|August 8, 2012
Anne Frank's House
We had a very busy day. We attended the Anne Frank House, the Wester Kerk (West Church), the Amsterdam Museum (History of Amsterdam), the Dam Square, the Nieuwe Kerk (the New Church—built in the 15th Century) as opposed to the Oude Kerk (the Old Church built in the 14th Century) and we tried to find the Church in the Attic( will try again tomorrow).
What was very moving was going to the Anne Frank House. In 1940, after the Germans began the invasion of Netherlands, NL surrendered after 5 days. They occupied Amsterdam for 5 years. After a year, they began rounding up the Jewish people and sending them to the death camps. Anne’s father had tried to move the Family before the invasion but was unsuccessful. So he hid his family plus 4 friends for 2 years at the back of his warehouse until they were betrayed and arrested and sent to various Concentration Camps.
The Tour takes you through the hiding area and has quotes from Anne’s Diary. It was unbelievable how 8 people could last for 2 years in such cramped quarters.
In a very dramatic fashion, it brought home the brutality that the Jews suffered at the hands of the Nazis. In 1941 there were about 140,00 Jews in Amsterdam – in 1945 there were only 36,000 who had survived the Holocaust.
The only Frank member that survived was Otto who was Anne’s father. When he returned, a couple of the people that had helped hide the Frank Family returned Anne’s Diaries to him. He made it his mission to have the same published.
It was very moving—below is an early quote from Anne’s Dairies:
In her diary, Anne writes a list of things that are no longer permitted:
“Our freedom was severely restricted by a series of anti-Jewish decrees: Jews were required to wear a yellow star; Jews were required to turn in their bicycles; Jews were forbidden to use trams; Jews were forbidden to ride in cars, even their own; Jews were required to do their shopping between 3:00 and 5:00 P.M.; Jews were required to frequent only Jewish-owned barbershops and beauty parlors; Jews were forbidden to be out on the streets between 8:00 P.M. and 6:00 A.M.; Jews were forbidden to attend theaters, movies or any other forms of entertainment; Jews were forbidden to use swimming pools, tennis courts, hockey fields or any other athletic fields; Jews were forbidden to go rowing; Jews were forbidden to take part in any athletic activity in public; Jews were forbidden to sit in their gardens or those of their friends after 8:00 P.M.; Jews were forbidden to visit Christians in their homes; Jews were required to attend Jewish schools, etc.”
Al & Sue