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Anne Frank House

The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam is a widely visited UNESCO World Heritage Site. Touring it is a powerful and moving experience for tourists, and one of the city’s top attractions. With its shell-shocked history, the small modest building is a reminder of the thousands who suffered, and died, during the Holocaust.

The house is situated along a narrow, canal-lined street in Amsterdam’s Jordaan district, just a few steps away from the Anne Frank statue and memorial. An inconspicuous red brick building with Pronk, meaning renaissance, style outline, it is named the Secret Annex due to its concealed, concealed entryway behind a moveable bookcase.

On June 12, 1942, the family and four others, entered the now-famous hiding place at the back of the building – and for the next two years, it would serve as their refuge from Nazi persecution. The house, which had been inhabited since 1881, was requisitioned from its original owners by bank director Otto Frank, Anne's father and he soon took on the role of leader of the group, drawing up a list of rules, dividing up the chores and rallying their spirits. Inside, Anne wrote her diary, transforming their experience into one of the most important documents of the 20th century.

Today, the house is preserved almost exactly as it looked when the eight hid there during the War. Guided Tours allow visitors to explore the main hall, kitchen, bathroom, living room, and the Secret Annex itself — a secluded space with four cramped rooms concealed behind a bookcase. The house’s attic and basement are also open to the public, and each room is filled with personal items left behind by the Frank family, including Anne’s diary, which is available for visitors to read.

Upstairs, the museum — which is hosted by the Anne Frank Foundation — features interactive exhibitions and an extensive educational center with a selection of posters, films and photographs with quotes from Anne's diary. By exploring the house through these displays, visitors can learn more about the Holocaust, and get an intimate glimpse into Anne's world during the period of hiding.

In addition to its educational mission, the Anne Frank House is an integral part of the Dutch Jewish experience, and even serves as a place of pilgrimage for many who have been affected by the Holocaust. While visiting, guests are invited to leave their reflections in the Statement Room, a special space dedicated to expressing thoughts, uncomfortable or otherwise, on the impact of the tragedies of War.

Ultimately, visitors leave with a newfound appreciation for a story that is both painful and inspirational — a reminder of the countless sacrifices made during the Holocaust, and an affirmation of the miraculous power of hope. For travelers looking to gain an understanding of the past, while deepening their personal connection to it, the Anne Frank House is a must-visit destination.

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