Going to Amsterdam and not hearing about Ann Frank is like going to Paris and missing the Eiffel Tower.
We pre-booked, as you have to, to visit the Ann Frank house. It’s a timed slot that you get and is exceptionally well organised.
During the second world war, the Nazi’s invaded the Netherlands despite their intention to remain neutral. Within five days they surrendered and the Germans marched in.
Within a few short months life had changed.
The Jews of course were blamed for everything and many were stripped of their rights.
It was only when the trade union went on strike to protest against the treatment of the jews that sentiment changed against the Nazis. Many were rounded up and shot.
Jews were shipped out by train to be ‘resettled’ in camps like Auschwitz where the vast majority would lose their lives.
Ann Frank however and her family went into hiding.
The building that her father worked in was on a corner that at first glance was half the size. The confusion was, that when you looked out of the windows, what you saw looked like the next building.
The managers of the business agreed to hide the family and others in an extended part of the building which began behind a bookcase.
For two years Ann Frank, her family and others remained hidden from society in general and the Nazis in particular.
During this time this young girl Ann wrote about her life, the characters and the dreams she had.
Sadly they were all discovered and shipped to camps where only one, Otto Frank, her father, survived.
Ann Frank represents the many that were treated so unfairly for being Jewish, she describes her inner most thoughts that likely represented many others at this time. The world remembers Ann Frank not for her bravery, her writings or her story, but as symbolism for the many that suffered and died at the hands of a terrifying fascist idealism.
To find out more about the Ann Frank house click here