Grief Tourism

Travel to areas affected by natural disasters, places where people were murdered, etc.

Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

1st June 2006

The Anne Frank Museum officially opened in 1960 to visitors from around the world, the curious, the incredulous, and the sorrowful.  In early 1942, Otto Frank and Herman Van Pels began preparing their office building in a nondescript old part of Amsterdam in the hopes of avoiding detection and capture by the German Nazis.  Their hiding place, the Secret Annex, consisted of two upper floors and a dimly lit attic, which housed two families, an acquaintance, food, and supplies.  Carefully hidden behind a moveable bookcase, they managed to carry on their daily activities in the Annex and remain undetected for over two years.  In 1944, betrayed by an informer, they were arrested by the SS troops and deported to the concentration camp at Westerbork.  Anne Frank died in a typhus epidemic that swept the camp and the others met their fate at the hands of the Nazis.  Otto Frank, the only survivor, was released in 1945 to return to the Secret Annex, where he found the diary that we read today.

A tour of the Anne Frank Museum brings to life the harsh reality of one of the cruelest periods in history.  We follow this incredible story through the Diary of Anne Frank, a tragic and true diary written by a once carefree, 13-year old Jewish schoolgirl.  The Anne Frank Museum houses a remarkable collection of letters, postcards, photographs, and objects recovered  by Otto Frank and others from the Secret Annex.  They reflect the memories, the fear, and the plight of just one of the untold numbers of Jewish people in wartime.

The Anne Frank Museum is located at Prinsengracht 267 in Amsterdam, Holland.  Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and March 15 – September 14, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.  Exceptions:  January 1 and December 25, 12 Noon – 7:00 p.m., May 4 and June 24, 9:00 a.m.  – 7:00 p.m., December 21 & 31, 9:00 a.m.  – 5:00 p.m.  Closed on Yom Kippur.  Admission (in Euros):  Adults:  7,50; ages 10-7:  3,50; ages 0-9:  Free.  The purchase of evening tickets, recommended for avoiding long lines and immediate entrance, can be purchased in advance at Amsterdam Tourist Offices and the Amsterdam Uitburo.  A separate facility, adjacent to the historic building, includes a museum store, cafe, and information desk.

Sharon L. Slayton

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