Visiting the Anne Frank House

Anne Frank House: A Museum with a Story published by Anne Frank House
Back when I first
read Anne Frank’s diary, I dreamt of visiting the house where she and her
family and the others were in hiding. And I swore that when I first went
overseas, that would be my destination. And then I wondered whether it ever
would really happen.
A decade or two
passed (or maybe three) and finally the opportunity presented itself. And I
kept repeating to myself, “Lucky, lucky, lucky…” because really: how many of us
get to actually realize a childhood dream?
And then I thought
of how Anne’s childhood dream—of publishing her story—came true, but how it
happened only after her much-too-young, much-too-terrible death. And then I
felt that awful sick feeling that comes over me when it hits me that that was
really real.
So when I visited
the Anne Frank House recently, the experience was very real and also surreal.
And when I saw the swinging bookcase, I stopped in my tracks and blinked a
whole bunch to keep from crying.
People, it’s an
emotional experience to visit that place. 
The good people at
the Anne Frank House museum have put together a remarkable website that allows virtual visits.  
But there’s nothing
that really compares to being in that space. My God. Anne’s movie star pictures
are still on the walls of her room, and one of the doorways still contains the
marks the Franks made to record their daughters’ growth in height
It’s devastatingly
moving.
The museum’s book, Anne Frank House: A Museum with a Story,
is a wonderful companion. It provides photos of the spaces with the furniture
in place, so you can get a sense of what it was like when the Frank family, Van
Pels family, and Fritz Pfeffer lived there. (The rooms are now devoid of
furniture.)
At the end of the
book, there are pages about the fate of each of the occupants of the secret
annex. And it was in this section that I struggled to keep it together.
A small book, but
an important one.

by

Reader, librarian, & happy little geek

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