Monday, August 11, 2008

Anne Franks House

I had wanted so badly to see the Anne Frank house, and Mary had read the diary between the mill and amsterdam, so on our way to Bruges we stopped and went in. There was only a couple of people there in the queue and so when it opened we had a wonderful opportunity to see everything without crowds.

It was a very strange experience, I wished I had reread the book beforehand but even so it was amazing to be in the house they hid in from the Nazis and to see her actual diary.

It was hard not to be upset, going through the secret annex as she had, walking along the corridors and up the stairs as she described, with her bedroom walls as they were, her height marked on the wall and videos from people who knew her sharing what they knew of her life.

What got me the most was how young she was, I had read the book as a child and so had seen her as someone older than me, I don't think I really understand that she died after everything, that really only struck me as I looked at her life size photos and saw a little girl looking back, like my own little girl, full of life and so so young.

The thing that I will remember most, though, is the footage of Otto Frank, Annes father, talking about the diary.

He said that when he came back to Amsterdam, after the liberation, and found out that no-one else would be coming home, he was glad to have annes diary, which she had always entrusted to him to keep safe and he had promised never to read. It had been in a case that was kept for him by friends. He said it took him "a very long time to read it" and that when he did he could not believe how deep she was, and how serious her thoughts had been. His final words have echoed in my ears all day and I'm sure I will always remember he said that the conclusion he came to, after reading Annes diary, was that no parent "really knows their children"...


Ciara said...

I always regret not going to see her house all those times I was there. And now you've just made me want to even more An amazing experience for Mary too I'm sure.

Emma said...

I'm with you Ciara. I think it was always beyond our budget of zero money, but I definitely will some day when Mike and I do our own tour of every country in Europe, following in Lisa's footsteps! Now I just have to persuade him not to do it on a bike.