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Anne Frank House Amsterdam Attractions

For more than two years, a teenage Anne Frank, together with four friends and her immediate family, hid here. The darkened annexe of Number 263 Prinsengracht (Prince's Canal), was where in an ultimately tragic attempt to avoid Nazi persecution took place. Famously, Anne kept diary, which she addressed throughout the ordeal. It was published in 1947 and went on to sell over 30 million copies. The Anne Frank House, a museum dedicated to her life and writings, has proven to be equally compelling, and, just like her book, continues to be experienced by growing numbers the world over.

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The Frank family moved

Anne's family moved to the Netherlands from Germany in 1933. This was because of the election of Hitler's Nazi Party and the subsequent escalation of Anti-Semitism in Germany

Amsterdam was a haven, for a short time

Otto Frank, Anne's father, opened a branch of his pectin business in Amsterdam. Until 1940, the family lived a relatively carefree existence.

However, the new decade heralded the Nazi occupation of Holland. The Jewish populace was immediately subjected to the same civil infringements as there were in Germany.

Otto Frank was forced to relinquish control of his business. This led to a lack of income. In turn, this then meant in 1942, Anne's thirteenth birthday present was a diary. She had pointed to this diary in a store window, when with her father.

Call up for Anne's sister Margot

Three weeks later, Anne's elder sister Margot received a call-up to a work camp in Germany. The family knew that their non-compliance would result in arrest. Luckily their hideout had already been arranged.

The Frank Family Hideout

Three storeys of augmented achterhuis or "backhouse" at the rear of Otto's workplace became the home of these eight onderduikers ("people in hiding") for the next 26 months. As well as Anne's mother, father and sister, the group included;

  • Fritz Pfeffer (a dentist and family friend)
  • the Van Pels family Hermann (Otto's business partner)
  • Auguste (Hermann's wife)
  • their son Peter

Details in Anne Frank's Diary

All were to play a part in Anne's meticulously recorded reports of life in the rooms that were destined to be known as the Secret Annexe. She wrote extensively of how the inhabitants struggled to maintain their reclusive lifestyle, tensions within the group and her affections for Peter, as well as her views on the plight of her people and her hopes and dreams.

Betrayed, only one survived

Tragically, the group's tenure came to an abrupt end when they were anonymously betrayed in August 1944. Anne's final few days were lived out at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Out of the eight, only Otto Frank survived the war.

Creation of the Museum

After the popular and critical acclaim of Anne's diary, Anne Frank House was opened as a museum in May 1960. Visitors can explore the Annexe, which remains in practically the same condition as it was when the group was evicted in 1944.

After reading Anne's story (or simply knowing her history), actually standing in her bedroom, where photos of her Hollywood idols still decorate the walls, is an overwhelming experience.

The original diary is also housed in the museum, as are other documents and family relics. These include some possessions Otto Frank brought back from Auschwitz.

The museum now incorporates the adjacent no. 265 house, which features ever-changing exhibitions focusing on other stories of persecution and discrimination. Now one of the world's most frequented attractions, the museum welcomes nearly a million visitors each year.

More information on the Anne Frank Museum

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