Anne Frank House in Amsterdam

Saturday, 27 January 2024 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Museums, Exhibitions
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Anne Frank in May 1942, two months before she and her family went into hiding © Photo collection Anne Frank House, Amsterdam

Anne Frank in May 1942, two months before she and her family went into hiding
© Photo collection Anne Frank House, Amsterdam

The Anne Frank House (Dutch: Anne Frank Huis) is a writer’s house and biographical museum dedicated to Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank. The building is located on a canal called the Prinsengracht, close to the Westerkerk, in central Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

During World War II, when the Netherlands was occupied by Germany, Anne Frank hid from Nazi persecution with her family and four other people in hidden rooms, in the rear building, of the 17th-century canal house, later known as the Secret Annex (Dutch: Achterhuis). She did not survive the war but her wartime diary was published in 1947. Ten years later the Anne Frank Foundation was established to protect the property from developers who wanted to demolish the block.

The entire museum, which occupies the three adjacent buildings on the street front of Prinsengracht 263 to 267, opened on 3 May 1960. It preserves the hiding place (the Secret Annex at rear of 263), with the other buildings expanding the permanent exhibition on the life and times of Anne Frank, and has an exhibition space about all forms of persecution and discrimination. In 2017, the museum had 1.27 million visitors and was the third most visited museum in the Netherlands, after the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum.

Visitors queueing in front of the museum entrance © Massimo Catarinella/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Dietmar Rabich/cc-by-sa-4.0 Prinsengracht Canal by night, with Anne Frank House on the center right © Chowells/Dontworry/cc-by-sa-3.0 View from the tower of the Westerkerk, with the Anne Frank House down right © Zairon/cc-by-sa-4.0 Anne Frank in May 1942, two months before she and her family went into hiding © Photo collection Anne Frank House, Amsterdam © flickr.com - Jose A./cc-by-2.0
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Anne Frank in May 1942, two months before she and her family went into hiding © Photo collection Anne Frank House, Amsterdam
Shortly after the book was published, visitors were shown around by the employees who had hidden the families and could see the secret rooms. However, by 1955, the company had moved to new premises and the entire block to which the building belonged was sold to a single estate agent who served a demolition order with the intention of building a factory on the space. A campaign to save the building and to list it as a protected monument was started by the Dutch paper Het Vrije Volk on 23 November 1955. The building was saved by campaigners who staged a protest outside the building on the day of demolition.

The Anne Frank Foundation was established on 3 May 1957 in cooperation with Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father, with the primary aim of collecting enough funds to purchase and restore the building. In October of that year, the company who owned it donated the building to the Foundation as a goodwill gesture. The collected funds were then used to purchase the house next door, Number 265, shortly before the remaining buildings on the block were pulled down as planned. The building was opened as a museum to the public in 1960.

The former hiding place of Anne Frank attracted a huge amount of interest, especially as translations and dramatisations of the Diary had made her a figure known throughout the world. Over 9,000 visitors came in its first year. In a decade, there were twice as many. Over the years, the building has had to be renovated to manage such a large number of visitors, and it closed temporarily for this reason in 1970 and 1999.

On 9 September 2001, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands reopened the museum, which now incorporated the entire building between exhibition spaces, a bookshop and a cafe, and featured the offices in the front house reconstructed to their state in the 1940s. In 2007, over one million people visited the museum.

On display at the museum is the Academy Award that Shelley Winters won, and later donated to the museum, for her performance as Petronella van Daan in the 1959 film The Diary of Anne Frank. The award now sits in a bullet-proof glass case in the museum.

In 1998, the Anne Frank Zentrum in Berlin was opened after the completion of a cooperation agreement with the Anne Frank House.

Read more on Anne Frank House, Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum and Wikipedia Anne Frank House (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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