Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Amsterdam.. part twee punt vijf.. or some thoughts on Anne Franks house

My brother has asked me to search deep within and give an opinion of Anne Frank's House museum in Amsterdam. I think in my previous post the only thing I mentioned was that the lines were huge.

I only know the gist of The Diary, having never read the book in its fullest. Going into the museum I had very little expectation of what I would see and what would be presented. By the way photography is strictly forbidden inside, so I can't share to many pictures.

The museum is small, by design actually. It really does reside inside the house where the families lived for couple of years during the Nazy invasion of Holland. The point of the museum is to show how cramped, dangerous, and harsh the living conditions were for those hiding. The exhibition rooms are devoid of any furniture, since that would hinder the movement of visitors. The walls are a restoration with paintings, old photographs and writings that Anne herself used to brighten their existence.

One of the interesting touches is that rooms are set with TVs showing interviews of those who survived about Frank family. And at the very end a nice movie of TV and movie stars reading from the book and giving their thoughts of what it means to them. It is a nice and moving touch to round out the museum experience.

Maya absolutely loved going to the museum. She said she learned a lot and had a renewed interest in the book. She forced us to by her a copy at the museum and re-read it 3 or four times during the trip. Lena said it was worth it as well, she read the book before and seeing the house brought the reality of horror a little closer. Plus, you have to consider that Anne Frank is a Dutch national Hero, so the museum, although small, carries a lot of importance to the Dutch and is a major landmark.

I don't think I feel the same way. The museum is about a person and a book, which moves Holocaust to the background. The reality of it seems to be muted. To me it was as if I would be visiting 221b Baker Street.

To be perfectly honest, if I was travelling alone I would have skipped it. There are museums in the world, Berlin's Jewish history and holocaust museum for instance, that tell the horrifying story much better and with more overall impact.

If you are travelling with kids, make sure they read the book first and ask them if they want to go. If they do buy the tickets in advance for timed entry.
Line to the museum entrance, which is actually behind my POV

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