Why everyone needs to see the Anne Frank House

28 October, 2022 in Blog / Guest contributions by Floris

The Dutch are famous for many things. For example, we have been strongly represented at the largest sporting events in the world for many years and we are a leader in technology. Our country, therefore, has a large number of celebrities who are known all over the world. What about Freddy Heineken, Max Verstappen or Marco van Basten? Just three names of people that everyone knows.

A name we can add to this is Anne Frank. Anne Frank has become known worldwide because of her diary. This diary was written during World War II, when Anne kept a daily record of what was on her mind and what was happening around her. Because of her Jewish background, Anne had to go into hiding to stay out of the hands of the Germans. This happened in the Secret Annex in Amsterdam. A place that you must have visited during your one or more day trip through the capital of the Netherlands.

How do you get to the Anne Frank House?

Most Dutch people who visit the Anne Frank House take public transport to the largest city in the Netherlands. From Amsterdam Central it is very easy to reach the Anne Frank house by using public transport, a rented bicycle, or simply by walking. For example, if you’re from England,  you can use the ferry from Amsterdam to England. A website like Ferrygogo, can help you to select the best ferry of for your trip. This way you will be in the Netherlands in a short period of time, you will have a nice experience at sea and after arrival, you can easily reach Amsterdam by taxi, rental car or public transport.

Anne Frank Huis

How did Anne end up in the Secret Annex?

In 1940 Anne Frank and her family, led by father Otto, took up residence in the house that now serves as a tourist attraction. The entire building consists of several floors that are used as one large whole from that moment on. For example, on the ground floor you will find the workshop and two floors higher, you will find a storage space and space for offices.

A new connection between two floors

Suddenly a new connection is needed between the first and second floors. At that moment you first have to go all the way out and then come back in through another front door. You entered the Secret Annex through another entrance door and a steep staircase. A rather cumbersome way of moving between different spaces. To solve this problem, a new staircase is being built in the front house. At the end of this staircase you will find a bookcase. We all know by now that this was the entrance to the Secret Annex, the place where Anne Frank hid for a long time.

Anne Frank’s hiding place

It is 1942 and Margot, Anne’s sister, receives a call to work in a German camp. At that moment the Frank family decides to go into hiding in the Secret Annex. This means that the family was mainly present on the second and third floors of the house. This gave them the opportunity to go into hiding directly in the hidden Secret Annex behind the bookcase, if necessary. The advantage was that no one would ever find out that there would be a hidden room in the Secret Annex at all. This ground floor and the first floor of the back house are not connected to the space behind the bookcase. No passer-by will be able to discover that more happened than you might think at 263 Prinsengracht.

Anne’s world famous story

This is just a small part of the whole story of Anne Frank and the rest of the Frank family going into hiding. During this hiding, Anne has been busy writing down all the events. This is exactly the reason that we know so much about what happened during that time. It is not for nothing that this story has reached the rest of the world, making the Anne Frank House world famous.

The Anne Frank House: a must-see for everyone

We hope you understand that you should therefore visit the Anne Frank House during a visit to Amsterdam. Here you will find countless memories of that dramatic story and see exactly how the Frank family lived during the Second World War. In this case, the sentence typically applies that you have to see it with your own eyes to believe the whole story.

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