where Anne’s father, Otto Frank, started his own business. A few years later, however, the Germans also arrived in the Netherlands. As a result, in 1942, Otto, his family and four friends were forced to hide in the back of the building. They were helped by friends and some of Otto’s employees.
Unfortunately, on August 4, 1944, they were betrayed and deported to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. Anna, like most of her family, died in February 1945. Only her father survived the war. On his return to the Netherlands, Otto retrieved Anna’s diary. Fascinated by her story, he decided to reveal this extraordinary story to the world. The diary was first published on June 25, 1947, and to date more than 30 million copies have been sold. In 1955, a play was based on it and in 1959, the film The Diary of Anne Frank was produced, which won 3 Academy Awards.
The Anne Frank House is one of the three most popular museums in Amsterdam. It is visited by more than one million people every year. It opened on May 3, 1960. Otto Frank, Anne’s father, contributed to the opening and character of the museum. He wanted it to be not “just” a museum commemorating Anne, but to make sure that visitors understood that people are still being persecuted for various reasons around the world. On September 28, 1999, the front part of the House was rebuilt and the museum was reopened by Queen Beatrix.
Since its inception, the museum has addressed difficult topics such as human rights and the treatment of people of different color and religion.
How to get there and opening hours:
The Anne Frank House is located at Prinsengracht, 263-267, in central Amsterdam. From the central station, it is possible to walk (about 20 minutes) or take a streetcar (13, 14 or 17) and get off at Westermarkt.
The attraction operates daily. From April 1 to October 31, from 9 am to 10 pm. From November 1 to March 31, from 9am to 7pm (Saturday until 9pm). Please note that entry to the museum is only allowed until 30 minutes before closing time.